Updates to Covid Policy & Re-entry Plans
September 30, 2021
Greetings in Christ,
We've been patient. We've been creative. We've cared for one another's safety.
We'll continue to do these things. Our progress has felt too slow for some, too quick for others, and just right for others still. Still we move forward faithfully, trying our reverent best guess in operating through an historic and boggling pandemic. Following guidance from the synod and a few nationally trusted sources we will proceed as vaccinations increase and (hopefully) community spread decreases. In gathering, we want to both protect our children, and also help improve community connection to those in our family who have experienced a fair bit of isolation in these days.
This will be phase one, as we progress waiting for vaccines for children and for community spread to decrease.
We will resume indoor worship on November 7th. We will return to a two-service Sunday, which should help to keep attendance numbers manageable in each service and to allow for distancing. Following CDC guidance and caring for our youngest and most vulnerable, we will be masked. This is especially while some vaccines are still out of reach and community transmission in MontCo is very high. We will have an 8:15 am as a spoken service. The late service will be at 10:30 am and include music with limitations. Masked cantors or our choir will lead our song while the congregation listens or quietly hums along. This is in response to studies and guidance regarding the spread of aerosols and current level of virus in our community. The 10:30 service will be the one that we livestream and post. We will continue to livestream worship for those for whom it is too soon to return to indoor activity.
We are ordering space-specific portable HEPA air purifiers for use in the building, this includes a large one for the sanctuary. Every window that can be opened will be to allow for as much airflow as we can achieve. Services will be under one hour, also to reduce potential exposure time and buildup of shared air.
Our service will be conducted much like it is currently in the Praise Lot. We’ll continue communion in the same fashion (for now). Offering plates will be stationary. Ushers will guide worshipers and give out bulletins and communion elements. In the coming weeks we will be preparing and getting everything set up to run smoothly.
WE NEED USHERS! We need to build up a roster of ushers to help guide worshipers and visitors in current mitigation efforts for worship. Please contact the office if you can help!
Sunday school resumes indoors making use of spacing, windows and doors that can open, and universal masking. We will have HEPA purifiers in these spaces as well.
Other groups may resume activity as well (as some have) following the same guidelines of increasing airflow where possible and masking.
The Arts at St John’s is proceeding cautiously. Any performers are vaccinated, all attendees are requested to be as well and masking is required.
Accompanying this message is a “step-down” chart that the team has devised to guide us along toward “normal” as spread decreases and vaccines hit that critical level we hope for.
We share everyone’s strong wish that these “unprecedented times” hurry up and return to what we know as “normal”. We continue to pray, and we’ll continue to walk alongside each other faithfully doing our best to love each other and our neighbors.
“Let all that you do, be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
In love and faithful service,
Sue Lorenski, Justin Kiefski, Kiersten Capaldo, Barbara Tornetta, Kim Evan, Pastor Rachel Manke
Your Covid Advisory Team