Reopening Update (5-20-21)

Mask Update (5-20-21)

Fellow worshippers at St. John,

The Coordinating Council has decided to end the mask requirement for services as of last weekend, May 15/16.

In April, the council decided that we would end our mask requirement when either the Four Corners Health District Risk Gauge became green, or when we completed vaccination Phase 1 in Seward County. As of now, we can reasonably say that Phase I is completed.

In the opinion of the council, the probability of dangerous health consequences is now low enough that it is time to allow individuals worshippers and their families to make decisions about appropriate distancing and mask wearing. The change in CDC masking guidelines also supports this timing since the percentage of worshippers at St. John who are vaccinated is likely quite high. We encourage all who worship with us to show grace and tolerance for the decisions that are made by those who join us in our church.

We are currently in a time of heightened disagreement and polarization, much of it caused by the pandemic. As followers of Christ, we share all of the most important beliefs in life, and we know that as we experience these “light and momentary troubles,” our differences shrink to insignificance in the light of eternity.

We pray for an end to the pandemic all across the world, and we pray for grace and peace in our communities.

In Christ,

The St. John Coordinating Council

Previous Update:

On Monday, April 5, the Centers for Disease Control issued a Science Brief providing updated guidelines regarding indoor surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which states that “there is little scientific support for routine use of disinfectants in community settings, whether indoor or outdoor, to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fomites.” Therefore, starting this weekend, the Coordinating Council has decided to end the process of extensive disinfecting of the sanctuary after services.  The regular cleaning protocols will be maintained.  We also will return the hymnals and Bibles to the pews. We will continue to provide all congregational responses and hymn verses in our worship folders, so worshippers can choose to use or not to use the hymnals as they prefer. We remain committed to easing the mask requirement when either the Four Corners Health Department risk gauge is green, or vaccination Phase 1 has been completed in Seward County. Please note that while Phase 2 has begun, it will still be several weeks before Phase 1 is completed. At that time we will have reached a point where all Seward County residents age 65 or older will have had an opportunity to be vaccinated, providing a high degree of protection for individuals in the highest age risk category. We will continue to monitor vaccination progress in our area and let you know when it is time for our mask guidelines to change.

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