Alleluia! In-Person Worship begins Sunday, July 12 under the Olde Oak Tree

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Here is a summary of the re-entry plan for St. John’s Church:

The vestry, with approval from Bishop Perry, has agreed to limit our in-person worship to outdoor gatherings only, weather permitting. We must do everything possible to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus. We believe abiding by the following rules will help us do so.     
The service will take place outside under the oak tree.
Before the Service·      Everyone in attendance must wear a mask·      
Please use the hand sanitizer set out on the small tables before picking up a service bulletin·      
Please leave a space between cars when parking·      
Bring a chair if at all possible (a very limited number of folding chairs will be available)·      
The seating area will be marked by flags:  Families  (households) may sit together
Anyone outside your household must choose another space·      
Single use “order of service” guides will be on a table for you to pick up – please touch only one
During the Service·      At the Peace we will do a ‘Namaste’ bow, no hand shaking/hugging please·     
Collection plates will be set out for those who wish to offer a contribution-they will not be passed
·      We will celebrate Eucharist with these changes:
Bread and wine will be consecrated, set on the altar and returned to the Earth after dismissal
Those receiving communion will be offered a wafer host from a covered container
There will be no wine served· 
There will be no singing but we are working on having music for before and after the service

The full details on the “Re-entry instructions” are below

Re-renty protocals for St. John’s

  • The Vestry has agreed that during the summer months our re-entry plan for in-person worship will be limited to outdoor worship – weather permitting. Beginning Sunday July 12th
  • Parishioners will be encouraged to park in every other parking space as to maintain ‘social distancing’ when arriving and leaving
  • We will meet in the yard between the parking lot and the old office wing “under ‘the olde oak tree.’”
  • Parishioners will be encouraged to bring their own chairs – limited supply of folding chairs from parish hall will be available if needed, but if used will need to be thoroughly sanitized before being taken back inside.
  • After the lawn cutting is done on Friday, the yard will be marked by small flags at a minimum of 8’ apart – 360 degrees.  Each flag will designate seating area for one household.
  • Inside bathrooms will be available with these limitations:
    • Only the men’s and women’s bathrooms near the worship space will be open.  The rest of the building will be cordoned off.  Each bathroom will need to be sanitized after each use.
    • As the air conditioning is off during the building shutdown, the outer two sets of doors will be propped open to lessen surface contact.  The bathroom light switches are movement sensitive, so no contact will be necessary.
  • All those in attendance will be required to wear masks.  SJP will have a limited supply of disposable paper masks for anybody in attendance who forgets their mask.
  • At the Peace, members will be encouraged to engage in the ‘Namaste’ bow
  • There will be two collection plates placed on small tables for those who wish to offer a contribution
  • Single use paper ‘order of service’ leaflets will be on the tables for each person to pick up individually…there will be no greeters to do so.  Each person will sanitize their hands before handling.
  • There will be two old flower stands that have ½ gallon pump bottles of 70% alcohol hand sanitizer available.  We will use the ones that have been at the main entrance since late February
  • We will have one (short) table from the Sunday School on which to celebrate
  • We will have one portable lectern from the worship space…used by only one (1) reader per service.  They will be given an enlarged version of the lessons printed in the service bulletin.
  • When the service is concluded, the same one masked altar guild person will be responsible for cleaning all sacred vessels used with HOT water and soap.  Since the water heaters have been set at minimum during the shutdown, they will need to use a pot of hot water from the coffee maker in the kitchen.
  • One person will be assigned to get contact information from any ‘visitors’ so that, if needed, contact tracing can be observed

