St. John’s Closure Information

Jan 2, 2021

Important Notices:
At the direction of Donegal Presbytery’s Leader Team and COM (Connecting Our Ministries Commission), the church building will remain closed, with no in-person meetings or activities taking place until further notice. Worship will remain online until further notice.

At their May 18 meeting, the Session established a Task Force for Reopening to develop a detailed plan for reopening the church building to in-person activities, once we are safely able to do so. The task force met to begin that process, and they will be meeting again to continue. The regular updates provided by the Task Force are available below:
Task Force Letter to the Congregation #1 — June 1
Task Force Letter to the Congregation #2 — June 21

On Friday 28 August, the Session formally approved the Task Force’s plan for reopening the church building and resuming in-person gatherings. The plan has been sent to Presbytery and is awaiting their approval. Once we have Presbytery’s approval, we will share the plan with the congregation. This plan does not state when in-person worship will resume, but rather outlines the practices that will have to be followed whenever in-person gatherings do resume.

At its meeting on Monday September 14, the Session approved a proposal by the Task Force to begin holding outdoor worship services on Sunday, September 27 at 11:00 AM. This will simply be an in-person version of the online service, with a few changes that were explained in an email message sent on Sunday 16 September. The Task Force and Session felt that this step addresses the desire to worship together as a church family, while minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in a way that we cannot yet do indoors. We have held these outdoor services since then as the weather has allowed, and it was safe to do so, but as we move into the winter months, it is less likely that we can continue. We will still be providing online worship.

We want to stress that this does not mean that we will automatically be moving indoors when it gets too cold to worship outside. The Task Force continues to monitor the data related to COVID-19 cases in Chester County and will respond in a way that ensures the safety of our congregation and community. We will worship outdoors for as long as we can, and then the Task Force will make a recommendation to Session based on the data.

As you may know, a statewide order from Governor Wolf went into effect on 16 July requiring those capable of working remotely to once again do so. Accordingly, Lara went back to working remotely and will not be physically present in the church office. She is available by email and is checking the church’s voicemail messages throughout the day. We are still asking that you email rather than stopping by the church. If there is a reason that you must physically enter the church building, please email Lara to schedule a time, so that we can ensure proper distancing is observed (also, masks must be worn). Thank you for helping keep our church staff safe and healthy!

Online Worship Service Videos

Links to view our online worship service videos may now be found on the Online Worship page, and that page may also be opened from the Resources menu

Recent News

Important COVID-19 updates

Given the substantial rise in COVID-19 cases and the highly-contagious nature of the omicron variant, St. John's will be taking the following precautions effective immediately: Our worship will remain in person with a livestream option. Services will be shorter in...

St. John’s COVID Task Force Update

Four medical-grade air purifiers have been purchased for use in the sanctuary, and two for the children’s rooms on the lower level starting this Sunday, November 21. Given the increasing level of COVID transmission in Chester County, we continue to ask that all...

Congregational Care

In our ongoing effort to keep our church family connected in this time apart, we will be providing regular updates on pastoral care needs in the life of our church. If you have a pastoral care concern that you would like to have included in next Sunday's email and/or...

Pastoral Update

As we shared in an email and letter, the Session has approved a medical leave of absence for Pastor Patrick, beginning Wednesday, November 10, and lasting up to 90 days. If you were unable to attend any of the Q&A session, feel free to reach out to any of our Elders...