Zion Lutheran Church Marengo, IL

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Greetings in the name of Jesus! On this Pentecost week, we rejoice in the gift of God the Holy Spirit, who comforts and consoles us by pointing us to the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ!
 
Welcome to vol. 10 of "Connected in Christ". I am glad to write and share with you some updates on our life together here at Zion as we continue into summer and the season of Pentecost.
 
1. Over the past two weeks, a team composed of Zion members has been discussing worship life and activities here at Zion, especially corporate worship and offering opportunities for growth in our connection with Christ and with one another.
 
I am pleased to write to you with updated information regarding the resumption of in-person worship services at Zion. Beginning June 13-15, we will be offering worship services in Zion's sanctuary at 25% capacity limits, utilizing physically-distant seating procedures for those in attendance. These worship services are scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Sunday, and 6:30 p.m. Monday. Those who come to worship are not required to sign up in advance.
 
Individuals in high-risk categories (heart disease lung disease, diabetes, and immunocompromised) are encouraged to continue to worship with us at home, as well as those who may be feeling ill or experiencing a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher. For these individuals or any others uncomfortable with worshiping in person at this time, we will continue to offer live-streamed/recorded worship services through Facebook, our church website, and at 9 a.m. Sundays on 94.3 FM.
 
While one thing remains the same in all of our worship life--the Good News of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified--a number of things will look different about our worship life during this season. A letter that includes the procedures our team has implemented for worship may be found tomorrow at our church website (www.zionmarengo.net), under "latest news". Please review this letter and our procedures if you plan to worship with us in person at Zion. If you are a regular worshiping member of Zion, you will also receive a copy of this letter through regular mail next week for your reference.
 
A special service of extra precaution with additional physical distancing and a cap of 20 persons will be offered on Tuesday, June 16, at 10:00 a.m. If you would like to attend this service, please contact the church office.
 
We are thankful for this additional opportunity to connect our community to Christ and to one another in the coming days.
 
2. We are especially looking forward to our drive-in service this Sunday, June 7, at 9:00 a.m. This will be an exciting service as we welcome Rev. Allan Buss, our Northern Illinois District president, as guest preacher, and Comfort Dog Samson and our Comfort Dog team will be commissioned as part of the service that day. Our Zion Re-Opening Team has also given the go-ahead for individuals and families to bring their own chairs to sit outside their vehicles during the course of the service. Please follow the direction of our elders on where and how to sit outside for the service. What a day of celebration we have ahead of us this weekend! For those who wish to tune in to the service, it can be heard on 94.3 FM in Marengo. A service will also be recorded and live-streamed on Saturday evening, also featuring Pastor Buss as our preacher. We look forward to celebrating these milestones together--giving thanks for 140 years of God's grace and asking for His blessing in ages to come!
 
3. If you were unable to commune last Saturday and would like to receive the Sacrament, please contact the church office. We will coordinate a time, place, and means so that you can receive our Savior's precious gift of His Body and Blood.
 
4. Bible Study is taking a two-week break as we celebrate with Pastor Buss and Comfort Dog Samson and his team this Sunday and I will be out of town the following weekend. Plan to tune in again for Bible study on June 21.
 
5. Continue to look for the weekly updates on Wednesdays on our Facebook page. A devotional message featuring Pastor Galligar and myself was posted Monday, and an update with our upcoming worship information was recorded today. What a wonderful way to receive additional strengthening from God's Word and to stay up-to-date as we go through the week!
 
6.  We pray to our Lord Jesus, who heals diseases and sicknesses of every kind (Matthew 4:23-24). Lord Jesus, we give You thanks that when you faced illness and disease, You did not remain aloof, but touched those in need and walked amongst them without fear. We pray that we might likewise minister to others around us, even as we pray for ultimate deliverance from sickness, fear, and death, both here on earth and there forever in eternity. In Your eternal name we pray, AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Lord who unites us through the power of the Holy Spirit! 
 
Welcome to vol. 9 of "Connected in Christ". I am glad to write and share with you some updates on our life together here at Zion as we enter the month of June and the season of Pentecost.
 
1. Over the past two weeks, a team composed of Zion members has been discussing worship life and activities here at Zion, especially corporate worship and offering opportunities for growth in our connection with Christ and with one another.
 
