St. Johns Parish Church Johns Island SC

COVID 19

JULY 12th Update - Worship Services Annoucement

WILL RETURN TO ON-LINE WORSHIP ONLY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Dear Saints of St. John’s, Early on in this pandemic, a wise pastor said that the model for the church during this time would have to be an accordion. As we re-open, we are continually evaluating the landscape in our communities. We are now experiencing increasing numbers of Covid-19 and until further notice Sunday Worship Service will continue on-line only.

Please continue to wash your hands thoroughly and often, social distance (at least 6 feet) and wear a mask in public and especially when you are indoors. My prayer for all of you is health and wisdom and that we all make it to other side of this. So, please be wise and please do not letdown your guard now.


MAY 24th, 2020, An Update for St. John's Parish Church

YOU ARE INVITED!
 FEAST OF PENTECOST!
 MAY 31, 2020, 9 AM
 PUBLIC WORSHIP OUTSIDE WALTON HALL
Ascensiontide 2020
May 24, 2020
Dear Saints of St. John's,
This past Thursday was The Feast of the Ascension, which means that the Day of Pentecost is just now a week away. It has now been over two months since we worshipped together in public. Remember, we self-quarantined and self-isolated willingly, to show that we are good neighbors during this pandemic and for the care of and concern for those who are most vulnerable in our community. Even so, we are learning more and more about this coronavirus, Covid-19, and how to be careful even as we re-open our economy and our churches.

I have been in prayer and had numerous consultations with our Bishop, Dean, and other Clergy in our Deanery, as well as the Staff and Vestry of St. John's Parish Church and we feel that we can begin to worship together, if we are patient and long suffering with one another and take precautions.

So, it is with great joy that I invite all who are led, and are able, to come to our first public worship since the pandemic began!

This first public worship service will be held OUTSIDE, in the Walton Hall church yard at 9 am on Sunday morning, May 31 -- the Feast of Pentecost!

The Feast of Pentecost is the day we celebrate the birth of the Church through the falling of the Holy Spirit on all flesh? what a great day to begin our worship together again!

However, this will not be worship as you've ever seen it before. We still need to take precautions even as this virus continues to spread. And, if we see that we are not able as a parish to follow the guidelines as outlined below, then we will have to re-evaluate our public worship. Please keep in mind this dictum from St. Paul (Romans 14:13,17, 18-19).
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother?..17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding."

As determined by your Clergy, Staff, and Vestry, here are the guidelines that must be adhered to "for peace and for mutual upbuilding," even as we worship God in Spirit and Truth. These measures may sound negative and draconian to some, but remember, we are doing this to make our worship together as safe as practicable. Also notice the difference in the use of the words MUST (i.e., no exceptions) and SHOULD or PLEASE in the guidelines. Please read all of these guidelines before prayerfully making the decision to come and worship with us:
GENERAL
  •  If you are sick, please stay home.
  •  If you are considered medically vulnerable, then please consider worshipping with us from home (this service will be live-streamed like the others).
  •  There will be no Sunday School or Nursery available.
If you are unable to physically attend the worship, you may continue to watch it from home, as it will be live-streamed through Facebook as in previous weeks (at 9 am).
  • All families MUST stay together as a unit?no children will be allowed to wander about the church yard. Even if there are families that you see on a regular basis and that you have not been concerned about social distancing from, while on church grounds you must keep your distance from them (as an example, and in solidarity to others, if for no other reason).
     All families/persons MUST maintain a social distance of AT LEAST SIX FEET AT ALL TIMES from other persons or families.
  • You should bring your own mask, if you wish to wear one, although masks will be available. Remember: we wear the masks to protect those around us, out of care for others' health and well-being, and as a sign of solidarity in the Body of Christ.
  • Bathrooms will be open in Walton Hall, but are only there in case of EMERGENCY, and every child MUST be accompanied by an adult into Walton Hall. All doors will be left open, so that handles, doors, etc. will not need to be cleaned after each use. There will be an attendant outside the bathrooms who will be monitoring their use. Only one person/family at a time will be allowed to use the restrooms. There will be signs posted in the bathrooms, as well as cleaning materials and receptacles, on how to thoroughly clean every surface you have touched.

You Must Follow these Directions Explicitly
In case of inclement weather, the worship outdoors will be cancelled and will continue on-line only.

