Gathering Safely During COVID-19

St. John's Lutheran Church is committed to providing as safe of an environment as we can for all of us. 

We are asking all members and visitors to partner with us in the efforts listed below.

St. John's Covid-19 Preparedness Plan

Those over the age of 65 and individuals with a compromised health condition are always welcome, but in the spirit of love are encouraged not to attend any worship services in person because they are more susceptible to contracting the corona-virus. 

Anyone showing any symptoms of illness, or anyone who has a household member who is sick or showing symptoms of illness should not attend; this includes pastors or other leaders who are sick or showing signs of illness. If someone arrives showing signs of illness (fever, persistent dry cough, etc.), they will be asked to go home. 

For indoor worship services, occupancy of the worship space is not to exceed 50% of capacity, with physical distancing guidelines in place. To maintain 6 feet of distance, only every other pew or rows of chairs will be in use. We will run tape down the center of each section of rows to maintain physical distancing. Also, only one immediate family will be seated in each designated area. This will result in our capacity being around 130 people, not counting potential overflow seating in the Fellowship Hall (with wall opened) Individuals/households will be asked to maintain physical distancing as they move from their cars to the entrance of the church. 

Individuals/households will be checked in as they enter the building, and ushered to their seats. Ushers will assist with maintaining proper social distance. Individuals are asked to keep coats/jackets with them – rather than hanging them on the coat racks. Hand sanitizer will be available at all entryways. 

All in attendance will be required to wear a mask, except worship leaders when they are speaking. Disposable masks will be made available for those who do not bring a mask or cloth face covering from home. Masks or cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, per CDC guidelines. Disposable gloves will be made available for those who are cleaning and for anyone who may desire to wear them. 

Doors will be propped open and one-way traffic patterns will be introduced to ensure physical distancing. The farthest north door at the main entrance to the building will be designated as an “enter only” door. The farthest south door at the main entrance will be designated as an “exit only” door. People are asked not to greet each other with touching (e.g.Handshakes, hugs, etc), maintaining physical distance of at least 6 feet with those outside of their immediate family. 

Because singing has been shown to increase the amount of droplets produced, thus increasing the potential spread of the corona virus, congregational and choral singing will not be allowed. The pastor(s), worship leaders, or soloist may sing, provided they are at least 12 feet from the first row, and at least six feet or more from other leaders. All worship leaders will be stationed in the front of the sanctuary. 

Hymnals and Pew Bibles will be removed from pews. There will be no bulletins – but bulletins will be made available online. Offering plates and Welcome Pads will not be passed person to person. Offering will be collected at the door as people leave the sanctuary. Children’s “quiet bags” and Spark Bibles will not be made available – but take home activity bags will be made available The Church Nursery will not be open. 

Restroom Use: Only one person will enter a restroom at a time, unless members of the same immediate family. A marking of some kind will be placed on the floor outside of the restroom to indicate where people should stand in line to wait to use the restroom, maintaining 6-foot distance from each other. Drinking fountains will not be available. 

Pastors/worship leaders will be required to wear a mask at all times except when they are speaking. They will also remain more than 6 feet from the congregation at all times. No social gatherings of any kind will be allowed either before or after worship services. People will be instructed to arrive and depart expediently. Participants will be asked to remain seated following the worship service until they are excused by the ushers.