I am pleased to write to you with information regarding the resumption of in-person worship services at Zion. Based on the change in guidelines that have come out this week, we are able to host live, face-to-face worship services in a limited capacity. At this time all services can be attended by 10 people or less.
 
We will have an online sign-up available on the church website later today; you may also call the church office to register to attend one of these special worship services.
 
Individuals in high-risk categories (heart disease lung disease, diabetes, and immunocompromised) are encouraged to continue to worship with us at home, as well as those who may be feeling ill or experiencing a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher.
 
For those who come to worship, CDC guidelines recommend wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. We welcome you to practice these measures as you attend services at Zion. If you are unable or uncomfortable wearing a mask you are still welcome to worship. Please note that drinking fountains will be unavailable during services so please bring water with you if needed.
 
We will continue to offer our online worship services through Facebook and via our church website (www.zionmarengo.net). You can also hear a recorded service on Sundays at 9 a.m. on 94.3 FM in Marengo or attend drive-in services when available.
 
If you are unable to view services online, please let us know and we will assist you in providing a means to see the services.
 
Again, please visit our website to see a listing of the days and times that services will be offered. We are thankful for this additional opportunity to connect our community to Christ and to one another in the coming days.
 
2. Our next drive-in service will be Sunday, June 7, at 9:00 a.m. This will be an exciting service as we welcome Rev. Allan Buss, our Northern Illinois District president, as guest preacher, and Comfort Dog Samson and our Comfort Dog team will be commissioned as part of the service that day. Please plan to join us as we celebrate all that God has done for us at Zion, both in ages past in in ages yet to come!
 
3. We are pleased to report that all of our available time slots for Holy Communion this Saturday have been filled. If you were unable to sign up and would like to receive the Sacrament, please contact our church office (815-568-6564) and ask to speak with myself or Pastor Galligar. We will coordinate a time, place, and means so that you can receive our Savior's precious gift of His Body and Blood.
 
4. Bible Study is again scheduled for this Sunday on Zoom at 10:00 a.m. This week we will be watching the short film "Ragman" and discussing its parallels with the Biblical story. To be a part of our Bible study on Sunday, click here: Sunday Bible Study
 
5. Continue to look for the weekly updates on Wednesdays on our Facebook page. With the help of our tech director, Steve Macygin, Pastor Galligar has a great message to share with you this week about following Christ on the road of life.
 
6.  We pray to our Lord Jesus, who has overcome the world (John 16:33) Lord Jesus Christ, in Your earthly ministry You faced hardship, fear, and dread of every kind. Yet You gladly went to the cross so that we might have victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil through Your glorious sacrifice. Strengthen us each day to live in the strength and glory of what You have provided for us through Your empty tomb: life everlasting. In Your Name we pray, AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus, who shares His presence with His disciples, even in these days (see Matt. 28:20)!
 
Welcome to vol. 8 of "Connected in Christ". I am thankful for all the ways that our Savior continues to give of Himself for us, and to work through others to show that love to His world.
 
As spring continues, we pray for those essential workers in our community who will begin their work of providing for the daily bread of the world: our farmers and their families. Pray that God would keep them safe as they prepare for the planting season.
 
I am looking forward to the week ahead at Zion--here's what's taking place:
 
1. Worship opportunities this weekend: We received the okay from our local police chief to offer a drive-in service at Zion's parking lot with broadcast over 94.3 FM at 9 a.m. this Sunday. If you plan to come, please stay in your car with windows rolled up and follow our elders' guidance on how to park. We will also have a Facebook Live service at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening that will be recorded and available to watch anytime after that. I look forward to having the opportunity to worship with you in either of these formats this weekend.
 
2. Our online Bible study will conclude this weekend. Our online Bible study, "Explaining All the Scary Stuff in Revelation" will conclude this weekend. We will start at 10:00 a.m. Follow the information below to be a part of the study. We look forward to offering another Bible study in this format during the month of May.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78471041956?pwd=QW81b1dKQ0JTUS9pVVRmc09RMGthdz09

Meeting ID: 784 7104 1956
Password: 2EkAvL
 
3. Online Life GroupsWe will be offering an opportunity for our Life Groups to gather through Zoom during the month of May as Pastor Kyle Idleman leads us through God's message in Hebrews 11-12: "Never Give Up." If you have not been part of a Life Group before and want to join, please email me (pastor.ripke@zionmarengo.net) and we will get you connected. Our Life Groups will meet on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. during the month of May.
 
