August 2, 2020 News ABOUT OuR REOPENING
|Beloved St. John’s Community:
We pray this message finds all St. John’s members and their families doing well. We have been in thoughtful prayer and consideration as a Church Council as to how our community moves forward during this time.
We had previously communicated that we were working through a revised COVID-19 policy and a tentative plan for reopening at the end of July. The Council approved a revised policy at the Council meeting on Monday, July 13th, which you can find here (lyonsucc.org/opening). While this policy was amended to reflect the current guidelines issued by the Illinois Conference of the UCC, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Center for Disease Control, our church Council has chosen not to move into the next stage of reopening at this time.
We are aware that this decision may be disappointing to some or a sigh of relief for others – perhaps a combination of each. We want you to be aware that we have spent a great deal of time in both prayer and conversation in an effort to thoughtfully balance multiple challenges and restrictions when considering whether or not to reopen at this time. There are several reasons for this decision, the first and foremost being that worship services will not look the same or what we are used to as a church community. In addition, the percentage of positive tests have not decreased in Illinois at this time. This is a source of great concern for many members that are either vulnerable themselves or have family members that are. Upon polling our membership, we found very few who are willing to return to church out of concerns for their safety and the safety of their families, including members of Council. Lastly, there are significant concerns regarding liability and insurance restrictions that will continue to be a factor of consideration.
In an effort to continue to meet the spiritual needs of our St. John’s community, we are introducing two new opportunities for gathering in an outdoor setting.
1. First Wednesday Evening Vespers: Beginning on September, 2020 at 5:30, we will host our first monthly outdoor Vespers. This will be an opportunity for members to come to the church parking lot for a brief message and prayer time together. Members and guests will be encouraged to remain in their cars. There will be limited and appropriately distanced seating in designated spots in the parking lot (weather permitting & registration may be required). We will send updates with further details as we come closer to this date.
2. Pastor Kim Porch Visits: In an effort to meet the spiritual needs of congregation members, Pastor Kim offered to begin Porch Visits. You may reach her directly through the main church phone number to set up a time for her to visit you at your home outdoors.
Know that indeed, we are not alone, God remains in our midst. This remains a journey of challenges and adaptation for all of our churches across the nation. You may find of interest, a recent webinar hosted by the UCC entitled “Phasing Forward.” It was a panel discussing different church’s experiences and considerations in how and when to return to in-person worship. You can find that webinar here.
At each monthly Council meeting, held on the second Monday of every month, we will continue to assess, adjust and adapt to providing worship in safe and meaningful ways for our entire church community. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to Pastor Kim via email: email@example.com or phone, any member of Council or Council President Beth Johnson via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone. We are open to your suggestions and feedback and we appreciate those that have taken us up on that opportunity to date.
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11-12
St. John’s UCC Church Council
COVID-19 Updates From Pastor Kim
Beloved St. John’s Community:
ABOUT St. John’S UCC
At St. John’s we are actively trying to learn how to BE the Church of Jesus Christ, not just a church building.
Together we aim to follow the leadership of Jesus and make the church a source of help and hope, justice and compassion, education and dialogue in the Lyons and surrounding communities by sharing God’s love of neighbor, children, creation.
This is a time of change and revitalization for St. John’s and we invite you to join us on this comfort-busting, life-giving, spirit-growing, mind-opening journey of Christian faith as we work to create a just world for all! For more information visit: www.lyonsucc.org or visit: The United Church of Christ: www.ucc.org
Our Calendar Of Events
Our Lyons, Illinois Facility remains closed due to COVID-19 through at least August 1, 2020
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