Resuming Indoor Worship Taskforce - Covid-19 Update
February 18, 2021
Dear St. John’s members and friends,
We know that many, if not all of you are sorely missing our sanctuary. We hear and appreciate your longing and we, too, are looking forward the day we will once again open our doors and welcome you inside.
In anticipation of that day, the Council has appointed a Resuming Indoor Worship Taskforce to assure that we are ready when that day comes. The Taskforce has been looking at and watching the changing State and County guidelines, County Public Health orders, and resources from the CDC, faith-based organizations, our Synod, our insurance carrier and other resources to create our draft protocols.
As you might imagine, many things have changed over these several months and continue to change. The Taskforce has been prayerfully reviewing the recent changes based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling for places of worship to allow indoor operations. The ruling and Sacramento County Health Order now allows indoor operations limited to 25% capacity with modifications in the Purple Tier. St. John’s Taskforce, in consultation with our Pastors and Directors, has made the decision not to open our doors until we are safely in the red tier. That reasoning includes, among other factors, the remaining high statistical evidence of the virus in our communities. We want to make our opening as safe as possible and time to allow many to receive the vaccine prior to opening.
We want to share with you our most recent information and what our plans include:
What we can do now:
• Funerals/memorial services can be held in the sanctuary with strict modifications
• Thursday Courtyard Communion will continue, weather permitting
• Holy Week will include scheduled times for families/households – one household at a time - to have quiet time in the sanctuary (watch for more information!)
• Outdoor Easter Worship plans are in place (watch for more information!)
What we will do once we can safely resume indoor worship:
• We will be closely monitoring the case rates in Sacramento County. When we are safely in the Red Tier, we will let you know when we plan to resume weekly indoor worship
• Indoor worship will include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, hand sanitizing. Other modifications indoors will include registrations for services, modified seating (every other pew), no choir singing live, and no congregational recitation or singing.
Our longing is deep, as we know yours is, for community together in our beautiful sanctuary. The unchangeable Holy Spirit has never left our sanctuary and the sun continues to shine brightly through our stained-glass windows. The wonder and awe of God’s Grace is and will always be palpable at St. John’s. The day for community together indoors is coming and we are ready! Ready for the bells to toll, and to welcome you in God’s Love!
God’s peace be with you all.
Susan Taylor, RN, Parish Nurse, Taskforce Co-Chair
Linda Baldwin, Taskforce Co-Chair
Pr. Frank Espegren; Kim Hendricks, Council President; Charlene Singley, Council Member
Staff members: Sarah Jessop Street, Katie Holmen, Steven Johnson, Anton Alves