Dear Church Family and friends of St. John’s UMC,
We are continuing to joyfully praise God in the midst of some uncertain times, to draw upon the wisdom and knowledge of God’s will to make decisions, and to endure all things with patience. God grants us discerning minds and hearts through prayer as the Apostle Paul shares with the community in Colossae: “For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord…(Colossians 1:9-10).
At St. John’s we are prayerfully discerning and putting into place some best and safe practices for our faith community as we deal with the news of this week. Here are a few things that I can let you know to date:
will be cancelled for the remainder of the Lenten season (including Friday, March 13
Sunday morning worship continues at 8:15, 9:30 and 11:00, and Jazz Vespers at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday, March 14th
On Sunday, March 15
, the following groups will NOT meet: Chancel Choir, Children’s Sunday School classes, Youth Choir, Youth Sunday School, and Youth Group activities.
During worship services we will not participate in the
passing of the peace
, but encourage one another to give a gentle bow, a wave, or a smile. It is beginning to appear that elbow bumps are not advisable.
will not be passed but will be available at the front of the sanctuary and the Family Life Center at the appropriate time during worship.
will continue to be offered at the 8:15 and 9:30 services with
individual plastic cups being provided.
Live-Streaming of services provided
: If you are feeling sick or want to take the precaution of not being in a large gathering of people, we are providing a live-stream of the Abide Service (9:30) and the 11:00 service. Please go to our St. John’s website for links to the live-stream services (at the top of the home page).
Or follow the links below:
The Live-streaming will be done through Facebook Live.
Being in a heart of worship through the
practice of Sabbath
in a personal way may be an option if you do not feel comfortable in being at a worship service. Soul tending through Sabbath is our church-wide spiritual practice for this season of Lent. This Sunday may be an opportunity for you and/or your family to “cease activity,” “end distractions,” and “be in restful communion” with God and Christ. Please consider if this is the right decision for you at this time, rather than attending a worship service.
We are taking
special sanitizing precautions
as follows: All door handles, flush handles, benches and arm rests, tables and chairs will be sanitized before and after each service in the sanctuary and the Family Life Center. Please use the anti-bacterial stations provided before entering these areas.
A best practice in our homes and at church:
Wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and do it often!
Please take a moment to receive and pray this prayer written by our beloved Rev. Clyde Stanfield:
God, we give thanks that your spirit moves in and among us even when the issues of the day may seem beyond our control, personally and in community. We pray for the medical professionals, researchers, leaders, and those on the front lines of care for patients affected by the COVID-19 virus. We pray for guidance and insight for action in our congregation, our community, and beyond. May the inspiration of your spirit give us guidance. As we continue the journey with Jesus to the cross, keep us mindful that darkness is not the last word, but resurrection and light in him who is the light of the world, Christ our Lord. (Reverend Clyde Stanfield)
Beloved, please do not take unnecessary risks and remain healthy in mind, body, and spirit. May the power of the Holy Spirit be released in us, that our souls may be free and our spirit’s strong.
Blessings and love,