Here at St. John’s the pastors and staff are closely following the recommendations from the CDC for the preparation for and prevention of the spread of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus.
Staff will continue to work from home until at least September 7. If you need something from the church building, please call the office number, 507-645-4429, which has been forwarded to staff members. Access to the building for priority small gatherings can be scheduled through the Office Manager at this number.
A SAFE OPERATING TASK FORCE HAS BEEN FORMED to plan for safe operations for St. John’s during the ongoing pandemic. Pastor Pam Fickenscher, Pastor Jon Davis, Vice-President Ruth Dahl, and Dr. Rod Christensen will be meeting regularly to help the Church Council and staff plan for ministry in the weeks and months ahead. Members should be prepared for significant changes in how we do ministry, even as the stay-at-home order comes to an end. Click here to read our Principles for Safe Operating.
Remember as you interact in person with others that anyone can spread the virus unknowingly. Stay six feet apart from others, wear a face mask in public, and limit the time of your in-person interactions in order to minimize spread. Important tips for us all to remember are: wash hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds, cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue when possible, and then throw it in the trash, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
New Guidelines for Funerals have been developed by the Safe Operating Task Force, which will be valid at least until July 31. Click here for the guidelines.
Small Gathering Guidelines beginning August 1 were approved at the July Church Council meeting.
Ways to Stay Connected with St. John’s
- Listen on KYMN Radio: 95.1 FM/ 1080 AM (kymnradio.net) to the worship service on Sundays. (9:30 a.m. June – August) The bulletins will be available online and can be accessed on our homepage.
- Videos of Sunday Services and Audio of Sermons. Video of Sunday services will be posted on our website with a link at the top of the home page. Audio recording of the sermon will be archived under the worship tab of the website.
July 27-August 2
- RADIO WORSHIP will be at 9:30 AM.
- Virtual Text Study (“Manna and Mercy”) on Mondays from 12:00-1:00 p.m. via ZOOM. Text Study is a time to read and wrestle with the scripture passages for the upcoming Sunday. The link to ZOOM will be posted on the church calendar.
- Virtual Pub Theology Mondays at 6 p.m. via ZOOM. The topic will be posted on Facebook and the link is available on the church calendar.
- St. John’s Virtual Coffee Break via ZOOM. Join us on your computer, tablet, or phone throughout the week. For 30 minutes, we will simply check-in, connect, and have a thought for the day. If you cannot stay the whole time, but simply want to wander through and say “hello”, please do! Go to the Zoom link on the church calendar. Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
- Middle school and high school youth will be having online gatherings posted on the church calendar. Contact Emmanuel Kaghondi for help in connecting to these secure Zoom rooms.
How Can You Help?
This question continues to be asked every day. It’s heartening to know that we have a community that is ready to step up in a crisis.
- First and foremost, stay safe and follow state guidelines for distancing. Connect with neighbors and friends and support each other remotely.
- St. John’s continues to need your regular financial gifts. Although we can’t be with you all in person, we want to continue to pay our staff. Give online here. Or mailed offerings will continue to be welcomed. If you are in a position to pay ahead on your annual pledge, that will also help us get through this difficult time. Contact Leah Garlie at 507-645-4429 if you would like to set-up automatic online giving.
- Local sewers are making cloth face masks for use by health care and other essential workers. Material can be picked up in the St. John’s parking lot from 4 to 5 each Monday. Finished masks are returned to the same spot. For details on this effort and to get instructions, email Kathy Ness at KJL.Ness@gmail.com. Additional cloth masks are needed for future St. John’s gatherings. Contact parish nurse Sally Lindell if you can help make these.
- Many prayer shawls made by our knitters were distributed to members who are on lockdown in care facilities. if you would like to make one (the patterns are easy), contact Sue Sharrow to learn how.
- Our Sunday School’s Blessing Box is seeing a high level of both donations and people receiving these blessings. Nonperishable foods, cleaning supplies, feminine hygiene supplies, and toilet paper are especially welcome donations.
- The Red Cross still needs blood, maybe now more than ever. Go to the Red Cross website at redcross.org if you are eligible to donate. Drives are still happening locally.
- The Community Action Center is experiencing a high demand for assistance, especially for housing assistance. The quickest way to help is to donate financially. The CAC can make those gifts go further than your own grocery store donations. They are also building their volunteer base. For more information visit their website.
- Local businesses, especially the ones that are usually social hangouts, are trying to quickly pivot to serve you in different ways. Take advantage of all those take-out and delivery options. And if you can’t use them now, buy a gift card that you can use in the future.