Coronavirus Updates

StaySafeMN

This page is intended to provide current information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as it relates directly to Zion Lutheran Church.

For the most up-to-date general information, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

MN Department of Public Health

Upcoming worship services will be drive-in (Sunday mornings at 9am) and online (Sunday mornings at 10am).

Worship Information

Staff schedules continue to flex and individual staff may be working both in the building and remotely, or at different times. When staff are in the building, a door in the main entrance may be open for pick up and drop off of items. We will continue to monitor inbox messages to our Facebook page, emails to pastors and the general mailbox (office@zionbuffalo.org), and voicemails at 763-682-1245.

Zion’s Facebook Page

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  • Meeting Community Needs

    Meeting Community Needs It is a privilege of the Zion’s Social Ministry Team to serve people that need help in our local communities and what could be a better time than during a national emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic? Volunteers stepped into action in many ways during the last few months and plan to do so in new ways in the summer months. A HUGE thank you to all the generous volunteers that have accomplished so much to help people in our local community. As we go forward and continue to see the changes ...
  • Re-Entry Update

    Re-Entry Update The following is a transcript of Pastor Ted’s video update posted to Facebook on Sunday, May 24. Watch the Video Guidelines mentioned can be found at Minnesota Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Faith-based communities, places of worship, weddings, and funerals: https://mn.gov/…/as…/worship-guidance-ACC_tcm1045-433301.pdf CDC Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/…/faith-based.html By now, I think almost everybody knows that on Friday President Trump ordered, or suggested I should say, that church is open and that people go back to in-person worship and then on Saturday afternoon, Governor Walz made a statement and recommended something ...
  • Worship Transitions

    Worship Transitions The Church Council and Pastors have been thinking and discussing the opening of Zion’s building and the return to normal for Zion for quite some time. Our members represent a wide range of opinions on the current situation and we will continue to move forward with health and safety of all of our members as our priority. On May 18th, the State of MN transitioned to StaySafeMN orders and the council approved re-opening the church and allowing small groups of less than 10 to meet in-person that same ...
  • StaySafeMN Building Guidelines

    StaySafeMN Building Guidelines On May 18th, the Council approved new policies and guidelines for the partial reopening of Zion’s building following Governor Walz’s transition to the StaySafeMN order. In-person Sunday morning worship services will remain suspended, but drive-in worship will be held every Sunday at 9am. Sunday morning online worship services will also continue. The big change is that the church building is now open for small group (10 people or less) meetings and gatherings. Below is additional guidance and details. If you would like to contact ...
  • New Blessing Closet Donation Guidelines

    New Blessing Closet Donation Guidelines Now that Zion is accepting clothing donations, our goal is to handle the clothes efficiently and safely before we start the sorting process by providing a no touch process and allowing all donated clothes to sit for a period of time to make sure they are not carrying any virus droplets according to the CDC instructions (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html). Currently, all donations will be done by appointment only. Call 763.317.6052 and leave a message. You will be called back to set up a day and time to drop off your donation. No ...
  • Quarantine in Zambia and MN

    Quarantine in Zambia and MN The Village of Hope, our Global Mission partner in Zambia, Africa, is quarantined because of the coronavirus, just like we are in Minnesota. Their quarantine is similar in some ways and different in other ways to what we experience. Both in Minnesota and Zambia there is: Sheltering at home Physical distancing Schools are closed Churches are closed Organized sports have been suspended Only essential businesses are open The Village of Hope in Zambia has a unique set-up which allows differences in their quarantine. Shelter at Home At the Village of Hope their sheltering at ...
  • Life Has Changed

    Life Has Changed WOW! The Coronavirus has certainly changed life for all of us. I don’t know about you, but I never saw this coming, even after it first started appearing on the daily news. It has changed our day to day lives and it has changed our church lives for sure. Our preparation for online worship has certainly changed our weekly work flow. We are recording the service on Wednesdays so that we have time to format it for the Sunday posting. That means we need to be ready ...
  • April Staffing Update

