Sunday Guidelines

sanctuary worship

Zion’s policy is to follow the advice of the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC regarding indoor gatherings. They are the experts and have the best understanding of how to protect the public which includes our members and attenders.

Please wear a face covering as required by Executive Order 20-81.

Our current worship schedule includes worship in the sanctuary at 9am, online worship at 10am, and outdoor/drive-in worship at 10:30am. If you’re not yet comfortable being indoors or with a large group, we understand. The 10:30am outdoor worship service will continue outdoors as long as the weather is suitable. In the event of cold or wet weather, the service will move indoors (following indoor worship guidelines). The service will continue to be available for drive-in attenders by FM in the parking lot, even when the live service is indoors. Please choose the worship experience that works best for you and your family.

Family Sunday school is held in Trinity Hall from 9:45-10:15am. At-home Sunday school is also offered from 8am.

All Worship Service Options

Sunday Morning RSVP

Sunday School Registration

Sunday Morning Attendee Screening

Those who are at higher risk for severe illness (age 65 and older, or with underlying medical conditions such as severe asthma, chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, immunocompromised) are strongly encouraged to stay home and not participate in any group gatherings involving people outside of their immediate household. We encourage you to participate in online worship during this time.

RSVP in Advance

Sign up as a household group. In order to maintain space for physical distancing, sign up and seating is by household groups, with one household group in each seating area. A household group should check in together on Sunday to sit together.

Sunday Morning RSVP

If you RSVP for worship and then decide not to attend for any reason, please let us know (office@zionbuffalo.org) so that your seats can be released to someone else.

When You Arrive

Plan to arrive in the parking lot 5-15 minutes early to give everyone a chance to check in. The doors will not be open for check-in until all volunteers are in place.

Park in the main (south) parking lot, and consider leaving an empty space between vehicles.

You will be asked to complete a screening survey before entering the building. The screening survey includes a final health check and a reminder of guidelines. Complete it at home or in the parking lot.

  • If you have had any COVID symptoms that you cannot attribute to another health condition, you must stay home, and should seek medical advice. These symptoms include fever (100.4F or higher) or feeling feverish, chills, a new cough, shortness of breath, a new sore throat, new muscle aches, a new headache, or new loss of smell or taste. Please worship online until you are well.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID in the last 14 days or is currently waiting for COVID test results, or if you have returned from abroad in the last 14 days, please stay home and worship online until your self-quarantine period is complete.
  • All attendees are required to follow the directions of ushers/greeters/staff, and to maintain at least 6 feet distance from those who do not live in the same household.
  • All attendees need to wear a face covering as required by Executive Order 20-81, to help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Sunday Morning Attendee Screening

Check in with a greeter under the canopy. They will check your name off the attendee list, verify your screening survey, and point you to the most efficient door and waiting line for your preferred seating section. If you do not indicate that you have already completed the screening online, they will ask you the screening questions.

Greeters will ask you to put on your face covering and direct you to enter the lobby/narthex through one of two doors depending on what you are attending and where you prefer to sit..

All attendees are encouraged to wash or sanitize your hands when you enter the building (and again when you leave the building).

Inside the lobby/narthex, please follow directions of the greeters/ushers and the markings on the floor and maintain 6 feet difference between your household and other households.

Only members of the same household can sit together, and should maintain a distance of at least six feet from other households or individuals. Please plan to remain in your assigned seating area.

If you need to leave the room, please do so. The main restrooms near Trinity Hall and the single restroom near the office are open. Other restrooms and much of the building is currently closed. We ask that you continue to maintain 6 foot physical distancing from other families if you are in the lobby/narthex with small children.

As you leave the building, please maintain physical distancing and keep your face covering in place.

Worship Details

Worship in the sanctuary will include scripture, sermon, prayer and music. Worship will be a ‘no-contact’ experience.

  • Doors will be propped or held open for you.
  • Bulletins have been placed in pews several days in advance.
  • The offering plates will be placed at the back of the sanctuary and not passed during worship.
  • Communion is included in all worship services on the first Sunday of each month.

Guidelines for Communion

Ushers will escort one household at a time to their preferred seating section (as space allows) in the sanctuary. Please cooperate with our greeters as they seat family groups, even you don’t end up in your ‘usual’ pew or preferred section.

At the end of the worship service, please wait until an usher dismisses you from the sanctuary and then leave the building promptly, using the door indicated by the ushers/greeters (or go directly to Sunday school or other event).

Pastor Ted and congregational president Dirk Foster met with Dr. Halvorson and Dr. Burgdorf to answer some questions about guidelines for returning to in-sanctuary worship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What About My Kids?

We don’t have ‘rainbow bags’ or toys available at the moment, so please bring whatever items your child might need during worship.

All worship services include a children’s message, but we won’t be inviting the children to come forward together. Plan to keep your children in your pew for the children’s message.

We’ve removed the upholstered furniture from the narthex for now, but there is a comfy chair available in the coffee cafe area (across from the main restrooms) for nursing mothers.

What Questions are on the Screening Survey?

When you RSVP and again when you arrive on Sunday, we’re going to ask you three questions:

  • Have you experienced possible COVID symptoms in the last 14 days? These include fever, chills, a new cough, difficulty breathing, a new sore throat, new muscle aches, a new headache, or new loss of smell or taste.
  • Have you had close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days or currently waiting for test results?
  • Have you or a close contact returned from abroad in the last 14 days?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you’ll need to stay home, and we invite you to worship and attend Sunday school online.

We’ll also remind you of risk factors as well as guidelines like physical distancing and wearing a face covering.

How Do These Guidelines Relate to Our Faith?

Oftentimes at church, we talk about our faith as both a vertical and horizontal relationship. The vertical relationship is our relationship with God, and the horizontal is our relationship with each other, with our neighbors. And our faith is very much about our relationship with God. But as Jesus said, it’s just as much about our relationship with each other. So our desire to follow these guidelines are for the sake of our neighbor, for the sake of people we care for, looking out for their good. We all have choices to make but each one of us wants to do our best to keep other people safe and healthy, and so that’s why we’re following the guidelines.

Where Can I Find Zion’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Preparedness Plan (PDF)

I Still Have Questions

Please speak to a staff member, council member, email office@zionbuffalo.org, or call the church office at 763-682-1245 with further questions.

zion
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •