Church Reopening Guidelines

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
 
Over the last few months, we have been able to learn a lot in reopening both our church and school. We thank all of you for your patience and continued attendance both in worship and our online bible studies. With the reopening of the school, we face a new set of challenges to ensure the safety of our children and staff. As a congregation we have stated openly, many times, that the school is one of our main missions at St. James.
 
To continue to protect this mission and the lives of our most vulnerable members, we will be making some minor changes moving forward. Starting on August 29, masks will be required at all worship services at St. James Lutheran Church. This will also extend to all staff, volunteers, and visitors not in their own offices by themselves. If you do not have a mask on arrival, you will be provided one by an elder or greeter. The benefits of adopting this policy far outweigh the downside. The downside is we, as individuals, do not want to wear a mask. The upside is we can start to pursue options for larger services as well as in-person Bible studies, Sunday school, board meetings, church groups (i.e. quilters, choir, bell choir, etc.), and other ministry opportunities. At the heart of all that we do is Jesus’s command to love one another. In viewing things through our neighbors’ eyes, we discover that we have several members and visitors to St. James falling into high-risk categories for Covid-19. It is therefore our communal responsibility to watch out for and, to the best of our abilities, include them safely in worship and life in the church.  
 
With this new requirement in place, we will be reopening some of our church facilities to church groups starting on August 31. If you have a church group, board, or Bible study group that would like to meet at St. James, please go to http://www.stjameslaf.org/calendars/ChurchRoomRequest.cfm and submit a church event room request form. The only room available at this time is the fellowship hall (except for during church services). We ask that your group not exceed 15 people. All participants must wear a mask for the duration of your meeting. As the organizer of your group, you will also be responsible for cleaning and wiping down all of the surfaces that were used for your group (chairs, tables, light switches, etc.).  
 
Once again, thank you for your continued support of St. James Lutheran Church and School. We are excited to begin exploring more opportunities to fellowship in person. With your help, we can ensure a safe environment for all to participate.
 
In Christ,
David French, Senior Pastor
Christopher Rowan, President