ARRIVAL
There will be a parking attendant as you drive up to Walton Hall. Please tell the parking attendant whether you will be participating as a Drive-Up (staying in the car) or Picnic-style, sitting in lawn chairs (or on a blanket). This will determine where you will be parking.
There will be two options for participating in the worship on the grounds.
1. Drive-up: families may roll down their windows to hear and participate in worship. One adult will be able to leave the car to pick up Communion wafers when the time comes (see below).
2. Picnic-style: Families may bring their own lawn chairs or blanket (chairs and blankets WILL NOT be provided by St. John's), and MUST sit together at all times.
All participants will be encouraged to follow the liturgy on the APP. A limited number of paper bulletins will be available on the same table where Communion wafers will be collected (please take the bulletins home with you).
WORSHIP
  • At the appropriate time (you will be instructed by the worship leader or Celebrant), one adult can approach the table set up for receiving Holy Communion in one kind (i.e., the bread or wafers). (This Communion Bread will have been consecrated beforehand by a priest with sanitized or gloved hands and a mask.) There will be hand sanitizer on the table and you may use this before picking up the baggie containing wafers.
  • There will be two different baggies containing wafers: those containing two (2) wafers and those containing four (4) wafers in each bag. Please take those number and type of bags needed to insure they everybody in your family will have a wafer (wafers may broken in half if you miscount). Each family member will then consume the wafer at the time in the liturgy indicated by the priest/celebrant.
  • Any remaining wafers must be consumed during the worship service at the time of celebration of Holy Eucharist. Even in a baggie, these wafers remain the Body of Christ and should be treated with reverence. They are not to be carried around or saved.
  • There will be no physical passing of the peace?let a wave suffice?maintain the 6 feet social distance at all time. This may be the most difficult thing we will do all day, but we MUST MAINTAIN THE SOCIAL DISTANCING for the sake of everyone's health.
  • There will be no bulletins and no over-heads. You can either print out the worship service and bring it with you or follow along on the APP.
  • SING OUT! This is the beauty of worshipping outside. Although our Bishop has not allowed singing indoors for the time-being, worshipping outdoors allows us to lift our praises to HIM in song.
  • LIFT YOUR HANDS! Give thanks for His provision, presence, and protection!
DEPARTURE
As you depart, please maintain your social distancing. Be patient?be long-suffering?love one another as Christ loves us?
 
 In Christ's love,
 Fr. Greg+
 Rector
A Letter from Archbishop Beach re COVD-19 Click here.
The CDC website provides  a wealth of information about the disease and appropriate steps to take.
March 19, 2020. An Update for St. John’s Parish Church
This Sunday, March 22nd, our service will be held on-line & we hope you will join us!
At 10:30 am, we will LIVE STREAM our service on the PUBLIC Facebook page. Click on this link PUBLIC Facebook page.
 
The 10:30 am service will be the only service on Sunday.
 
We will read God's word, sing together, be encouraged by Fr. Jeremy and  conclude with an Agape meal. We would like for you to participate by  having bread and wine (or grape juice) for a feast that we will share  (virtually) in remembrance of our bonds of unity found in Christ. This  will take the place of our normal Eucharist.
 
Because we will not be able to see individual families celebrating  together, we ask that you take selfie photos of your family sharing the  meal and send it to us at media@stjohnsparish.net. We will post the photos later that afternoon so we can enjoy our fellowship after the fact.
 
The ACNA prayer book will be used and can be downloaded by clicking HERE.
 
Please worship with us, send us prayer requests, and let us praise God  who continues to be good to us even in these difficult times.
 
All Links for LIVE STREAM and BCP2019 can be found on the Home page of St. John’s Website here and from the Mobile App.
 
ST JOHN’S PARISH WEEKLY INFO:
As we are following the practice of social distancing, all Bible study  groups, Sunday school classes, youth groups & all small groups are  postponed. This includes office angel volunteers, AA, NA, Cub & Boy  scouts, Island Quilters, Respite Care, Men’s Breakfast, DHC, Monday  morning tellers, praise band practice, voice choir practice, flower  power crew, Ladies of Cheer, altar guild, nursery, etc.
Clergy & staff are working from home until further notice. Please  email us if you need anything and with prayer requests. We will continue  to send email blasts to keep everyone up-to-date on services, etc.
Fr. Greg – frgreg@stjohnsparish.net
Fr. Jeremy – frjeremy@stjohnsparishchurch.net
Agnes – agnes@stjohnsparish.ney
Walt – wmiller@stjohnsparish.net
Rob – rob@stjohnsparish.net
 
In an effort to continue your pledging, please click on the link and you will be directed to our giving page. Giving to St. John's
 
If you prefer using the USPS, please mail your pledge/donation to:
St. John’s Parish Church, PO Box 125, Johns Island 29457

A Letter from St. John’s Parish Church Clergy and Staff

Dear Saints of St. John's,

Grace and Peace to you!
As to the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19, the landscape has changed markedly over the last few days, and we would like to make you aware of some changes and concerns and postponements that we have authorized going forward. The World Health Organization has recently declared the coronavirus Covid-19 a pandemic. That means that we are in a very different mode of combatting its spread than even a few days ago.

