Dear Members of St. John’s,
As the circumstances of the coronavirus continue to evolve we are striving as a body of believers to be sensitive to and honoring of those who are making difficult decisions for our society. At the same time we seek to honor our Lord by being faithful as His people, including a time to gather to worship Him and receive His gifts. With that in mind…
For this coming week, we will be adjusting our church services and activities as follows:
– Remaining Wednesday Lenten dinners and services (March 18, March 25, April 1) – ALL CANCELLED
– Sunday, March 22
8:00 a.m. Sunday Service – CANCELLED
9:15 a.m. Sunday School (Adult & Children) – CANCELLED
10:30 a.m. Service – SERVICE WILL BE HELD
For this Sunday, March 22, we encourage everyone to monitor your own health and stay home if you have symptoms of illness or feel uncomfortable attending. If you do decide to stay home, please be aware that we will be live streaming the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service through the St. John’s website. We will also be sending a digital version of the service bulletin via email this week for those watching the live stream service. To our seniors and those with underlying health conditions that are not attending, I can come visit you and serve you communion. Please let Lisa Walraven know in the Church Office if you would prefer a visit.
Regarding the St. John’s Preschool, it will be closed for the next two weeks and then for Spring Break week. It is currently planned to reopen on Monday, April 6th. If this changes, we will let you know.
As we said last week, we are taking several steps to protect the health of our St. John’s family during our time of worship. Specifically, here is what we are doing:
Cleaning: The janitorial service is putting extra focus on wiping down and disinfecting surfaces and doorknobs/handles in the sanctuary, classrooms, meeting rooms, kitchen, and bathrooms. They are currently using a disinfectant approved by the EPA to fight the virus and will be switching soon to an even stronger, faster acting disinfectant. They are also following all CDC recommendations on disinfecting high touch point areas.
Communion: We have temporarily changed our communion practice. We are not using the common cup for now. Only the individual cups will be available. We will also be employing “continuous communion” to avoid handrail touching and to maintain proper spacing between communicants. Pastor and elders are sanitizing their hands before administering communion. Also, altar guild volunteers are sanitizing their hands before preparing the communion set ups.
Offering: We have temporarily changed our offering practice. Instead of passing offering plates, we ask that you place your offering in the baskets on the way to communion or in the baskets at the rear of the sanctuary as you leave.
Greeting each other: Out of concern for each other, we ask that you continue to refrain from handshakes and hugs before, during, and after the service.
Social distancing: At the Sunday service, let’s practice the CDC guidelines for maintaining the appropriate distance when interacting with each other (~6 feet). Since we have 41 pews, we can spread out. Think about one family unit per pew. The elders and ushers will help to spread us out as needed.
Worship bulletins: To prevent unnecessary handling contamination, bulletins will be in a basket as you enter the sanctuary and will not be handed to you by an usher.
Finally, while our in-person attendance has been impacted, our financial obligations and outreach support still depend on our church for financial support during these uncertain times. If you are not currently an online giver, we encourage you to download the Givelify app, or you can simply mail your check directly to St. John’s.
As we move through this time as followers of Jesus we will continue to pray for our leaders, our friends and neighbors, and for one another. And we will continue to trust our loving Lord for His kindness and mercy in the measure and manner He chooses for us. Looking forward to seeing you Sunday, in person or online.