4. Holy Communion: Pastor Galligar and I know that receiving Christ's Body and Blood in the Sacrament could be a support and strength for some individuals and families in our congregation at this time. If you would like to receive Communion in the next two weeks, follow this link to sign up (https://signup.com/go/XVwtcWV) or call our church office directly (815-568-6564) to sign up or with questions you might have about procedure and practice.
 
5. Continue to look for the weekly devotionals on Wednesdays on our Facebook page. With the help of our tech director, Steve Macygin, Pastor Galligar has a great message to share with you this week about following Christ on the road of life.
 
6.  We continue to pray to our Lord who gives life in the midst of deathHeavenly Father, in these days of uncertainty and doubt as to what the future may bring, give us hope and peace in the future You have provided for us through the death and resurrection of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. As we look toward the days and weeks to come, comfort us with the hope that Christ is already there, and will walk alongside us each and every day. In His Name we pray, AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus, who was crucified, died, and rose again for us!
 
Welcome to vol. 7 of "Connected in Christ"! During times like these, I am thankful for the unchanging nature of our Savior, Jesus--He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
 
Last week--Holy Week--was an incredible time here at Zion. We had the opportunity to think about our Lord and His disciples, and how He ministered to them and to us through His death on the cross and His rising again.
 
It was incredible to see how many individuals came out in their cars for our Stations of the Cross at the Marengo Cemetery! Hopefully you had a chance to be a part of it.
 
I know many of you, dear readers, found out like I did that drive-in services were not encouraged by our state police, and therefore, our local authorities. Given that we had sent out invitation letters to all of our congregation, we made the decision not to turn away any cars that came to our parking lot to listen to the service as we filmed and live broadcast outside (which ended up being 55 vehicles!). We know a number of you who would have liked to be there missed out
 
That is why we are hoping to have another drive-in service again soon. Keep tuned for when this will take place as we still need to coordinate with our broadcast partners at 94.3.
 
I am looking forward to this weekend at Zion--here's what's taking place:
 
1. Online worship service: we will again be on Facebook Live at 6 p.m. on Saturday, with opportunity to view and worship on Facebook and our church website on Sunday and Monday. I look forward to seeing you there!
 
2. Our online Bible study will resume after taking last week off. We are using Zoom meeting for this and I have enjoyed our first two meetings. Please see the information below. Zoom has instituted some new security protocols, so please be patient if the meeting loads but you don't see other participants right away.
Topic: Sunday Bible Study: "Explaining All the Scary Stuff in Revelation"
Time: Apr 19, 2020 09:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada) Every week on Sun, 2 occurrence(s) Apr 19, 2020 09:30 AM; Apr 26, 2020 09:30 AM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Weekly: https://us04web.zoom.us/meeting/upwpcOioqjojH9I7W4oFRS8d8sgZST1VTIoW/ics?icsToken=98tyKu6gqjwrGtCUuRyBR7Y-Bo_Cd_TwiH5Egvp0yyixDAZhUVvybvFFCIFLQe7k

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78471041956?pwd=QW81b1dKQ0JTUS9pVVRmc09RMGthdz09

Meeting ID: 784 7104 1956
Password: 2EkAvL
 
3. Boards and staff continue to "meet" here at Zion. Our elders met on Zoom a week ago and our Board of Directors is planning a similar meeting this next week. Our school staff and school board are using Google Meets to accomplish similar tasks. Pray for our these leaders as they continue to provide guidance for our congregation using different formats to meet and pray together.
 
4. Thank the Lord for all that He has provided for us to remain connected. I wonder how connected we could have been if a similar episode had happened 50 or even 10 years ago. I am especially thankful for Steve Macygin, our tech director here at Zion, and all that he has done to produce our worship services and devotions. Thank the Lord for the many gifts He bestows!
 
5. Thank you for your generosity! We are so thankful for the financial gifts received over the past Easter weekend. How wonderful it is to be able to continue to sustain the ministry that God has given us to do here at Zion and in our community!
 
