WE HAVE RETURNED TO IN-PERSON WORSHIP!

Please make reservations for in-person worship by calling the church before 4:30pm the Thursday before the service you wish to attend. See the News page for details and guidelines. If you do not feel comfortable attending in person or are not feeling well, you can still participate via smartphone, tablet or computer on the Ministries page of this website or on St. John's Facebook page. Listen to the service by calling (888) 975-5536. Call in ANY TIME from Sunday morning through noon Friday.

News

Return To In-person Services

We’re excited to announce the return of in-person worship services at St. John’s. We must also remain vigilant as the pandemic continues to impact our friends, families and those in our community.

In order to return to in-person worship in a safe and responsible manner, we ask that those who wish to attend follow these guidelines.

Reservations will be required if you plan on attending in-person Sunday morning worship services. We ask that you please make your reservation before 4:30pm on the Thursday before. You can call the church office (815-625-2634) or email nina@stjohnsonthird.org with your reservation information. Following health department guidelines, we will only be able to seat approximately 50 people in the sanctuary.

Most importantly: Please do not enter the church if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms that are listed below, OR if you have been in contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell

We will continue to offer worship online, via phone, and outside of the building by tuning your radio to 99.9FM in the church parking lot if you are unable to worship in person with us. We encourage those who remain at high risk to utilize these alternative methods of worship.

The church will open for worship at 9am Sundays, with Door #7 (located in the main parking lot) being the only entry point. All other entrances, including the doors facing Seventh Street and Third Avenue, will remain closed.

  • Each person will have their temperature taken at the door. You will be welcomed in if your temperature is BELOW 100.4°. You will be asked to sanitize your hands with the sanitizer provided.
  • Next, you may deposit your offering at the screening table, receive your communion set and bulletin. Then, proceed to the sanctuary. At this time, the narthex, East Room, chapel and educational wing will remain closed.
  • While inside the church building, you are required to wear a face mask at all times, covering both your nose and mouth, and social distance. You may remove your mask only when taking communion, and then put it back on as soon as you are finished.
  • Finally, find an open seat. Please only sit with members of your immediate household (up to four). The sanctuary will be marked showing which areas are available for seating.
  • When leaving the church, the front rows should exit first through the east doors of the sanctuary. Please maintain social distancing at all times when in the building. We ask that you exit the building immediately and avoid congregating with friends inside the church.
  • The nursery and busy bags will not be available, so please plan accordingly.
  • The restrooms will remain closed and may only be used in an emergency situation.
  • The coffee bar will not be available for use.
  • At this time, we are not resuming Wednesday evening services. Please watch for further announcements at a later date.

If you have any questions or concerns, please see the ushers during service or contact the church office for further information. WE ARE EXCITED TO WORSHIP TOGETHER!

Faith Formation 2020-21 Online

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. 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.

Buy Dave’s Coffee Cake to send our youth to Gathering

The high school youth are selling Dave’s Coffee Cakes to raise money for the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering in Minneapolis next July. High schoolers, order forms will be emailed to you, and hard copies are available at church.

Cakes are $18 each. You can order by calling or emailing the church office, by downloading and filling out the order form found here, or by ordering online at davescoffeecakes.com/online-fr-store (use code: STJOHN). Make sure you type STJOHN in all caps. You can select pickup or delivery online.

Pickup date is Mother’s Day, May 9th, at St John’s (delivery available in Sterling and Rock Falls). Coffee cakes can be frozen and picked up from St. John’s at a later date. DEADLINE TO ORDER IS SUNDAY, APRIL 25TH. Payment is due with order forms.

Thank you in advance from the high school youth of St. John’s and St. Paul for helping us grow in our faith through amazing faith-forming events like the Youth Gathering!

Tri-Church Confirmation

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.

Junior High/High School Faith Formation

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.

Covid-19 policies approved by Council

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.

Screening Policy

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.

Purpose

It is the purpose of this policy to define the guidelines that will help ensure the safety of the staff and visitors.

Procedure

Staff Screening: All staff will be screened for temperature, and signs and symptoms of Covid-19 prior to entering the work area.

  • An initial temperature will be taken. If the temperature is above 100.3°F, the staff member will be asked to leave and they will be advised that in the event the temperature does not return to normal (98.6°F) within 24 hours they should consider contacting their primary care physician. They should contact their physician before going to the Emergency Department.
  • All health questions as listed below shall be addressed daily.
  • All employees shall receive education on handwashing/sanitizing, masking, and visitor restrictions.
  • All employees shall wash/sanitize their hands frequently throughout the work day and shall wear a mask when social distancing of six feet or more cannot be satisfied.
  • An attendance sheet, including the temperature record and documentation of questions and actions shall be completed; sign as the evaluator if no one else is present.

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.

  • An initial temperature will be taken. If the temperature is above 100.3°F, the visitor will be asked to leave and they will be advised that in the event the temperature does not return to normal (98.6°F) within 24 hours they should consider contacting their primary care physician. They should contact their physician before going to the Emergency Department.
  • All health questions as listed below shall be addressed with each visit to the facility.
  • All visitors shall receive education on handwashing/sanitizing, masking, and visitor restrictions.
  • All visitors shall sanitize their hands and wear a mask when social distancing of six feet or more cannot be satisfied.
  • An attendance sheet, including the temperature record and documentation of questions and actions shall be completed; sign as the evaluator if no one else is present.
  • No food or drink may be brought into the building.
  • Only the west (left) side of the chapel and the restrooms at door #8 may be used by visitors.
  • An area in the basement has been cordoned off for use. The elevator may be used to reach the lower level. The restroom in that area may be used.

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.

  1. Have you been in close contact with anyone experiencing symptoms of or having been diagnosed with Covid-19?
  2. Covid-19 has been associated with many symptoms including those below. Are you experiencing any symptoms in the following list or any unusual symptoms that you cannot explain?
  3. Have you experienced any cough or cold symptoms such as runny nose, congestion or sore throat?
  4. If yes to coughing, is it a productive cough?
  5. Have you experienced any nausea or vomiting?
  6. Have you had a headache?
  7. Have you had diarrhea?
  8. Have you experienced any body or muscle aches or pains?
  9. Have you experienced any recent loss of smell or taste?
  10. Have you experienced a recent fever or chills?
  11. Have you experienced any shortness of breath?
  12. Have you noticed unexplained fatigue?
  13. Have you experienced any eye fatigue or redness in or around the eyes?
  14. Have you noticed any unexplained rashes or swelling of the arms or legs or been around any children who have shown these symptoms?

Council Approves Affirmation Statement

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.

Kroger Rewards

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.

  1. Visit kroger.com/communityrewards.
  2. Sign in to your digital account or create an account.
  3. Choose “I’m a Customer” and click on “View Details.”
  4. Be sure your card is linked to your account.
  5. Select St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (MU937).
  6. Receive a confirmation, and you’re ready! If you have questions, please contact Nancy Breed at (815) 441-4007. Thanks for your continued support of St. John’s.



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