After careful and prayerful discussion by our church council and our safety committee, we are pleased to share with you that we will be resuming worship in our sanctuary on Sunday, August 30.
The information below is meant to prepare you for what you can expect upon coming back to Zion.
To quote directly from our safety committee, “our church planning and preparedness can succeed by continuing to safely worship together, being flexible, by encouraging open communication, by being respectful and mindful of each other’s concerns and abiding to revised practices as a congregation. We are blessed with a church that is rich in history, culture and recognize that our previous practices during worship temporarily must change. Each one of us can contribute to the success of our reopening by minimizing community risks, maximizing safety, and always remembering, we are in these trying times together.”
What to Expect
Zion’s worship services help you to seek meaning, hope, and purpose – and ultimately seek Jesus. You will leave on Sunday knowing God’s plans for you are good and that Zion exists to help you know him more.
Worship is an expression of the relationship between God and his people. For that reason, central to every service is God’s Word and Holy Communion (whereby God speaks to us), as well as prayer and song (whereby we speak to God).
Services at Zion last about one hour and are “liturgical,” which means they follow a general order that is meant to encourage engaged participation. Everything is printed in the bulletin, so even if you have never attended a service, it is our hope that it will be easy to participate.
While we are in the green phase of reopening, we will be limiting our building occupancy to 50% of fire code capacity. Keeping in mind the work necessary to clean the building and the knowledge that not everybody will be comfortable coming back to worship right away, we will enacting the following schedule for worship:
Sunday morning, 9:30 a.m. (In-person)
Sunday morning, 11:00 a.m. (Online)
At Risk Individuals
If you are 65 years or older, have underlying medical conditions suppressing immune health, or have symptoms of illness, you fall into the high risk category for contracting COVID-19. As per government guidelines, we encourage you to remain home during these early stages of re-opening. As noted above, our online service will continue in the current format and can be viewed live or at another time. Recordings of the in-person service will be distributed upon request.
Arriving at Zion
If you plan to attend worship, please call or email the office to let them know. This will help us prepare for things such as the number of bulletins to be printed, and how many pews we expect to use.
All high contact surfaces will be cleaned with approved EPA disinfection agents so you can be assured the building is safe to enter before worship.
To assist with traffic flow, we will be enacting a one-way routing system. The designated entrance to the building will be the lower level door nearest the elevator right off the parking lot. You may then proceed upstairs or use the elevator to get to the sanctuary level. The designated exit will be the main doors located out the back of the sanctuary. Anyone who needs to exit via elevator will be directed there after other worshipers have exited out the back.
We understand that greeting people is a natural inclination but we would kindly ask that you refrain from hand shaking or hugging outside of your family unit.
Hand sanitizer will be available to be used upon entering the building. Greeters will be available at the entrance to the building to encourage its use upon entry. Other stations will be placed in the narthex (lobby behind the sanctuary) and near the elevator on the main floor.
You are asked to wear a mask upon entering the building. This is for the safety of others. Ushers will be wearing masks and gloves. They will be checking people in by recording names. The purpose of this will be for communication purposes if Zion learns of any worshiper contracting COVID-19.
Social distancing guidelines will be in place throughout the sanctuary. Bulletins will be placed on pews in areas where seating is permitted. Please only sit in areas where bulletins are located. There may only be a few bulletins in the pew. If you need more, please ask an usher. Households may sit together.
Everything you will need for worship can be found in the bulletin. You will notice that all books and paperwork have been removed from the pews.
The sharing of the peace is an important part of worship and has its foundation in scripture. That being said, we encourage you to share the peace by placing your hand on your heart, by bowing, or by audibly saying, “the peace of the Lord be with you.”
Offerings may be given before worship upon entering the sanctuary or during the time designated after the sharing of the peace. Offering plates or the Jehoiada box will be located at the front of the sanctuary for offerings to be placed.
Communion will take place continuously at the front of the sanctuary. If you do not feel comfortable taking communion at this time, that is fine. We uphold that by believing in the words that your sins are forgiven you have already received all you need for salvation. Ushers will direct people forward to receive communion. Servers will have washed their hands prior to serving. Communion will take the form of a wafer and individual cup. There will be no intinction or common cup available.
The downstairs level aside from the entryway will be closed. This means the nursery will also be closed and the restrooms will not be available. We ask that you use the restroom on the main level.
At this time, the building will only be opening for worship. Other activities and meetings will be available at Zion in the coming weeks as we ease into re-opening.
Zion Lutheran Church
4301 Brownsville Rd.
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15236
Zion Lutheran Church © 2020
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
North American Lutheran Church
Zion is a congregation of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). Above all else, the NALC seeks to be faithful to the Bible and centered on Christ. Learn more about the NALC on their website.