6. We look forward to continuing to provide weekly devotions for our congregation and community. With Steve's help, I filmed the first of our weekly devotions yesterday, and Pastor Galligar will provide us with some wisdom from God's Word next week. Look for these videos on Facebook and on our church website, usually late on Wednesdays.
 
7.  We continue to pray to our Lord who gives life in the midst of death. Lord Jesus Christ, when Your own followers despaired of Your death, You were even then preparing to rise to life again to give them light and hope. In these times, we long to return to "normal" but do not know when it will take place, even as many suffer from loss of job or income. Be with us and strengthen us, that we would keep our eyes fixed on You and Your work for us and the world, which has an eternal impact on our world far beyond all other things. In Your Holy Name we pray, AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus, who was crucified, died, and rose again for us!
 
Welcome to vol. 6 of "Connected in Christ"! During times like these, I am thankful for the unchanging nature of our Savior, Jesus--He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
 
I wanted to give you a few updates as the weekend approaches here at Zion, as we have been hard at work to provide opportunities for you to grow in our Savior Jesus this year.
 
  1. 1. Maundy Thursday: On the night that Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples and then was betrayed, we will focus on Peter's denials of Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest. You can watch this special service online (Facebook or at www.zionmarengo.net starting at 10:00 a.m. on April 9.
  2. Good Friday: Two worship opportunities are available on April 10. The first is an online worship service that will be aired live at 10:00 a.m., featuring the reactions of various individuals who are part of the Biblical accounts of Jesus' crucifixion. The second, Stations of the Cross, will be a drive-through worship experience starting at the northwest entrance to the Marengo City Cemetery, open any time from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Access a bulletin online www.zionmarengo.net and click on "Latest News") for Scripture readings, reflection, and prayer, or bring your Bible as you follow with Jesus from Gethsemane to His tomb. Please remain in your car for the duration of the worship experience...without your help, we could not provide this special opportunity!
  3. Easter Vigil: a video devotion will be available at 6:00 p.m. on April 11 via Facebook and our church website.
  4. Easter Sunday: This is the part of the weekend we have been working the hardest to coordinate based on changing information over the past week and a half. We will be hosting a LIVE radio broadcast at 9:00 a.m. on WXMR 94.3 FM. A video broadcast of this service will be recorded and shown on Facebook and through our church website at 10:30 a.m. Please plan to listen to the radio at 9:00 a.m. or watch at 10:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday. An online bulletin of the service will also be available for your participation.
  5. Easter Sunday afternoon: Get the family dressed in their "Easter best" (could be a suit or a t-shirt and sweatpants this year!) and take a family photo. Send it to us at this email ripke@zionmarengo.net so we can use this as part of our midweek video devotion next Wednesday.
  6. We are so thankful for the opportunities we have to grow in the Good News of our risen Savior, Jesus, this year. Spend some time in prayer this week thanking Him for all that He has done, and share that love of our risen Lord by reaching out and sharing that love by phone, email, or across the yard with someone you know this week!
  7. Heavenly Father, during this time in which we reflect on the death and resurrection of Your Son, we give thanks for the opportunities You provide for us to be strengthened by Your Word, proclaimed and lived out. Help us to live confidently, knowing that we are indeed forgiven in Jesus, and that because of His resurrection victory, there is nothing we need fear. In His Holy Name we pray, AMEN.
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus!
 
Welcome to vol. 5 of "Connected in Christ". It's been about a week or so and we've received an extension of the stay-at-home order until April 30. How are you doing? I'm reminded of St. Paul's words, where he says, "Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4) While this current suffering might be small compared to a world war, I'm hoping it produces perseverance for me...even though I never would have wanted to learn this way! I'm hoping that you can find peace and hope in Jesus as the Holy Spirit helps us all grow in perseverance and also hope in the days ahead!
 
We continue to pray for our nation and world during this time of virus pandemic. We especially pray for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, and you will hear ones connected with our Zion congregation mentioned by name during the worship service this weekend.
I wanted to give you a few updates as the weekend approaches here at Zion.
 