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  • We will celebrate the Eucharist with limited reception at communion.
  • One masked altar guild person only will prepare the sacred vessels in the sacristy, place them on a roller cart from the kitchen, and roll them to the outdoor space before the service begins. This is because of the small space.
  • They will be placed near the table (altar) so the Presider can reach them and set the table by her/himself.
  • We will use one chalice with a very small amount of wine…it will be consecrated and placed on the altar…but the common cup will NOT be offered to worshippers.  The consecrated wine will be returned to the earth after the dismissal.
  • One piece of ‘real bread’ will be taken from the freezer and thawed.  It will be used for the actual consecration only.
  • If possible, the thin wafer ‘hosts’ will be counted out and placed in medicine tubes at 50 per tube for ease of counting.  They will put on a paten with sides and covered by a cloth which is then covered by a pall to hold it down where they will remain until distribution.  The ‘real bread’ and any excess hosts will be broken up and returned to the earth after the dismissal.
  • There will be NO coffee hour or social time after the service ends.  Those attending will be encouraged to maintain social distancing standards of 6’/360 degrees as they move toward their cars.
  • If approved, we will have a short coffee-less time to visit while in place in our chairs on the lawn before leaving
  • Since I will still be in a wheelchair for  some weeks, I will require one altar server that will sit at 6’ away but will  be available to assist if needed.
  • There will be no singing…we are working to arrange some music before and after.  A parishioner who is involved in many local arts groups has volunteered to pay for an occasional musician as a way of helping bring music to our worship and to help support local artists who have been left without any income during the COViD shutdown.

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  • At present, there are no plans to re-open our buildings for outside group use, or for small group congregational use other than to  safely maintain  our outreach ministries, ie., the SJP Food Pantry and Miss Millie’s Closet.
  • A plan for the SJP Food Pantry was previously submitted and is the basis of how it has continued to operate during the Phase I shut-down.
  • A plan to re-open Miss Millie’s has been worked on by Fr. John and Sue Ingrao and Lu Pilgrim.  Once it if written up, it will be submitted to the Diocesan Office for approval.

Addressing Positive Infection

In the situation that someone has tested positive for COVID-19 and has entered the building or attended a church-sponsored activity during the infection period, the following requirements and guidelines must be followed.

After receiving word of a positive infection, the clergy person in charge or warden will verify with the person that the county is doing contact tracing. Using our entry/registration log, we will conduct notifications of all people who may have come in contact with the person, while keeping their identity confidential, if appropriate. These notifications might include, but are not limited to:

  • Fellow worshippers
  • Outside groups or small groups that used the building within 72 hours of the person’s presence
  • People who may have cleaned the building within 72 hours of the person’s presence

We will encourage all people who may have been affected to self-quarantine for 14 days.

All in-person worship and other in-person gatherings will be suspended for 14 days.

If the person had entered the building, parish leadership will make provision for a deep cleaning of the space, including any affected rooms, access hallways, doorknobs, and bathrooms.

Leadership will plan for and adopt the following communications plan, including:

  • Clergy in charge  will serve as a spokesperson for any press inquiries that may arise
  • The Vestry will develop and share the church’s clear, concise, constructive, and transparent message
  • Parish leadership will be in communication with the members of the congregation
  • Parish leadership will be in communication with the bishop and diocesan office

To follow these guidelines from the diocese, SJP will keep a visitors’ log immediately inside the parking lot doors for any delivery or repair people who must enter to log in.

In most cases, deliveries will be dropped at the door and the delivery person will not enter the building. 

Hand sanitizer will continue to be conspicuously placed at the door and all who do enter will be required to use it as well as wearing a mask.

We will attempt to continue with the policy currently in place that only one person will be in the building at a time to do any necessary work.  Fr. John and Sandy Goga will continue to mainly work from home and arrange to be in the building at different times when absolutely necessary.   If there will need to be more than one person in the building at any given time, they will be working in separate parts of the building.   Regular workers will NOT be required to sign in each time.  Any others will need to sign in each time.

At any in person  worship, the ushers will need to  keep a ‘short list’ of all who are in attendance. But if any ‘visitor’ who is not known to the ushers were to attend, they WILL be required to sign into the log with contact information.