FAQ's FOR IN PERSON CHURCH SERVICE  

Welcome!  Beginning Sunday morning, October 11th, 9:30am, St. John’s will begin to re-enter for in-person in the sanctuary.  The service on October 11th will be a ‘soft-opening,’ or ‘trial-run’ to see how everything goes.  We thank you for following the safety precautions of wearing masks, maintaining physical distance with non-family members, and calling ahead to the church (419-332-7341) during the week before to express your intention of gathering for in-person worship.  Below are some explanations to potentially some of your questions.

Questions or Concerns

I’d like to come to this 9:30am worship service.  What do I do?

The first step would be to pray about it and talk it over with family/friends.  (Please, do not skip this step.)  Please use your best judgment especially considering your own personal health, the health of loved ones around you, and so on.  Then, call the church office, 419-332-7341, indicating your desire to attend the worship service for the upcoming Sunday morning, indicating how many people you would bring to worship with you that particular upcoming Sunday.  Masks will be required for our time of worship together.

 

Will children meet for Sunday School in the Parish House?

At this time, no in-person Sunday School for children or adults in the Parish House is occurring.  Faith formation materials will be distributed for use in homes and online for young people.  If you would like any of these materials, please contact our church office, 419-332-7341.

 

Why do I need to call ahead during the week to attend worship on Sunday morning?

Calling ahead will give our staff and leadership a sense of how best to prepare the sanctuary space for worship so that everyone can gather safely and physically distanced.  Certainly, no one desires to turn anyone away from gathering for worship.  We’ll certainly do our best to accommodate one another.  At the same time, physical distancing is important for everyone’s safety.  If more than 100 people called expressing their desire to attend worship, the pastor would be notified and pastoral conversation would be offered, seeking to develop some satisfactory arrangement and understanding with ones desiring to attend (perhaps a waiting list). 

Calling ahead also gives our staff and leadership a working list of who we would need to contact in case an attendee on a Sunday morning later discovered they had tested positive for COVID-19.  (i.e. Contact tracing)

 

What if I desire to attend a worship service, but am unable to attend on October 11th?

Our plan is to continue to worship together in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings together as long as it is safe enough to do so.  For safety purposes, the possibility certainly exists that we would need to cancel these in-person worship services together at some point if confirmed cases in our county escalated, our county escalated to a Level Red, etc.

 

 

Where is our Confirmation class meeting?

Faith formation classes for confirmation-aged youth (7th and 8th graders) will begin the year of learning together over Zoom/online.  We’ll continue to gather for confirmation online as long as need be.  Please contact our church office if you have questions.

 

Are other circles or ministry teams, events, etc., happening within the church’s facility? 

Other than ones preparing to offer music/leadership for worship, other teams, circles, etc., are not meeting in the church’s facility as of yet.  Facility usage coincides with the need to clean everything (chairs, tables, doors, hallways, bathrooms, etc.) before and after teams would gather.  Teams and circles are certainly encouraged to continue to be in faithful, prayerful conversation with each other over the phone, mailings, internet access, and so forth.

 

What about the regular worship times at St. John’s before the pandemic (Thursday night, 7pm and Sunday mornings, 8:00am and 10:30am)?

Eventually, when things are safe enough and an increased number of people in our congregational life feel safe enough to return to in-person worship indoors, our leadership has every intention of returning to the regular flow of worship schedules for one another (Thursday nights and Sunday mornings).  We hope the 9:30am worship service is a good step toward returning to regular worship times.

 

Is the Parish House open during the day in case I need to drop something off or pick something up?

Some of our staff is working from their offices in the Parish House.  However, our offices are not open during the days as of yet.  Appointments can be made though by calling the church office. 

 

Why are we switching locations from the auditorium to the sanctuary?

Our church’s original plan for gathering for in-person worship called for gathering in the auditorium, which provides for a flexible space for worship set-up, cleaning, etc.  At the time the plan was adopted, we were heading into the warm, summer months (June through August).  With no air conditioning in the sanctuary, wearing masks for worship in the sanctuary could have become a health concern with the heat.  Now that we are heading into cooler months, gathering in the sanctuary while wearing masks is easier to handle. 

Offering one worship service on Sunday morning limits the need for cleaning as our staff will close off the sanctuary for the duration of rest of the week.  Closing off the sanctuary for the rest of the week will give ample time for the virus to die off if it somehow had spread onto surfaces in the sanctuary.

 

What if I arrive for worship and realize that I forgot to bring my mask?

We will have extra masks on hand to give to ones who arrive without wearing a mask.  No need to return the mask.  You can take it with you.

 

Is it really safe enough to sing as a whole congregation right now?

Sadly, it is not safe enough to sing in large gatherings.  Our liturgy will be adapted in order to make for safety.  Attendees in worship are asked not to sing.  Other forms of music will be shared in our time of worship together.  The bell choir, soloists, pipe organ, etc. will help channel our thanks and praise to God in worship.

 

What if I don’t feel safe enough to return to in-person worship?

That’s perfectly understandable and okay.  We will continue to live-stream our worship services over Facebook Live and post materials on our church’s website (stjohns-fremont.org) and Facebook page.  For ones with limited or no internet access, we will continue to send out mailings with devotional materials and sermon manuscripts, etc.  Please contact our church’s office if you have any questions about receiving these materials via the mail.

Questions or Concerns

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the church office who will forward your request to the appropriate person.