  1. All in-person activities at Zion have been cancelled for the time being. Official office hours continue to be minimal...10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays.. If you need to visit our office, please call ahead of time to see if someone is available. As always, you can get in touch with Pastor Galligar or I to arrange for one-to-one spiritual care.
  2. Our weekend worship will be on Facebook Live again, with radio broadcast at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday on 94.3 FM and a video link on our church website. This kicks off Holy Week here at Zion, and Pastor Galligar will be focusing on Palm Sunday and Jesus' procession into Jerusalem. A Zoom meeting virtual Bible study, part II of "All the Scary Stuff in Revelation", will begin at 9:30 a.m. ripke@zionschool.net is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Click on the link and enter the password to join.
    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us04web.zoom.us/j/919189403?pwd=UnpWRCswNFFod2NLRE12VStNSUxFQT09
    Meeting ID: 919 189 403
    Password: 027776
  3. For the Holy Week ahead: if there is anytime that Christians want to get together, it is as we trace the events of our Savior's life through the Last Supper, His crucifixion, and His resurrection on Easter morning. While some of the details are still being worked out, here is what I can tell you to look forward to:
    -Palm Sunday palms--if you are headed to Sullivan's on Sunday, a box will be available after 10:30 a.m. courtesy of Zion and St. John's to take one of the palms we usually order. We are thankful to Sullivan's for letting us set up the box, table, and sign that will be in the entryway near the shopping carts.
    -Maundy Thursday and Easter Vigil will include devotional worship videos that will be posted on Facebook and on our church website. Plan to gather with your family to remember our Lord's last meal with His disciples and His rest in the tomb.
    -Good Friday Stations of the Cross: an in-car worship experience will be available on Friday, April 10 at the Marengo city cemetery. Plan to start at the south entrance and spend 45 minutes to an hour driving to the posted station signs and then pausing for personal Scripture reading and prayer. People will be on hand to point you in the right direction, but please stay in your car for the duration of your worship time.
    -Good Friday online worship: a special service will be live-streamed at 10:00 a.m. that will include dramatic readings and reflections on the events of the day. We are providing this service in addition to the Stations of the Cross for individuals who might want to spend extra time in devotion and prayer or for those due to distance or circumstance who are unable to travel here on Friday.
    -Easter Sunday: we are still clarifying details on this one, but there will be a LIVE service beginning at 9:00 a.m., featuring a Facebook Live stream and LIVE radio broadcast on 94.3 FM in Marengo. Plan to tune in and keep your eyes out for more details!
  4. Our website https://www.zionmarengo.net is even more "user-friendly" right now during this time of crisis! When you access our website, you will see four pop-up buttons: "Latest News", which will connect you to the latest updates on life together here at Zion; "Service Videos", which will help you see the latest worship services and video updates from Zion; "Facebook", which will take you directly to our Facebook page; and "Online Giving", which will take you directly to the online offering platform. 10% of our offerings will continue to be set aside for Marengo community needs.
  5. Comfort Dog Samson sent out his latest update to his email friends and followers earlier this week. Samson would love to keep in touch with you; to receive his updates, email comfortdog@zionmarengo.net and you will see what Samson is up to as he acclimates to home and prepares for the next few months of orientation!
  6. Thanks to all who are calling to check on friends and neighbors. I'm hearing about some good conversations folks have had with one another. Keep up the good work!
  7. Zion prays for all people. Heavenly Father, as we hear of the number of people who are ill increasing, we pray that You would sustain us with the sure and certain assurance of life everlasting through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Make us confident in holding fast to Him no matter what circumstances might say. In the midst of everyday life, strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit with fortitude for the day ahead and peace within our families. Bless all those who tend to the ill, and strengthen them in days ahead. In the name of Jesus we pray, AMEN.

    In Christ,
    Pastor Ripke

Greetings in the name of Jesus!

In Acts 2:42, Luke describes the early Church, writing, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.”

With Gov. Pritzker’s “stay at home” order going into effect Saturday, March 21, is Acts 2:42 a verse that can apply in our time and to our church family as well?

