DRIVE-IN AND ONLINE WORSHIP THROUGH NOVEMBER. DETAILS ON OUR NEWS PAGE.

Online services will continue at least through the month of November. Sunday worship can be seen by smartphone, tablet or computer on the News page of this website or on St. John's Facebook page.
OR listen Sundays at 7am, Noon or 4:30pm by using your phone to dial (508) 924-5733.

Audio only by calling (888) 975-5536. Call in ANY TIME from Sunday morning through noon Friday.

News

Tentative Sanctuary Reopening Delayed

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.

What are you thankful for?

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 pastorimmanuelrf@gmail.com or (360) 989-4906 by November 17th. Please contact Pastor Bree or Gerad with any questions.

Advent Wreaths and Readings Wreaths:

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:

  • An old plate or pie pan
  • Five tea light candles (fifth candle is for Christmas)
  • Colored sand & greens

Directions:

  1. Spread sand on the plate.
  2. Place the candles on the plate with four in a square shape and one in the middle.
  3. Decorate the plate with evergreens, Christmas balls or poinsettias.
  4. Find a time to gather to light a candle each week. Sunday evening might be a good time. Light the candle and read the Scriptures. Let the kids draw a picture to illustrate the readings.

Readings:

  • Week 1: The PROPHET Candle. The youngest child lights the candle. Read Isaiah 9:2-7.
  • Week 2: The BETHLEHEM Candle. The oldest child lights the candle. Read Micah 5:2-4.
  • Week 3: The SHEPHERD Candle.An adult or child lights the candle. Read Luke 2:15-20
  • Week 4: The ANGEL Candle. An adult or child lights the candle. Read Luke 2:8-14.

Advent Candle Lighting Readers Needed

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.

Christmas Program Online

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.

Operation Christmas Child

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.

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. 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):

  • November 1st: PreK-6th grade Zoom meeting (link will be emailed)
  • November 8th, 15th and 22nd: Pre-recorded Sunday School lesson available on demand
  • November 29th: No Sunday School; Thanksgiving break

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.

November class schedule (all on zoom from 7-8pm):

  • November 4th, 11th and 18th: Class on Zoom
  • November 25th: No class; Thanksgiving break

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.

November schedule (all on zoom):

  • Junior High: 11am November 15th and 22nd
  • Senior High: 11:30am November 15th and 22nd

Drive-In Worship Guidelines

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.

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.



e-Messenger

The E-Messenger

Download a PDF of the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, The Messenger.

Past issues, starting in October 2012, are available here.