When I (Fr. Greg+) was in my early twenties and working as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, I had the occasion of working as a firefighter on a blaze that threatened the ranch. To my surprise, one of the most effective ways of stopping the fire was not the dousing of a blaze already raging (which could be fraught with danger to the firefighter), but was the building of fire-breaks, spaces cleared of burnable material away from the current blaze and in advance of the rapidly moving fire. Although the chopping down of trees and clearing of ground cover appeared destructive, it saved many more acres of forest than were destroyed in the clearing. This was not done out of fear, but out of wise and prudent management. What we are recommending, and mandating in some cases, are ways to build "fire-breaks" around the spread of the virus. And we do this not out of fear, but out of love of our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those most vulnerable to the virus, and a love for all of humanity.
In light of rapidly changing health statistics relative to the spread and mortality of the virus, updates from ACNA, WHO, and other public health experts, Archbishop Foley Beach has issued this directive:  "Due to the possibility of the spread of the coronavirus, those individuals over age 60 and anyone who is 'immune compromised' should consider worshipping at home on Sundays until further notice. Anyone with any symptoms of cold/flu should stay home and self-quarantine. Anyone who has travelled in any affected area of this country, or another country with an outbreak, must stay home and self-quarantine."

Meetings on the Church Premises
Effective immediately, all Sunday School classes, bible studies, missions meetings, small groups, youth groups, ministry partners, etc. will no longer be meeting on the church premises. The only gatherings will be, at least for now, on Sunday mornings for worship. You will shortly be receiving instructions on how to meet virtually with your small groups. We encourage you to make every effort to meet together on-line, but not in person for the short term. Remember we are building a fire-break.

Sunday Worship
Until further notice, Holy Communion is now to be administered using the Bread only. All who handle and administer the bread and Body of Christ are to privately sanitize their hands before handling (following CDC recommendations on hand-washing), and are not to touch the face or mouth during the celebration or administration of Holy Communion. Again, we are not taking this step out of fear, but for solidarity in the Body of Christ and to respect the whole range of ethical decisions that each of us will have to make in regard to this.

The Passing of the Peace by physical contact is to be omitted. We are asking parishioners to greet one another with a wave of the hand or verbal greeting with no touch.
We will also not be passing the offering plate. The offering plates will be placed at the entrance to the church and we hope that all parishioners will continue to give generously during this time of great need.

Self-Care
Please stay tuned to what is being reported locally and in the state of South Carolina, in respect to the outbreak. Follow their guidelines. Remember, this is not about us; it is about caring for the sheep. Coronavirus.gov is where you stay updated from the CDC and the government recommendations to keep our people and families safe. If you are experiencing symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, or difficulty breathing) which are in concert with those of the coronavirus, you can contact MUSC.care for a free telehealth assessment.

As from the beginning of this outbreak, one of the most effective ways of protecting yourself is by washing your hands thoroughly and covering your cough or sneeze when out in public. One parishioner has recommended that we all say the Lord's Prayer (that takes about 20 seconds) as we wash our hands with soap and warm water.

Daily Pastoral Care Within the Body of Christ
One of our greatest concerns during this time of crisis and needful separation is the possible onset of a sense of isolation and/or depression. We do not want anyone to feel that they are alone. Please contact Fr. Greg (843-367-3342) or Fr. Jeremy (843-364-9381) if you just need to talk or have somebody pray with you. You can call us or send us text messages of particular prayer concerns, or we can even Facetime (see one another visually by phone) if that will help.
Walt Miller, our Community Pastor, is developing a phone care-list for pastoral care, so that everyone who is at risk can be contacted routinely to ensure that all are faring well during this crisis.
For those who are 'immune compromised' or just feel that it would not be wise for them to go out, we are setting up teams of people to shop for you or run errands for you, or drive you to a doctor's appointment. You can contact Walt Miller (843-469-7105) if you need help in this regard. Please do not see this as an imposition?we bless God each time we exhibit the love and caring of the Body of Christ in this. We are indeed One Body.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
We love you and pray that this pandemic will lead to further strengthening of the Body of Christ and give all of us a strong desire to worship together, and make worship more central in our lives, once this crisis has passed.

 The Clergy and Staff of St. John's Parish Church
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