COVID-19 Precautions at Zion

Zion’s COVID-19 Precautions—Updated October of 2021

The advent of the coronavirus in 2020 and the subsequent pandemic created great challenges for Christians and their churches around the world. Zion Lutheran Church was no exception. In response to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order, Zion closed its doors for services on March 22 -- the fourth Sunday in Lent – but reopened on Sunday, June 21, 2020, and has remained open since then. 

During those months, Pastor Voltattorni, the Board of Elders, and the Board of Trustees made decisions regarding how best to hold in-person services while protecting those most at risk, the elderly and the medically compromised. Over the months, as there has been an ebb and flow of COVID cases in the community, our precautions have changed accordingly. Currently, Zion has resumed holding one worship service at 9:30 a.m., to enable all members to worship together as a family of brothers and sisters in Christ. A few precautions do remain:

 

  • The church is professionally cleaned with COVID-appropriate procedures before each worship service.
  • Masks are optional.
  • Hand sanitizer is readily available, including when members approach the altar for the Lord’s Supper.
  • Members approach the altar for the Lord’s Supper with family or friends, leaving appropriate distance between their group and others. Individuals who prefer to receive communion at their pew can indicate this to the elder.
  • Zion has reinstated coffee hour after the service in the Fellowship Hall for those who enjoy the opportunity to greet each other and talk after the service. Refreshments are served on individual plates. 

Additionally, in 2020, an air purification system was added to each of the three existing air conditioning/air handling systems that exist above Zion’s sanctuary. This new system passes the return air through a carbon filter to remove 95% of particles and bioaerosols and then passes the filtered air through a UVA lamp/pure air cartridge. While this new system cannot eliminate all viruses, it will improve the air quality in the sanctuary throughout the year.

The COVID situation is in flux, and, therefore, it is possible that more changes will be made in future months.

Some may find changes burdensome and unnecessary; others may find them too lax. Yet in everything we do, our purpose is to treat each other as we would want to be treated ourselves. So we bear one another’s burdens, keeping in mind the words that St. Peter wrote to first-century Christians who were enduring intense suffering, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.  Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9