By the grace of God, I am glad to say, “YES!” Here is how God is unfolding His work and Word in our midst:

WORD AND WORSHIP: Thanks to the expertise of our tech coordinator, Steve, we are streaming and recording regular worship services. You can watch Lenten and weekend services on our Facebook page, via our church website (www.zionmarengo.net), or by listening at 9:00 a.m. on Sundays to 94.3 FM here in Marengo. We remain devoted to the Word of our Lord Jesus, especially during critical times like these! Invite a friend or neighbor to have a virtual “watch party” with you!

What about Holy Week? We are already considering our options and look forward to sharing more information as this time grows closer.

PRAYER: We have a number of dedicated folks who are calling others in our congregation to connect for a time of conversation and prayer. If you would like to be included in this group, or know of someone we should contact, please email me (pastor.ripke@zionmarengo.net). In addition to that, set aside time in your daily life for prayer. Set a time (say, 1:00 p.m.) and plan to spend time in prayer for our nation and world, and especially those who are ill and those who care for them.

FELLOWSHIP: In order to provide encouragement and strengthen our sense of fellowship, we will continue to send out the weekly “Prayer Page” as well as current updates through Facebook, our church website, and an email update, “Connected in Christ.” Send me an email if you’d like to be added to the email lists.

BREAKING OF BREAD: We are aware that many in our church and community will find themselves in need in coming days. We are looking for people who might be interested in serving as shoppers for members who are unable to leave their homes during this time. We are also setting aside 10% of all offerings received during the current crisis to meet needs in our Marengo community as they arise. Offerings may be given online (go to www.zionmarengo.net and click “GIVE ONLINE”), mailed to the church, or call our church office to arrange for a drop-off time.

Zion’s pastors continue to be available to meet your spiritual care needs: Pastor Ripke (779-901-9568) and Pastor Galligar (812-350-7820). We are here to help wherever we can!

While these are unique times, so too have Christians throughout generations faced challenges. By the grace of our Lord Jesus, we will continue in these days to devote ourselves to God’s Word, to fellowship, to breaking of bread, and to prayer.

In Him,

Pastor Ripke

Greetings in the name of Jesus!
 
Welcome to vol. 4 of "Connected in Christ". Here's something you probably didn't know about dear old Pastor Ripke--I'm rather "tech-unsavvy." Praise the Lord for co-workers like Steve Macygin and Pastor Galligar who are rapidly bringing me up to speed! 
 
One of the exciting ways that I'm using my new "tech chops" is to host a Bible study this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Click on the link below at 9:30 Sunday for a Zoom meeting as we look at the Lutheran Hour series, "Explaining All the Scary Stuff in Revelation" (https://us04web.zoom.us/j/948877136?pwd=Y2ovQ0RyQnRSVVA3ZmRGTjRrUGVNdz09).
 
We continue to pray for our nation and world during this time of virus pandemic. We especially pray for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, and you will hear ones connected with our Zion congregation mentioned by name during the worship service this weekend.
 
I wanted to give you a few updates as the weekend approaches here at Zion.
 
1. All in-person activities at Zion have been cancelled for the time being. We are also trimming our office hours to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. next week with minimal staff on hand. If you need to visit our office, please call ahead of time to see if someone is available. As always, you can get in touch with Pastor Galligar or I to arrange for one-to-one spiritual care.
 
2.  Our weekend worship will again be hosted through Facebook Live with a post to our church website after the service is completed. The worship service will be live at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. but you can watch any time during or after. We are finding that many like to continue to watch at their "regular" worship time (6 p.m. Sat.; 8/10:30 a.m. Sun.; 6:30 p.m. Mon.). If that's the case, consider reaching out to a friend or family member to see if they'll tune in at the same time as you. Text them while you are "in church" to see if they're watching along!
 
3.  Our website (https://www.zionmarengo.net) is even more "user-friendly" right now during this time of crisis! When you access our website, you will see four pop-up buttons: "Latest News", which will connect you to the latest updates on life together here at Zion; "Service Videos", which will help you see the latest worship services and video updates from Zion; "Facebook", which will take you directly to our Facebook page; and "Online Giving", which will take you directly to the online offering platform.
 
4. 10% of our offerings will continue to be set aside for Marengo community needs. Please consider our neighbors as you give to Zion. We know that there will be tough economic times ahead (and for some, they have already begun), and Zion will be ready to help.
 