    April Staffing Update Zion suspended hiring activities, reduced the number of hours or completely laid off some employees, and asked the pastors to take a pay cut in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you desire to understand the details of the action taken, please send an email to the address at the end of this article..  Other employees volunteered to suspend or defer their pay while we worked through these very uncertain financial times. On April 20, the congregation approved on a vote of 335 to 8, that we enter into ...
  • Monday, April 13

    Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated economy slow down, the Zion council approved significant staff layoffs and cutbacks. These changes went into effect on March 29. On March 27, the Federal government approved Title I of the economic stimulus package which provides low interest loans to small businesses, non-profits, and churches. One of these stimulus loans is the Paycheck Protection Program loan. Its purpose is to pay salary and operating costs for small business organizations to maintain or re-hire back most, if not all, of their staff during the ...
  • Friday, March 27

    The church building is now closed through at least Friday April 10th, and we encourage members to abide by the governor’s plea to stay at home. Some staff may be in the building at times to perform essential functions such as preparing online worship. At these times, one door in the main entrance maybe open for pick up and drop off of items such as at-home Sunday school kids and daily devotionals. We will continue to monitor inbox messages to our Facebook page, emails to pastors and the general mailbox (office@zionbuffalo.org), and ...
  • Thursday, March 19

    Last night the council approved the following actions with regard to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions were taken in response to restrictions being in place and an associated slow-down that could last for a number of months or even longer. Effective immediately, the activities of the Call committee are suspended. a hiring freeze for vacant staff positions which includes an administrative assistant position and multiple Children, Youth and Family positions. The church building is closed for meetings, Bible studies and other large and small group meetings except for Woman, ...
  • Monday, March 16

    Much of the council and staff met this morning, and leadership posted an update to Facebook this afternoon. You don’t have to have a Facebook account to watch content on our public page. When Facebook brings up a sign in box, you can click “NOT NOW” to bypass it. Watch the update on Facebook A printed/text update is in the works. Wednesday worship options will include a children’s message online at 5pm, and Holden Evening Prayer online at 6:30pm. We are still working to catch up the calendar with all the changes.
  • Saturday, March 14

    Church leaders met today to plan for Sunday’s online worship service. Join us live on Facebook at 10am for a service which will include liturgy, children’s time, and a message from Pastor Ted. Online Worship at 10am Sunday Video will also be available on YouTube, and audio on our podcast, as well as additional resources on our new online worship page, KiDS group, and Prayer Group. Zion’s Facebook Page We emailed ‘everyone’ a couple of times this week, since things were changing so quickly … but going forward, we’ll generally send information relating to COVID-19 and the impact on ...
  • Friday, March 13

    Today the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommended a series of community-level strategies to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus in Minnesota communities. One of those recommendations was that organizers such as faith-based organizations cancel gatherings with 250 or more people. Zion’s individual worship services typically have an attendance of 100-250 each. Out of an abundance of caution for Zion’s attendees, particularly those at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, Zion’s leadership met today and made the difficult call that Zion’s in-person worship services will be suspended until further notice. We ...
  • Thursday, March 12

    Zion has taken the following actions to address the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Select staff and leadership have subscribed to alerts and notifications published by the MN Department of Public Health and will monitor recommendations daily. Recommended that members do not use handshakes during the Sunday morning greeting during the services and to use other forms of greeting such as the fist or elbow bump or simple head nod. Encouraged all staff and members to wash their hands often and thoroughly with soap and hot water. Increased the number of hand ...
  • Saturday, March 7

    We recognize that at this time of the year, and particularly with current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns, many are thinking about steps to take to limit the spread of respiratory diseases. This might include more frequent hand washing, greeting your worshiping neighbor with a smile or fist-bump rather than a handshake, and staying home when you have cold or flu symptoms or if you are at increased risk of complications. “Luther’s counsel, based on Scripture, is still sound. Respect the disease. Do not take unnecessary risks. Provide for the spiritual ...
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