(920) 733-1307 church.office@stjohn-appleton.org Worship Services: Sundays - 8:00, 10:00 am  Mondays - 6:30 pm

RETURN TO PUBLIC WORSHIP

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” These are the words of David that begin the 122nd Psalm. We pray that this too is your reaction as you look at your worship life. While we are excited to see each other and worship together in person once again, we also want everyone to be safe and feel comfortable while doing so.  You as individual Christians will need to make the very personal decision about whether or not it is worth the perceived risks to attend worship in public at this time. No matter what decision you make at this time, you will not be looked-down upon or criticized.  This is our plan going forward indefinitely. The council will regularly revisit this plan, make adjustments accordingly, and communicate those changes to you in a timely manner.  if you have any comments or concerns, please contact one of the Pastors or any members of the council.

Due to Governor Evers newest mask mandate, everyone (except those with medical conditions) attending our worship services are encouraged to wear masks (although they are not required to attend worship, nor will we be the enforcer of these rules).  We will maintain social distancing at Church as well as continuing our sanitizing plan between services.  We have already heard from some of you.  Even though we’d like to see everyone in person, if you are uncomfortable wearing a mask for worship or are not yet comfortable worshiping in person, you can watch our service on our YouTube channel or Facebook Page.  Please contact us if you have any questions or comments. 

Please know that our gracious God is still in control of all things. He uses all things to serve his good purpose. It is our prayer that the Lord continue to draw us close to himself as we trust his promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Be well!

In His Service,

Pastor Mark Gartner

Pastor Andrew Frey

Covid-19 Worship Policies

Those who have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and watch our service online. Those who are at high risk of serious illness are encouraged to stay home and watch our service online Those who are uncomfortable attending services at this time are encouraged to stay home and watch our service online. You are welcome to wear a mask, but they are not required.

We are offer two services on Sunday morning at 8:00 and 10:30 am, and Monday evenings at 6:30 pm. The 8:00 am Sunday service will continue to be live streamed on our Youtube page and the worship folder will continue to be posted online. You can also find our worship service on our Facebook Page each Sunday following the 8:00 am service. The number of worshipers by service will be limited to around 75 people. We are asking everyone to sign up to attend a service so that people can see and will know how many people are going to be attending a certain service. Please sign-up by clicking the box on the front page of our website: www.stjohn-appleton.org. If you are unable to sign-up online, please call Church, and we’ll sign-up for you. It’s our hope and prayer that it won’t happen, but if you’re ever diagnosed as having COVID-19 and you've attended in-person worship, please inform us ASAP so that we can in turn inform those members who may have been in contact with you (we do not plan on using any names, but only speak in generalities). Please let us know the dates and times of any services you’ve attended. We do not plan on sharing this information directly with the CDC or local health departments. We would try to do any “contact tracing” in-house.

Every other row of pews will be closed, ensuring six feet of distance between members. One household will be allowed per pew or, in the case of one or two individuals per household, as many as they can comfortably seat as long as proper distance is maintained. The Church Council has decided to remove the ropes for the first few pews of the lectern side of the sanctuary. If you have already had Covid or you are not wanting to wear a mask, we would ask that you consider sitting in these front pews in order to free up space for others. People deciding to sit in these “unrestricted” pews should use their own good judgment on social distancing. We hope that, with enough worshipers sitting in this section, it will leave enough space in the rest of the sanctuary for everyone else to socially distance. Please remember that your comfort level may be quite different from that of your brothers and sisters in Christ. In addition to protecting yourself, please respect the health and feelings of your neighbors. Out of Christian love, please don’t do things that could make them uncomfortable. Ushers or other church leaders will not be policing or enforcing these policies. For example, if members from different families are mutually comfortable sitting closer than 6 feet, that’s not for our church leadership to forbid. Neither will they be the ones to enforce mask wearing.

Hand sanitizer will be available at the doors. High contact surfaces (like pews and door handles) will be disinfected after every service. All items are removed from the pews—hymnals, bibles, pew registers, pencils, and pamphlets—and will not be used for some time. Those who are accustomed to following along in hymnals can use one of the hymnals found in the rack in the back of Church and are asked to return them to the rack when they are done. The entire Worship service will be printed in the worship folder. Worship folders will be single-use only. Please take the worship folder home with you when you leave. An offering will not be collected during the service. Instead, a box will be placed in the entryway for you to support the gospel ministry at St. John and elsewhere. You are also encouraged to make use of our electronic giving opportunities available on our website. We will also be in need of volunteers to clean the church between services. If you are interested in volunteering, please do so when you sign-up for a particular worship service.

There will be no hand shaking before (or after) the service. Greeters will not be present as you enter into the sanctuary to welcome you or shake your hand. Doors will be propped open on nice days and opened by a council member on other days.

Communion will be offered on our regular Sundays—the first and last Sunday of each month. Those who do not wish to commune or are not comfortable communing at this time are free not to come up for the Lord’s Supper. If you wish to receive Communion privately from one of the Pastors, please contact one of the Pastors to set up a time. The Altar Guild will wear masks and properly sanitize their hands when they prepare the elements for Communion. Pastors will sanitize their hands before each table. The wafers will be placed in a flat hand; the pastors will be careful not to touch your hand as they distribute communion. The common cup will not be used for a time. The communion tray for individual cups will be filled with spaces between cups so that you do not touch other cups. Communicants will line up in front of the first pew, standing on the marks on the floor. Communicants will be ushered up from both sides up the middle aisle and will go back to their pews using the side aisle of the side they are sitting on.

Pastors will not shake hands but will greet people as they exit the church. To help with social distancing, worshipers will be ushered from the back first and asked to exit out the side aisles in order to prevent a large group of people from gathering in the middle aisle.

Bible Classes are being held in person, but each class is being recorded in order to be sent to those who can't attend. Please contact one of the Pastors in order to have the materials emailed to you. Both the Mens and Ladies (or LWMS) studies are being held at this time.

Questions?

We are here to serve you! Please reach out to us and we'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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