Resuming In-Person Worship on June 7

Beloved of the Lord,

“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the House of the Lord.’”

Psalm 122:1

The Elders have decided that the time is coming to resume holding in-person worship services with some specific adaptations to do our best to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus.

On Sunday, June 7, 2020 we will hold worship servcies at 8:00am and 10:30am.

(Bible Study will still be done via Zoom, online only.)

            First and foremost, we want everyone to know that if you feel uncomfortable attending in-person worship, even with these adaptations, please feel free to remain home until such time as you are ready. The services and Bible Studies will contine to be provided online or by DVD as we always have done. Let your conscience be at ease knowing that the Lord is with you. Reach out to the church office if you have any pastoral care needs.

            We will continue to monitor the larger situation and evaluate the effectiveness of the adaptations we are making along with feedback from attendees. As the situation changes and as we see what is working or what is not, we will adapt as best we can. We also realize that it would be impossible to completely eliminate every risk vector. We have all made decisions about what is essential in our lives related to work, groceries, medical care and the like. You will also need to decide for yourself when the time is right for you to attend in-person worship once again.
 

            As we return to worship, please give careful consideration to the requests and adaptations presented by the Board of Elders. We make these with best interest of the spiritual and physical care of everyone attending. While you may agree or disagree with the need for or effectiveness of various adaptations, we ask that, should you choose to attend, that you also abide by these requests to the best of your ability so that everyone attending can feel at ease. Love of our neighbor places their needs ahead of our own and we do our best to put everyone’s conscience at ease.

            In the State of Ohio we have been blessed with a civil government that has exempted houses of worship from any threat of civil or criminal penalties related to the health orders. However, while that means we are completely free with respect to the law, we remain bound to the love and care of our neighbor and it is our responsibility to decide how best to align ourselves with the health guidelines while still being able to worship freely.
 
            Please familiarize yourself with the included list of guidelines and adaptations that you can expect when we return to in-person worship. Take the time between now and when we resume to gather any supplies you may need. Also feel free to contact members of the Board of Elders or Pastor Zielinski with any questions you may have.

 

          We are grateful for the many volunteers that help make worship go smoothly each week. For the time being in order to minimize the need for training and so that no one feels compelled to attend before they are ready, no volunteers will be scheduled to serve during the worship service (AV, readers, acolytes, ushers, etc.). The Elders will be handling these responsibilities.

            I look forward to soon greeting you in the Lord’s House when the time is right for  you. Until then, may the Lord guard and keep you and bless you and your loved ones during these days. May He soon deliver us from this pandamic and all its effects of health and wellbeing.

In Christ,

The Board of Elders:                                               Pastor Zielinski

Sam Jakabcic

Steve Kato

Tim Wadle

Rob Zacharias
 
 

Guidelines for Returning to Worship at St. Paul, Sunday June 7, (8am & 10:30am)

  • If you, or someone in your household would be considered “high-risk” for complications related to COVID-19, please be safe and stay home. Or, if you are not feeling well, or if someone in your household is not feeling well, please be considerate of others and be safe and stay home.
 
  • Recommend wearing a face covering/mask.
  • Maintain social distancing (6-feet or more from others and no handshakes/hugs/etc.)
  • Entering:
    • Sanitize your hands as you arrive please.
  • Bulletin:
    • Pick up a bulletin at the table near the Welcome Center.
    • It is yours to keep! It contains the entire service including readings and hymns.
  • Offering
    • Continue to make use of automatic giving via your bank or our website.
    • If you have brought your offering with you, place it in the basket as you pick up your bulletin.
  • Seating
    • Every-other pew has been sectioned off. They have also been sanitized between services.
    • Please sit as a family unit with appropriate social distance between your family and others.
    • If we reach capacity in the sanctuary, we will provide additional seating in the Narthex and Fellowship Hall.
  • Communion
    • Pastor and an assistant will have just washed their hands and will be wearing masks and gloves.
    • Ushers will dismiss one family unit at a time to come forward and receive communion.
    • Communion will be received standing at the bottom of the steps, as we have done from time to time.
    • Place your hand out flat so that Pastor can place the Body of Christ into your palm.
    • Then, you take an individual cup from the tray.
    • Place the empty cup into the basket and utilize the hand sanitizer provided, if you desire.
    • Return to your seat via the narthex around to the back of the sanctuary (instead of the side aisles).
  • Leaving
    • Ushers will dismiss pews beginning at the back of the sanctuary.
    • Please limit your lingering in the Fellowship Hall but rather make your way directly to the parking lot.
    • You are welcome to remain outside to greet one another. Please continue to observe appropriate social distancing.


March 28 Update from St. Paul

Beloved of the Lord,
Sunday morning  we will be live at 8:00am and then anytime after that the service will be available to you, on-demand. Visit www.spvc.org to begin viewing. DVD’s are available. Please email christine.cox@spvc.org to request one.
 
BIBLE STUDY: I plan to hold an on-line Bible Study at about 9:30am on Sunday. You can join in live or view it the same as our worship services.
To join in from your computer or other device follow this link:
https://zoom.us/j/3881486941
That will take you to “Zoom”, an online meeting platform. It’ll ask you to install a small app and then you’ll be able to join the meeting or enter a “waiting room.”
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Please download the bulletin and read the announcments.
 
PICTORAL DIRECTORY: This has been postponed until Lifetouch (the photographers) are back up and running. Likely, the fall.
 
WHEN WILL WE RESUME IN-PERSON WORSHIP? As of this message, we honestly do not know when it will be appropriate and safe to resume in-person worship. We had hoped for Palm Sunday, but the current “stay at home” order prevents that. The most important thing is that we resume worship when the pandemic has reached a point that it is appropriate and safe. I’m sure we are growing fatigued of all the adjustments we’ve had to make. Now is when we need act in love for our neighbor and remain steadfast in our commitment to slow the spread and severity of COVID-19. I’m as eager as anyone to get back to normal.
 
