Worship Plan 8/28/21


In light of the resurgence of COVID-19 in our region, Pastor Shellie and the Church Council have met to consider the wellbeing of our community and made the following plan of action.

Online and in-person worship continues to be offered inside the sanctuary of St. John’s. Service time remains 9 am.  The church council has carefully constructed a plan of safe practices and guidelines that those attending in- person worship are recommended to follow for the health and safety of our community – especially the children and most vulnerable among us.  There is a process for entering the building and participating in worship that we ask you to follow:

  • All worshipers are asked to enter through the NARTHEX DOORS and to use the hand sanitizer upon arrival.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on the tables for your use. (You may also bring your own if you'd prefer.)
  • Per the State of IL guidelines, and the CDC, ALL persons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in all indoor gatherings. *This includes all activities held indoors on the church property.
  • We ask that you limit seating in each pew observing physical distancing, or 1 family per pew.
    • We continue to provide disposable bulletins.  Please take a bulletin from the table in the back of the church.
    • We will have a place for you to leave offering envelopes – we will not be passing an offering plate.
      • Sharing of the peace will remain contactless.  As you greet one another before and after worship, please refrain from hugs and handshakes except with members of your household.
      • There will be communion during the worship service. Wine/Grape juice and wafer packets are available upon entering the sanctuary.  ALL OF US WILL COMMUNE AT THE SAME TIME WHEN INSTRUCTED BY THE PASTOR.  Please dispose of your containers as you leave the building.
      • Our fellowship continues after worship in Luther Hall unless the 7-day rolling average for Region 1 hits 11%, or it is required to suspend per the CDC and IDPH. All persons are strongly recommended to mask, when not consuming food or drink. Please maintain physical distancing.

If a participant who has attended a worship service tests positive, the Stephenson County Health Department will be consulted · All those participating, leaders or congregants, will be asked to not come if they have been in confirmed contact with someone who has COVID-19 within the last two weeks, they have a temperature, or other COVID-19 symptoms.

All members are encouraged to consider their own situation and risk status before deciding when to return to worship or other gatherings in the building. Our worshiping community will continue to include an active online expression for the foreseeable future. We will continue to have members of the St. John’s family who cannot be with us physically, so we will strive to make our virtual presence deeper and richer. The church council knows that not all members will feel the same about some aspects of this plan. While there is no 100% way to gather safely for worship, masks have been determined to be an important risk reduction strategy.

Therefore, in order for this plan to be effective and for other siblings in Christ to worship as safely as possible, participants are strongly recommended to follow this safety plan. 

There is always the risk that we will need to move quickly to a fully online community again if the 7-day rolling average for Region 1 hits 11%, or it is required to suspend per the CDC and IDPH. . Please stay connected with our Facebook page, website, and provide an email for those announcements.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8 | NIV |  

Pastor Shellie and The Church Council of St. John’s Lutheran Church (August 23, 2021)


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