5. Looking for some good news? Look no farther than Comfort Dog Samson, who is now part of the family here at Zion following the conclusion of his training with our team last week. Samson would love to keep in touch with you; to receive his updates, email comfortdog@zionmarengo.net and you will see what Samson is up to as he acclimates to home and prepares for the next few months of orientation!
 
6. "Missing in Action"? Maybe this was the wrong title! I was looking to find phone numbers for folks that had numbers otherwise disconnected or otherwise no longer in service. I am pleased to report all numbers have been found and accounted for...and all the individuals are healthy, safe, and doing well! If you're not sure if we have your current phone number, just respond to this email with the newest one and we will update it in our database.
 
7. Zion prays for all people. During these days of "restricted movement", I'm reminded by other times that God's people were restricted in what they could say and do. One such case was Daniel, who faced the king's orders to pray to no one but the king for 30 days. Daniel's response? He kept up his thrice-daily prayer regimen just as he had before. As you think about honing your prayer habits like Daniel, perhaps you could pray thus: Heavenly Father, we know that You are the Lord over heaven and earth. And so it is that in every corner of the world where COVID-19 goes, You are already there. Strengthen those afflicted; be with those who care for them. Grant healing and peace in days ahead, and grant us patience as we await Your pure and perfect deliverance in the second coming of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus!
 
Welcome to vol. 3 of "Connected in Christ"! If you are like me, you're probably spending a lot more time at home after the governor's order this past weekend.
 
Naturally, this has changed a few things here at Zion, but we are learning to live in this "new reality" for the sake of our neighbors and we continue to pray that God might give healing to those who need it and wisdom to scientists who seek to find a cure for this deadly virus.
 
I wanted to give you just a few updates as a new week begins here at Zion.
 
1. All in-person activities at Zion have been cancelled for the time being. We have limited staff in the building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our hoped-for communion offering for this week will not be possible with the new orders (but we are working on brainstorming some other plans). If you need to visit our office, please call ahead of time to see if someone is available. As always, you can get in touch with Pastor Galligar or I to arrange for one-to-one spiritual care.
 
2.  Our Wednesday Lenten worship will again be hosted through Facebook Live with a post to our church website after the service is completed. The Lenten service will be live at 10 a.m. but you can watch any time during or after!
 
3.  Our website (https://www.zionmarengo.net) is even more "user-friendly" right now during this time of crisis! When you access our website, you will see four pop-up buttons: "Latest News", which will connect you to the latest updates on life together here at Zion; "Service Videos", which will help you see the latest worship services and video updates from Zion; "Facebook", which will take you directly to our Facebook page; and "Online Giving", which will take you directly to the online offering platform.
 
4. 10% of our offerings will continue to be set aside for Marengo community needs. Please consider our neighbors as you give to Zion. We know that there will be tough economic times ahead (and for some, they have already begun), and Zion will be ready to help.
 
5. Thanks to all who are calling our Zion members and friends, and volunteering to bring groceries to those who need them. If you'd like to call a Zion friend or two, let me know and I will help you get started. If you need help getting groceries, we have a number of folks ready and willing to help...please reach out to me to let me know!
 
6. "Missing in Action"? As we've made our phone calls, we've found a few Zion folks who have disconnected numbers or numbers no longer in service. Would you help us get in touch with them? (Mike Wilmot, Bill and Janet Wiegel, Herb Vehrs, Greg Kamholtz, Deb Kearney, Horst and Karen Schubert and Nora Stauber are folks we've been unable to reach so far!) Also, if you are receiving this message and you are "cell phone only" or have changed your home number, won't you consider replying to this message with your most up-to-date contact info?
 
6. Zion prays for all people. Consider setting aside a specific time by setting an alarm and then spending a minute in prayer for our nation and world at that time every day. As you do, consider adding the following prayer: Heavenly Father, we know that You see and know all things, and so you see and know the hearts of those who have great fear and anxiety at this time. Comfort them by the power of the Holy Spirit, and use our words and deeds to be the mouth and hands of Jesus for them in days ahead. Strengthen and calm us as well, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus!
 
Welcome to vol. 2 of "Connected in Christ"! I am pleased to see how members of our congregation are reaching out to one another for support and encouragement in these days. We have members engaging with our community leaders, ramping up their support for the MORE Center, and calling one another! Keep up the good work, and stay strong in the Lord!
 
