St. John's Lutheran Church and School
505 S Park Road (47th and Brainard)
La Grange, IL 60525
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I am writing you with an update concerning St. John’s Lutheran Church and School and our precautions and procedures going forward in response to the coronavirus outbreak:

  • St. John’s will have worship services on Sunday, March 15th, during their regularly scheduled times: 8:00am & 10:45am. This will be a wonderful opportunity to gather around our Lord’s Word and His Supper, to pray and praise Him and to love and support one another during this time of illness and uncertainty. However, we are taking steps to ensure that everyone remain healthy and safe during this time:

  • Above all, if you feel sick, please stay home and take care of yourself.
  • If, due to illness, you are in need of anything, please contact the church office (708) 354-1690 and we will do our best to make sure your needs are met.
  • If you feel you would rather not come to worship tomorrow morning, our Lord completely understands! We will do our best to livestream our entire worship service on St. John’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/sjlagrange/) or at least the message like we do every week. Per David Lincoln, our Senior Choir will not be singing at tomorrow’s services. Also, as the Spirit moves you, you may give your offering online at St. John’s website. Go to this link: https://www.sjlagrange.com/church/vanco-online-giving/
  • If you do come to worship, we encourage you to practice “social distancing”. Maintain at least 6 feet apart from others that are not in your family unit. Spread out where you sit in the sanctuary. After the service concludes, I will say hi to you, but will not shake hands or engage in any physical contact.
  • Our ushers will hand out bulletins as normal (after thoroughly washing their hands), but they will not be passing the offering plates during the Offering. The plates will be on the offering boxes where you are free to drop your offerings in them.
  • We will be serving the Lord’s Supper. However, you may opt out of taking it, if you so desire. Again, our Lord completely understands! We will be taking the necessary precautions when serving and taking the Lord’s Supper:
  • All Communion servers will wash their hands thoroughly before handling the elements.
  • We will be serving only individual cups; no common cup.
  • We will not be placing the host on your tongue. We will be placing the host in your outstretched hand.

  • Only self-serve coffee will be served at the Mission Café after the 8:00am service. We will not be serving any “treats” in order to prevent any possible transmission.
  • As a precaution based on “social distancing” recommendations, we will not be having Sunday School and Adult Bible Study hour.
  • St. John’s Lutheran School will be following our Illinois Governor’s decision for mandatory shut down of all public and private schools. Therefore, St. John’s Lutheran School will be closed from Monday, March 16th through Monday, March 30th (with previously scheduled Spring Break March 23rd through March 27th). Contact Teri Lyn Mannes for any further questions and clarifications.
  • St. John’s will again host a voter’s polling station this Tuesday.
  • To those whom it may apply, Coordinating Council will meet on Tuesday at 7:00pm as normally scheduled. We will meet in the Sanctuary in order to maintain “social distancing” recommendations. Contact President Tom Braun with any questions and clarifications.
  • We will have Midweek Lenten services as normally scheduled this Wednesday, March 18th at 7:00pm. Senior Choir practice will meet afterwards at 7:30pm. As with our Sunday services, “social distancing” practices are encouraged.
  • Due to “social distancing” practices and prevention of possible transmission, we will not be having Midweek Lenten Suppers for the remainder of Lent.

  • Follow CDC recommended guidelines to help prevent transmission of the coronavirus, which include, but are not limited to:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Use hand-sanitizer products with at least 60% ethyl alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Maintain “social distancing” practices, especially from those who are sick, maintaining at least 6 feet distance from others.
  • If you feel sick, do not go out, but isolate yourself and take care of yourself!
  • Go to the CDC website for more comprehensive information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

In the face of the coronavirus outbreak and pandemic, so many of us might feel uncertain about what is happening and what to do. As God’s creatures who have been given “our reason and our senses”, we take steps to take care of ourselves and take care of others. Yet, as God’s people who have been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”, we do not live in a spirit of fear. We trust in our God who loves us, is with us and will take care of us. Since tomorrow, March 15 th has been designated by our President as a Day of National Prayer, I urge you to pray earnestly for this pandemic, that people may get healthy who are sick, that people may be prevented from getting sick, that our local, state, national and international leaders and medical personnel may make well-informed and sound decisions for our welfare and that the families of those who have lost their lives to this virus may find comfort and hope in our gracious Lord and Savior. We will be constantly monitoring this situation and sending out additional information and necessary changes as needed.

God’s peace in Jesus,

Pastor Ben