Dear Members of Our St. James Family,
History tends to repeat itself. We have seen this in our own church history. Martin Luther addressed "physical distancing" in a letter dealing with the 1527 bubonic plague: Let us "[not] tempt God by exposing oneself to contagion" … Let us "warn against the over-bold who scorn ordinary precautions against contagion, thus tempting God, who has created medicine and given us the intelligence to care for our bodily health".
The church council met on Monday evening, December 7th, and made the decision that it is time, for us as God’s people, to once again gather together in-person for worship to bring healing, encouragement, and strength to our congregation and community. Our hope is that the guidelines we have established will make our members feel comfortable and safe to return to in-person worship. In order to allow our members to gather for worship in a safe and healthy environment, we will implement the following practices:
- Seating will be every other pew.
- We ask that everyone wear a mask at all times when entering our church building, and while sitting in worship. We feel this will encourage and comfort all of our members. If you are not willing to wear a mask during the service, please continue to worship with us online.
- If you are not comfortable coming back to worship in-person at this time, please continue to worship with us online.
- If you are not feeling well or are running a temperature, please stay home and continue to worship with us online.
These practices will begin on Sunday, December 13
, at our normal worship times of 8:15 am and 10:45 am and remain in place for all services through December 31st. No in-person Sunday School, Midweek, or Confirmation classes will be held until January. Our last Advent Midweek worship service will be on Wednesday, December 16th, at 6:30 pm
. All are welcome!
We have adjusted our Christmas Eve worship schedule. Three services will be held at 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 9:00 pm.
If you wish to attend, please contact the church office to reserve seating for your family. New Year’s Eve service will be conducted at 5:30 pm on December 31st.
On January 4, 2021, the Council will reconvene to review our procedures, area and community Covid infection status, and see how things are going for us.
We look forward to seeing you at worship once again. Our hope is that the guidelines put in place will make many of you feel comfortable and safe to attend services. However, if you are still uncertain about returning to in-person worship, please continue to worship with us online, request a DVD recording of the services, or call the office and ask for a paper copy of the service to be mailed to you.
As our Michigan District President, Pastor David Maier, reminds us...
** Congregational members should be gentle with one another as they begin to gather respecting and honoring the relative comfort level of other members. ** Do not let Satan have a foothold and try to divide us.
In His Service,
St. James Council