I wanted to give you just a few updates as we head into this weekend at Zion.
 
1. Thank you for your wonderful response to help neighbors in need! Our Zion Board of Directors authorized 50% of last night's offering to be given to the MORE Center. This afternoon, I will be able to deliver them a check for $550. Way to go! I will also be delivering 27 rolls of toilet paper (for more on the #Shareyourroll challenge, search the hashtag on Facebook). 
 
2.  An online worship service will be available to view on Facebook Live and via our church website for this weekend's worship services. This service will be streamed live at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, and may be viewed after at any time on Facebook or via our website: https://www.zionmarengo.net/apps/video/. Pastor Galligar will be focusing on the topic of Biblical peace through Philippians 4:4-9 and Romans 5:3-5. All other regular activities at Zion Lutheran Church and School have been cancelled for the time being.
 
3.  An online Bible study will be offered this week starting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 22. To be a part of the Bible study, click here: https://arubanetworks.zoom.us/pac/join/7983109200 This will be our first effort in online Bible study, so come prepared with your Bible and a small helping of patience!
 
4. Zion is willing and ready to serve our neighbors with our tithes. To that end, our Board of Directors approved retaining 10% of offerings in a special fund to meet community needs until the current crisis passes.
 
5. Zion is willing and ready to serve our neighbors with our hands and hearts. If you or someone you know is part of our age 80+ Zion membership, be on the lookout for a phone call in the next week. 
 
6. Zion retains the gifts of God for the people of God at all times. Tune in to our streaming worship service this weekend (Saturday, Sunday, or Monday) to hear about an opportunity to receive the Lord's Supper next Wednesday, March 25 (weather permitting). By God's grace, we will be able to offer the gift of His Son's Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins to those who wish to receive it!
 
5. Zion prays for all people. Lord Jesus Christ, in Your earthly ministry, you saw many illnesses and healed many of their sicknesses and diseases. We pray that You might see fit to heal many stricken with illness in our day as well. Be with those who tend to the sick and dying--doctors, nurses, and health professionals--and strengthen them for their work of mercy. Guard and guide all of us to a greater understanding for our need for Your victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil. In Your name we pray. AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke
Greetings in the name of Jesus!
 
Welcome to "Connected in Christ", a regular news bulletin that will give you the latest updates on weekly activities at Zion Lutheran Church and School. If you know of someone who would like to be included on this list, please let me know and I will add their email contact.
 
1. Wednesday night worship service and weekend worship services at Zion have been cancelled due to the ongoing virus response crisis and the advice of medical professionals. An online worship service will be available to view on Facebook Live and via our church website (https://www.zionmarengo.net) To view today's Lenten midweek service, please click here: https://www.zionmarengo.net/apps/video/. Pastor Galligar leads us through the story of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness with application to the issues we are facing right now.
 
2. All other regular activities at Zion Lutheran Church and School have been cancelled. Please check this message for updates on which regular activities resume and when.
 
3. Zion is willing and ready to serve our neighbors with our tithes. To that end, our Board of Directors approved giving 50% of offerings received today, March 18 to the MORE Center, and will retain 10% of offerings in a special fund to meet community needs until the current crisis passes.
 
4. Zion is willing and ready to serve our neighbors with our hands and hearts. If you are in need of pickup of groceries, medicines, etc., please contact us and we will find someone to help you. One of our elders, John Sackis, has started a Facebook page (search "Marengo IL COVID-19 Support Network") to facilitate these connections, so you may also contact him through that page if you are in need of something during this time.
 
5. Zion retains the gifts of God for the people of God at all times. We are currently working on a plan that would allow for the reception of His Son's Body and Blood to bring strength, peace, and forgiveness for humble sinners.
 
5. Zion prays for all people, members of the Church or not. Heavenly Father, be our Refuge and Strength during these days of difficulty and uncertainty. Strengthen the hands and hearts of those who serve those who are ill; give wisdom and peace to all. In all things, guard and guide us to the sacrificial death and resurrection of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has overcome the powers of sin, death, and the devil, that we might have the hope of life today and life everlasting. In His Name we pray. AMEN.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ripke