Here at St. John’s the pastors and staff are closely following the recommendations from the CDC for prevention of the spread of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus.
Most staff are continuing to work from home. Phones are still being answered. If you need something from the church building, please call the office number, 507-645-4429, to make an appointment. Small groups of fewer than 10 may schedule time in the building with strict physical distancing protocols. Please contact the church office for any building use.
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 Jonathan Davis, President-Elect Ruth Dahl, Dr. Rod Christensen, Leah Garlie, Nathan Proctor and Paul Beck meet regularly to help the Church Council and staff plan for ministry in the weeks and months ahead. Members should be prepared to continue the changes in how we do ministry. Click here to read our Principles for Safe Operating.
Please continue to guard the health and safety of others. 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. Wash your hands frequently.
Vaccines are becoming available locally and throughout the state. Currently, the best way to schedule a vaccine is through your local health care provider. Other locations have limited doses and availability. Officials are hopeful in coming weeks and months this will change. For your information, here is a link for the Minnesota Department of Health’s vaccine finder in Minnesota. https://mn.gov/covid19/
New Guidelines for Funerals have been developed by the Safe Operating Task Force, which allows for indoor funerals with 50% capacity. Click here for the guidelines.
We have indoor worship guidelines February 2021 that conform to state guidelines. These are being used at invitation-only worship services for confirmations and baptisms and will guide our decision making about further options this year.
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. (9:00 AM) The bulletins will be available online and can be accessed on our homepage.
- Livestream Video of Sunday Services. Sunday services are livestreamed and linked in on our homepage. Audio recording of the sermons will be archived under the Worship tab of the website.
- Audio of sermons and worship videos are posted of each Sunday’s worship later in the week.
- RADIO and Livestream WORSHIP every Sunday at 9 a.m.
- Lenten Wednesday services beginning February 17 , livestream only at 6:30 p.m.
- 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.
- St. John’s Virtual Coffee Break via Zoom. Join us on your computer, tablet, or phone on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. 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.
- Preschool through Grade 5 gather for online Sunday School each week at 10:00 a.m. Contact Julie Brehmer at children@StJohsNorthfield.org for help in connecting to these secure Zoom rooms.
- Middle and High School youth are connecting with weekly online Sunday gatherings, as well as a monthly confirmation class. Contact youth@StJohnsNorthfield.org to receive the Zoom details for these gatherings.
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, including at St. John’s.
- 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.
- CAN YOU HELP REMOTE LEARNERS? Northfield Healthy Communities Initiative is seeking volunteers who will offer remote support to kids doing distance learning this winter. Once established with a student and teacher, volunteers would offer 15–30 minutes 2-4 days a week to help students stay on track. Contact Laura@northfieldhci.org if you are interested.