Weekend of Advent IV
December 19, 2021
Dear St. John’s Community,
In recent days we have seen a dramatic increase in the spread of the virus locally. Many feel anxiety about the health risk it poses to us all, especially the most vulnerable. Some may also be feeling anxious about the prospect of the world “closing down” once again.
At St. John’s, our deepest wish is to remain accessible for all our members and guests as fully as possible while minimizing risk. We will be following all CDC, Diocesan and City guidelines while adding sensible practices to enhance safety as we retain the best of in-person worship.
Mask wearing will of course continue for all worship services, and we are going back to requiring masks for all other indoor gatherings as well. We are also reinstating the practice of spacing out seating to every other pew. (We are not going back to assigning seats or limiting attendance at this time.)
We ask that all people who are eligible get vaccinated and boosted as this is the best way to fight the virus individually and communally.
For anybody who does not feel comfortable worshiping in person, we will continue to offer the option to attend services online, including on Christmas Eve when we will livestream two of our three services (the Pageant at 4:30 p.m. and Choral Eucharist at 7 p.m.)
It is important that all people who are experiencing any symptoms of illness please stay home. If you develop symptoms after being at church, or get a positive COVID diagnosis, please let us know.
While we will take these reasonable precautions to reduce risk, there is no such thing as total elimination of risk. This is the reality of life during such times as these.
If, God forbid, we need to go back to mostly or fully remote gatherings, we will adapt as needed.
Please remember that our communal safety practices are a way of showing that we care for one another. My prayer is that together we will welcome the coming of Christ at Christmas this year with the inspiration and joy that Christmas brings regardless of whatever challenges we continue to face. As a community, St. John’s has been exceedingly resilient and creative throughout this entire time, and I appreciate all of you for making this the vibrant and faithful community that it is.