St. John’s Returns To Two Services
Hello everyone, and welcome to May 2021. Wow, we have certainly experienced unusual times and circumstances for the past 15 months. When I look back, I can hardly believe everything we have been confronted with and the truly magnificent way in which we have overcome obstacle after obstacle. While it is true we were not able to continue all our previous ministries in the ways we might have liked, we very quickly transitioned the way we carried out many of our ministries so that we could continue. For instance, Social Ministry continued to work with local charitable ministries so we could support their efforts during the pandemic. Our Property Committee continued their supervision of on-going repairs. Worship and Music, the Vestry, myself, and volunteers made adjustments allowing us to go first to a video worship service, and when we returned to in-person worship, we moved to also provide a live-stream worship experience. We brought back children’s Sunday school, offered outdoor communion, and even the imposition of ashes in our parking lot. And many of our members continued their financial and prayerful support of what we were trying to accomplish. Throughout these many months, St. John’s has remained flexible and practiced ‘out of the box’ thinking so we could continue to be St. John’s to our members, the community and the greater world.
Now, as we enter May 2021, we are discussing what changes we can possibly make to our present worship and activity schedules as more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Our Vestry has discussed and voted to return to our normal worship schedule on Sunday, May 16. On that date we will resume providing two services each Sunday, with the 11:00AM service being live-streamed. Those services will be held at the normal times of 8:30AM and 11:00AM. We will, of course, need many more volunteers than we currently have in order to be able to provide two services. If you are already a volunteer, please continue. If you are not currently a volunteer, please speak with me so I can help you connect with an activity where you can volunteer.
Our COVID-19 Task Force continues meeting to discuss other aspects of what returning to two services will entail and look like. We are currently researching all the latest data on the coronavirus and its transmission. We all know, as we learn more and more about COVID-19, some of the details about safety precautions and protocols changes. The Task Force will consider what the latest and best practices are and make recommendations to the Vestry about how to remain safe while worshipping and carrying out our ministry. Personally, I foresee us continuing to wear masks for the immediate future. I also see us continuing one empty pew between people gathered in worship. But we hope it may become possible for the pew cushions to be placed back in the pews. As one Vestry member stated well, “we’re going to be flexible moving forward and hope we can take some baby steps to make us feel more ‘normal.’”
Thank you for reading this article. I think it’s important for you to know what your leadership team is discussing and doing as we do everything we can to make it possible for our congregation to worship God with reverence and thanksgiving for the gift of His Son Jesus, to carry out the ministries we are called to provide, while at the same time doing everything we can to make certain you, our members and brothers and sisters in Christ, feel safe while you are here. Of course, if you have any questions, please call me, or speak with any of our Vestry members. As soon as our COVID-19 Task Force makes recommendations to the Vestry and the Vestry make decisions, we will report back to you with the latest information regarding the path forward for St. John’s.
Blessings and peace, and celebrate – Christ is risen. Alleluia!
Pastor Butler +