July Pastor's message

Dear members and friends of St. John’s:

Oh, (Insert your name!) “It’s time to come inside!” Can you hear your mother calling from the doorstep in her sweet, melodic voice? “Let’s wash our hands before supper,” she says. “Let’s get ready for bed.” These words are warm, but not welcome.

“Let’s not and say we did!” you call back. Then your mother’s tone of voice begins to change. She uses your first and last names.

My mom tried to coax her “Markie” off the swing sets in the backyard. But “Mark Anthony Katrick!” always came running!

A perfect summer evening makes a child want to stay outside forever!

After a cold and blustery start to our drive-in services, we’ve had our share of perfect summer mornings. Bright sunshine, clear blue skies and soft gentle breezes make a child of God want to worship outside forever.

Then we hear Jesus calling, softly and tenderly, from the doorstep of St. John’s. “It’s time to come inside. His words are warm and welcome. We’ve missed worshipping in our beautiful sanctuary and seeing the stained glass windows from the inside out. They’re just not the same from the outside in.

Here’s some Good News! Starting on Sunday, July 5th, there will be a service in the sanctuary at 9:15. And there will continue to be services in the parking lot at 8:00 and 10:30. Here’s some even better news. For your safety and protection, the Church and Ministry committee has established guidelines for the reintroduction of indoor worship

What will you do, my brothers and sisters? Will you worship indoors or outdoors, or a little of both? The choice is yours. It is personal. It’s between you and the Lord. Please take your time to pray and discern which of these is best for your spiritual, emotional and physical health. You take care of you and your loved ones. And your church family will be there for you no matter what you decide.

If the Good Lord is willing, and the creek don’t rise like it did a few months ago, by Sunday, September 13, Rally Day, we will be back to our regular schedule. That means having a drive-in service at 8:00 and a service in the sanctuary at 10:30.

Doesn’t that sound refreshingly normal? But if you stop and think about it, the new normal is as old as this Psalm. Whenever, wherever and in whatever sanctuary you praise our Blessed Creator, Christ and Spirit, good things are bound to happen!

1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!*
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD! (Psalm 150)

In Christ’s Love, Rev. Mark

Guidelines for the Reintroduction of Indoor Worship
at St. John’s United Church of Christ

Adopted at a meeting of the Church and Ministry Committee on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

  • A social distance of at least six feet will be maintained at all times. Families and friends who have come to church together, may sit together maintaining that same distance from other worshippers.
  • Every other pew will be roped off.
  • Wearing face masks is highly recommended.
  • Bulletins will be available on PDF and at both entrances. There will be plates set out for offerings. Hymnals and Bibles may not be used.
  • Ushers will be available for assistance, to light/extinguish candles and ring bells. They will be required to wear masks and gloves.
  • Access to the church is ONLY through the south entrance (wooden doors). Doors will be locked during the worship service.
  • The elevator entrance will be open. The elevator may be used, one person at a time. A family member or friend may ride along. Masks are required.
  • The fellowship room is closed except for access from the elevator. The ramps will also be closed.
  • The two restrooms off the hall to the sanctuary will be available for use. The restrooms below, near Hermann Hall, may also be used.
  • Doors will be propped open before and after the service to limit touch.
  • Worshippers will be dismissed by pews.
  • There will be no nursery during any of our worship services.
  • Rev. Mark Katrick