July 22, 2020
Dear Members of St. John’s Church,
It has been brought to our attention that a group of hikers staying at the pavilion tested positive for coronavirus. In these uncertain times, the safety and well-being of our members and the community is topmost on our minds. We have been prayerfully discussing options to continue to worship together and to keep everyone safe. We have posted signs advising that the pavilion is closed and had the police put yellow tape around it to discourage anyone from staying there. However, there is no plausible way to stop the hikers from continuing to use it. To that end, the consistory met to discuss alternatives for holding services. At this time, due to Governor Wolf’s orders, we cannot meet in our church building. We have few other options other than having on-line services. Unfortunately, many members of our congregation do not have access to that. After careful consideration and much discussion, we have decided to continue services at the pavilion for the time being.
We have some rules that we ask everyone to follow so that we can continue to worship together safely. They are as follows:
We seriously considered removing the potty. However, we decided that removing it would be more detrimental than keeping it. Hikers continue to use the Appalachian Trail and stop in Port Clinton. Without the potty there, they may just use the great outdoors around the picnic grove to take care of their business. That could be more dangerous than having a contained place to use. So, for the moment, we have decided to keep the potty at the pavilion. We will sanitize the potty both before and after church services.
- Please remain in your vehicle at all times
- If you must leave your vehicle, wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines of 6 feet apart.
- Do not use the port-a-potty unless absolutely necessary. We have no way of knowing who has used it or if they were sick.
- If you must use the potty, sanitize your hands before entering and upon leaving. Hand sanitizer will be available.
- Use the wipes we have provided to clean the potty when you are done.
There was also discussion about what to do in case of rain since Pastor Amy can no longer use the pavilion for shelter. If we have inclement weather in Port Clinton, we will activate the phone chain to let everyone know that church is cancelled. If you have not provided a number where you can be reached and you wish to be on the phone chain, please let Pastor Amy or any consistory member know where you can be reached and you will be added to the list.
The situation with the pandemic is constantly changing. For the foreseeable future we will be having services at the pavilion. The church leaders will continue to meet and discuss the situation. We will try our best to keep you informed of changes as they come. As mentioned previously, if you need to update your contact information, please inform someone on consistory or contact Pastor Amy at 570-617-5461. You may also send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are difficult times for everyone. If you are able, please continue to support our church with your weekly offerings and monetary donations so that we can continue to function to the best of our ability given these unusual circumstances. We may not be able to meet in our church building, but we still must maintain it and pay the bills. Thank you for your donations of both time and money that have kept the church functioning so far. We continue to pray for our members and the surrounding communities to stay healthy and safe.
If you need Pastoral care, please contact Pastor Amy at the above-mentioned phone number or email address.
God Bless You,
Pastor Amy Jo Kirkpatrick
St. John’s Consistory
ST. John's Church 150 Years
150th Anniversary Celebration on 12/2/18
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