During their October meeting, the council discussed the reopening of the church for in-person worship. While the health department has approved limited sanctuary services with no singing, the council agreed to table the decision until the November meeting. Online and drive-in services (weather permitting) will continue.
Please join us in a special time of giving thanks during Tri-Church Worship! We invite you to ponder what you give thanks for and record a 5-10 second video horizontally that we can include in worship on November 29th. Please submit your video of thanks for Tri-Church online and phone-in worship to Pastor Bree at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 989-4906 by November 17th. Please contact Pastor Bree or Gerad with any questions.
Families, we invite you to create your own Advent wreath for your home. The season of Advent begins Sunday, November 29th. Advent is a four-week season prior to Christmas with a candle lit for each week. For ideas, Pinterest is a great resource.
Here is an easy Advent wreath idea for your family. You will need:
As part of our annual tradition of lighting the Advent wreath during worship, we are seeking families to video record lighting Advent wreath candles from their homes. There is a short litany/reading that accompanies the wreath candle lighting each week during Advent that will be sent to volunteer families. We’d love for your family to be a part of this tradition this year. Your video will be part of the online Tri-Church worship service for your Sunday during Advent. Please talk with Gerad for more details.
This year we’ll be telling the Christmas story online with St. Paul and Immanuel children. We’ll have speaking parts, music and maybe even costumes. Parents: You’ll need to run the video cameras. The program will be part of the Tri-Church online worship service on December 20th. Families: More details will be coming soon.
We invite you to join Samaritan’s Purse in packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes! Shoeboxes can be packed in person or online this year. Samaritan’s Purse is offering complimentary preprinted shoeboxes.
For free materials, instructions on how to pack a shoebox, or to pack a shoebox online, visit samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child.
St. John’s continues the Sunday school year and Confirmation classes online. PreK through sixth-grade Sunday school students have one Zoom meeting and three online pre-recorded lessons for each age group every month.
Sunday school packets are available for pickup on the last Sunday of each month. If you did not get your packet for November or need it delivered, please let the church office or Gerad know. The packets include the Spark and Connect curriculum student activity sheets and most materials needed to participate in the lessons at home.
The 30-minute Zoom meeting on the first Sunday of the month will include the week’s Bible story, student interaction time, music, a game or activity, and prayer.
All classes and Zoom meetings will begin at 10:30am Sundays and can be accessed through the St. John’s Sunday School Facebook group; Visit facebook.com/SterlingStJohns and choose Groups › St. John’s Sunday School.
November class schedule (all at 10:30am):
We continue meeting on Zoom Wednesday nights from 7-8pm. Zoom meeting invitations are emailed each week. This year the class is studying Bible stories.
November class schedule (all on zoom from 7-8pm):
High school and junior high youth will meet with Gerad or a volunteer through Zoom meetings. Times and Sundays may vary slightly from month to month. We are also looking into ways to gather young people safely sometime in the future. Our highest priority is safety for all.
November schedule (all on zoom):
Drive-in worship will serve as our transitional step, we will be using the parking lot in a different way than we are accustomed to. Rather than parking in the designated parking spaces, we will be parking north-south with a masked council member/usher directing attendees to their location. Those who desire to participate in the “drive-in” services will be encouraged to enter the parking lot from Eighth Street so we can better line up cars for the service. We’ll have a dropbox set up for folks to leave their offerings as they enter the parking lot. Participants will also be instructed to tune their car radio to a specific station to hear the service.
During the service, we will be making use of pre-packaged communion kits that contain bread and alcohol-free wine. Those who wish to commune during the service can request the number of kits for their passengers from the masked usher once you have been directed to your parking location.
After the drive-in service has concluded, direction will be provided to take turns exiting the parking lot. Other information and additional direction will be provided as needed during the service. Those who attend the drive-in services will need to remain in their car throughout the service. We greatly appreciate your understanding as we transition into this next phase. Should you have questions about any of this, please feel free to call the church office.
It is our practice at St. John's to give notice to the congregation when policies are updated and when new policies are approved by the Congregation Council. Our Council approved a new policy at its meeting July 21st, and because of the importance of the content, it is being published here for review.
It is the policy of St. John’s Lutheran Church to provide guidelines to all staff and visitors of the facility that will reduce the possibility of transmitting contagious disease.
It is the purpose of this policy to define the guidelines that will help ensure the safety of the staff and visitors.
Staff Screening: All staff will be screened for temperature, and signs and symptoms of Covid-19 prior to entering the work area.
Visitor/Volunteer Screening: A staff member, the chair of the committee, or responsible person of the group will greet visitors, explaining procedures as temperatures are taken and recorded.
General Health Questions for all Staff and Visitors: In the event that the staff member or visitor answers “yes” to any of the following questions and the condition cannot be explained, they shall be advised that it is not in the best interest of themselves or the facility to enter at this time.
The Council affirms that ministry is a core tenant of our Mission and that established ministries will continue and the opportunity for expanding into additional ministries will be evaluated when presented. The Council fully understands the complex nature of ministry, but as long as God’s people are willing to engage in good works, we will do everything in our power to support those ministries.
St. John’s is now a member of the Kroger Community Rewards Program. If you have a Kroger Plus Shopper’s Card, you can earn rewards for the St. John’s Building Fund every time you use it. Just about everything you purchase qualifies, with the exception of alcohol, tobacco, and postage stamps. There is no cost to participate and you’ll still earn fuel points on eligible purchases every time you shop. Signing up is free and easy.
Download a PDF of the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, The Messenger.
Past issues, starting in October 2012, are available here.