PRAYER REQUESTS can be sent to prayer@spvc.org. Also, email there to join the prayer chain and receive all the updates.
Among the many requests for prayers involving the virus situation, please remember the workers, owners, and managers of businesses that are facing lay-offs. These are difficult decisions to make and hearbreaking news to receive. May the Lord grant a swift return to work for everyone.
 
May God grant you a restful night. Awaken tomorrow ready to worhsip together and receive God’s gifts as He remains generous during these difficult days.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Zielinski
 


Services and Activiites are Suspended

Beloved in the Lord,

Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Effective immediately, all activities and services at St. Paul are suspended and the building is closed. Lord-willing we will resume worship on Palm Sunday, April 5. Please monitor the news channels for up-to-date closing information as well at www.spvc.org or our Facebook page where you will also find resources to help you navigate these challenging days.

The Elders and Pastor Zielinski arrived at this decision based on the most recent recommendations to halt the spread and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak. Several weeks of very limited contact among our communities will have a tremendous impact on slowing the spread of the virus and allow medical resources to reach those most critical.

Should you desire pastoral care during this time, please contact the church office (330)483-3883 or (330)483-4119 and leave a message for Pastor Zielinski.

SERVICES AND BIBLE STUDY WILL BE AVAILBLE to view live or on-demand. Visit www.spvc.org – on the homepage is a viewer for the livestream (when active) and for the most recent service. Bulletins are available via the link. Select the bulletin for the date of the service you are watching. Livestreams will typically be at normal service times.

REQUEST A DVD if you would prefer.

SHARE THIS INFORMATION with others connected to St. Paul and around our community. We are blessed to be able to bring God’s Word in this way during these difficult times.

Pastor will be posting and updating links to resources available to you to enrich your spiritual care both during these days and always.

God is gracious and will see us through these days. Whether we become ill or not, whether the virus is halted quickly or lingers, we face these earthly challenges with the peace and confidence of faith that surely Jesus has borne our griefs and carried our sicknesses in Himself to the cross where He has won for us an eternal healing and delight for all eternity.

Please direct any questions you may have to the Elders or Pastor Zielinski. We are available to you.

In Christ,

Board of Elders and

Pastor Zielinski pastor@spvc.org



Responding to COVID-19

Re. Responding to COVID-19 Infection Risks

 

Dear Saints of St. Paul,

 

Psalm 91:1–6 (ESV)  1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his pinions,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

You will not fear the terror of the night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
 

The Executive Board and Board of Elders are monitoring the situation and recommendations being issued by public health officials. These recommendations and the actions we are taking are intended to help slow the rate of infection. This will benefit those most vulnerable as it will allow the medical community more time to prepare and also the system to be less clogged. We are acting out of love for our neighbor, not out of fear or panic. We trust in Christ’s mercy to see us through this and all the sorrows of this life. Even if it is the end of our time on earth, that would be a mercy, but the reports are that it is a mortal threat to only a small percentage of the population.

For the short term, at least until Easter, we will be implementing the following procedures at St. Paul and continue to monitor recommendations and revisit them as appropriate. We ask for your patience, cooperation, and prayers.

With confidence in our Lord’s care for His creation, we wake each day ready to love and serve our neighbors and receive all of God’s gifts and mercy. As always, if your church family can be of help to you for any reason of spiritual or physical care, please reach out so that we can serve as the Body of Christ.

In Christ,

The Exeutive Board

Board of Elders

Pastor Zielinski

The following procedures will be in effect until at least Easter time. We will revisit them as the situation calls for it.

  • No hand shaking. Greeters will still be at the door and Pastor will still be in the Narthex after the service, but we won’t shake hands.
  • Please wash your hands vigorously and often and try to restrain yourself from touching your face. Hand sanitizer is available around the church.
  • No meals at church before the midweek Lenten services.
  • No coffee or doughnuts served on Sunday morning (feel free to bring your own)
  • The Swiss Steak dinner is postponed.

 

Bulletins

  • Bulletins are stacked at the entrace to the sanctuary. Please take your own.
  • Keep your bulletin. We will not be reusing them between services. (this includes the large print)
  • Bulletins contain the entire service. You will not need to share hymnals.

 

Attending and Viewing Worship

  • Know that you have “permission” to stay home if you are sick, are at a high risk of complications, or someone in your household is sick. If you are staying home due to illness or risk, let the church office know so that we can continue to provide pastoral care to all our members.
  • View services live or on-demand via YouTube, Facebook, or www.spvc.org Worship and Bible Studies are available at these sites. They also include links to the current Sunday bulletin.
  • If you prefer a DVD, contact the church office anytime and we will mail one out.
  • If you would like a pastoral visit for communion or other pastoral care, contact him via the church phone or his cell: 440-458-0189.

 

At the Lord’s Supper

  • The chalice and individual cups will both continue to be offered. Both are perfectly sanitary ways to receive communion. We will be preparing additional individual cups as some members who typically prefer the common cup may choose to use individual cups right now. That is perfectly fine.
  • Assistants will wash their hands immediately before distribution.
  • Individual cups will be arranged on the tray so that YOU can easily grab a cup by the stem.
  • You will place the individual cup directly into the collection basket (rather than handing it to the assistant).
  • The cloth used to wipe the rim of the chalice will be soaked in alcohol and procedures for cleaning the rim have been reviewed with the assistants.
  • The communion rail (and other common surfaces) will be wiped down before each service.