Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Dear people of St John’s,
With the Governor’s most recent guidance on “turning the dial” to loosen some COVID restrictions, and the fact that both Minnesota and Hennepin County have trended below 5% positivity rate for COVID, we are now able to envision more ways to gather together in person in our beautiful sanctuary! These changes build on the information we shared in early March and follow the required “return to church safety plan” approved by the Episcopal Church of Minnesota.
More details will be shared as dates get closer – but, God willing, here’s what we have planned. All events will follow safety protocols, including masks and social distancing:
Upcoming in-person outdoor services of Holy Eucharist at Beard’s Plaisance:
The in-person indoor events will also require advance registration and have a maximum of 40 people:
Upcoming in-person indoor offerings at church:
What we will continue:
What else will change:
Important: Volunteers needed
We’re so excited to be able to start transitioning back to in-person services! And, this moment of transition and return will require many hands on deck to ensure we can come back together safely. In particular, there are five roles we need additional volunteers to help fill: 1) Altar Guild, 2) Ushers, 3) Greeters, 4) Cleaners between services, 5) Technology/Filming support. Each of these are critically important jobs in the life of the church and we particularly need new people to join us as we move back into the building and offer some online and outdoor options. If you are interested in volunteering (or just learning more) about these roles, please reach out to the people listed below. Thank you for considering being part of these ministries!
What else is coming?
While no one has a crystal ball, our hope and prayer is that we can return to full in-person worship in August or September. This will depend on current vaccination and COVID rates, and ECMN, MN Dept Health, and CDC guidelines. We will continue to monitor Hennepin County 7-day COVID positivity rates. If they again approach or exceed 5%, we will have to go back to our former online-only worship, though we have every hope that this will not happen as more people are vaccinated.
We also plan to lead the congregation through reflection about what we have learned during this pandemic and how that impacts or changes our future worship and way of being church. If you would be willing to be part of the team that engages this deeper discernment, please email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share any comments, concerns or questions with me, as our staff prepares to once again open our red doors! I am delighted, and deeply moved, to even imagine seeing your lovely faces again, to break bread together, to pray and see one another in person. I can’t wait!
Faithfully, in Christ’s love,
The Rev. Lisa Wiens Heinsohn, Rector
St. John’s Episcopal Church