Worship on Sunday, March 15, will be livestreamed on Facebook and possibly also on YouTube. Services will be at 8:30 and 10:45. Click here to get your own copy of the “Hymnal Handwashing Hits” songsheet:
All worship and meetings at Mt Zion will be virtual or cancelled for at least the next 2 weeks, and the offices will be closed after 5pm Friday, March 13. Staff are working from home as able.
Consider joining us virtually for a common prayer at 12:12 pm each day. We will be livestreaming every day, starting Monday, March 16 on Facebook and YouTube. All activities, including bible studies and meetings, will be held via Zoom.
And the angel said, “Do not be afraid.”
I know that there is fear in each of us about the corona virus right now. I have a cousin plus his wife and 2 children who are in New Rochelle inside the quarantine; I feel it too. With the virus in Waukesha and possibly down-town Milwaukee, I know it’s close to home.
First, I want you to know that Mt Zion is preparing for this pandemic as it’s arriving here. We thinking about worship, and also about how we’ll care for and support one another, even though we will not be meeting together in public at least for the next two weeks.
More importantly, I ask that you remember the gifts God’s given the world. If not for the wisdom we’ve gained in the past century, this virus would look nearly like the plague of centuries ago. Fear rose because even with our best medicines, the death rate in China was high. But that was when it took an average of 13 days to identify and quarantine people.
Today China is getting people quarantined in 2-3 days, and the death rates in areas with those rates have dropped to roughly that of the flu. That number isn’t 0, and any number above 0 causes us fear. But it shows that there’s an easy lesson to learn.
Practice good hygiene and remember God is in control
When we are practicing good hygiene and the government gets the systems in place needed for early detection and quarantine, plus early care for those who are sick, the disease loses much of its power. Throughout the Bible, people are continually afraid because they forget the lessons of the past. God turned water into blood, split the waters of a sea, and led the people of Israel with a cloud, a source of water.
But this Sunday we’ll hear that after all that, the people complained because they were thirsty and had no water. How quickly they forgot that God is control of the water! The angels repeatedly said, “Do not be afraid.” Paul assures us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. I know that fear is going to pull at you constantly; it’s doing the same to me. But don’t forget the lessons of faith. God creates life out of dust, restores life to the dead, and recreates life in the divine image. In your fear, do not forget that God is in control of life!
God’s work. Our hands.
We trust God to care for us, especially in the midst of crisis. But the ELCA’s motto makes it clear how we live into that trust. “God’s Work. Our Hands.” We are ready to continue being a faith community, caring for one another even if the worst happens. Here are some things we are already doing or considering putting in place:
- We are already putting sermons up on YouTube. Find our channel at the bottom right corner of our website
- We are already working to keep the building disinfected.
- We are already maintaining communication with other churches and synod leadership to decide the best way to respond at this time.
- We are evaluating every gathering we have and whether or not to meet.
- We are preparing to set up our system that all staff can work from home.
- We are putting together plans for how we can stay in daily contact with every member if there’s a general quarantine in our area.
If you have any ideas on how we could support our community better or want to help be part of our support team, we welcome all input and help we can get.
Easter is around the corner
We will provide information on Holy Week in a timely manner. Please stay in touch!