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UPDATE: 05-19-2020

Dear St. John family,

St. John’s Executive Council met on May 19, 2020 and discussed updates to the current Sunday plans of StJLC.  Here are the changes that have been made:

  • For those aged 65+: We are taking necessary and responsible precautions to make our church a safe and healthy environment.  We trust you to make a responsible decision for yourself about attending Sunday service in person.  The Open Texas guidelines state, “Individuals aged 65 and older should stay home as much as possible.”
  • We will only offer Communion on the First Sunday of the month, beginning in June. This is a temporary change until we can recruit more volunteers
  • We will no longer plan to use the Family Life Center for overflow seating
  • Both parking lots and both sets of doors on either side of the building will be open and available for use.
  • Council has decided that it is best to hold off on reinstating Sunday School (both Adult and Children/Youth), nursery, and the 8:00 service at this time.  We’ll revisit those topics again in July.

05-05-2020

Dear St. John family,

We have made a thoughtful choice to reopen our church doors on May 10, 2020. A big part of who we are is being able to ‘connect consistently’. With the newest guidelines given by Governor Abbott, we will again be able to enjoy fellowship with one another! This is exciting news!

On April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott outlined Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the re-opening of retail, restaurants, and churches. Phase 1 begins today, May 1, 2020, and focuses on protecting those aged 65 and older and those with pre-existing medical conditions. His words to that portion of the population: “Remain at home if at all possible.” Phase 1 allows for gatherings of people equal to or less than 25% of normal building capacity. For St. John, 25% capacity is approximately 100 people.

St. John will begin meeting again for worship on May 10, 2020 with the restriction of 100 people being together during each service.

We will begin with having two services at the church facilities and the online service. Here is what our Sunday schedule will look like:
9:30am – Praise service in the Sanctuary
10:45am – Traditional Service in the Sanctuary with overflow seating in the Family Life Center. This service will also be livestreamed online.
There will be no childcare available at this time.

Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan will be effective on May 18th if there are no spikes in illnesses at that point. This phase allows for 50% occupancy, which means 200 people allowed in the Sanctuary.

Our leadership team at St. John has carefully created a plan and a process for the successful and healthy reopening of our church. We will follow all physical distancing guidelines defined by the Governor, as well as maintain a clean, safe, environment.

For more information on what St. John is doing to keep you safe and very specific details regarding the reopening procedures we will follow in accordance with the Governor’s “Open Texas” guidelines, please see the FAQs listed below.

As of now, Sunday mornings will be for worship only. No Sunday School classes will meet. The church will be available during the week for small groups, such as Bible studies and committee meetings. As restrictions are lifted, the Council will review and revise our schedule.

We love you and look forward to seeing you again soon. For some, we will see you on May 10th. For those who choose to continue worshiping with us online, know you are in our thoughts and prayers and we will see you when the time is right. Stay safe and healthy.

REOPEN FAQs

Below are answers to some of the questions that you may have about gathering together again physically at St. John.

 

When Will St. John Gather Together Again?

On April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott outlined Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the re-opening of retail, restaurants, and churches in his “Open Texas” guidelines. Phase 1 begins May 1, 2020 and focuses on protecting those aged 65 and older and those with pre-existing medical conditions. His words to that portion of the population: “Remain at home if at all possible.” Phase 1 allows for gatherings of people equal to or less than 25% of normal building capacity. For St. John, 25% capacity is approximately 100 people.

St. John will begin meeting again for worship on May 10, 2020 with the restriction of 100 people being together during each service.

Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan will be effective on May 18th if there are no spikes in illnesses at that point. This phase allows for 50% occupancy, which means 200 people allowed in the Sanctuary.

 

Will We Immediately Jump Back Into Our Old Schedule?

We will start off with just having Sunday worship at the church facilities. There will be no in-person gatherings for Sunday School classes at this time. Matt Olson’s classes will continue on Zoom.

 

How Will You Ensure That You Are Following The Suggested Guidelines?

We will begin with two services at the church facilities and an online service.

Here is what our Sunday schedule will look like:

9:30am – Praise service

10:45am – Traditional Service in the Sanctuary with overflow seating in the Family Life Center. This service will also be livestreamed online

There will be no childcare available at this time.

 

What Will St. John Do To Continue To Follow Physical Distancing Guidelines?

  • First and foremost is our concern for the health and safety of our members and guests. We urge those aged 65 and up and those who have pre-existing medical conditions to continue to join us for online worship.
  • We will only have the Main Entrance on the East side of building open. This will help us to monitor the number of people entering the church and ensure that no one will need to pass a group of others heading in a different direction, thus avoiding close face-to-face contact.
  • Doors to the Main Entrance will be left opened or opened by a volunteer wearing gloves so that no one will need to touch the handles.
  • We will have a greeter inside the Main Entrance, standing six feet away from the door, welcoming people to church and answering any questions that guests might have.
  • We will only be allowing 100 people in the Sanctuary for each service.
  • If more than 100 people join us for worship, the overflow will be able to watch the livestream service in the Family Life Center.
  • There will be no childcare available at this time.
  • Every other pew will be roped off, so that seating ensures physical distancing guidelines. Family units may sit together but leave 6 feet of space between any other group. Each pew has sections – divided by wood braces between hymnal racks – which are approximately 6 feet long. You can use this for reference when leaving ample space around you.
  • Pews, door handles, etc. will be wiped down after each service.
  • We will have hand sanitizer readily available in the entrance to the Sanctuary.
  • Masks are not required, but you may wear one if you are more comfortable doing so. We will have some masks available for those who need one.
  • We will not be handing out bulletins or any other materials. You will be able to follow the service on the screens in the front of the church.
  • We will be serving Communion. Servers will wear masks and gloves during distribution.
  • We will have a stationary offering plate for people to give their offering. We will not pass an offering plate around the room.
  • We will not be serving any coffee or refreshments at this time.
  • At the end of the service, we will dismiss the pews beginning from the back of the church.
  • The Pastors will be available at the Info Desk after the service to talk.
  • We encourage people to socialize outdoors, not inside the church building.

 

What precautions can people take when they come to St. John?

As a church, we’re doing what we can to responsibly maintain social distance. We trust you to make the responsible choice for yourself. We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from Covid-19, the flu, and other illnesses:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick or not feeling well.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze and wear a mask if appropriate.
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces regularly.
  • If you are aged 65 or over or have a pre-existing medical condition, we urge you to join us for online worship at this time.

 

How Will Sunday School and Bible Studies Fit Into The New Schedule?

There will be no in-person gatherings for Sunday School classes at this time. Matt Olson’s classes will continue on Zoom.

 

Final Thoughts

As suggested restrictions continue to ease, the Council will review and revise our schedule.

We love you and want to see you again soon! But we want you to stay safe and healthy. If you have any needs, please let us know.