June 4th, 2020

Hello everyone,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is my prayer that you are all keeping well during this time we are living.
The church is slowly starting to re-open again. As public gatherings are allowed, no pressure will be placed on anyone to participate in person. People may want to attend worship services as they are comfortable.
From Sunday, the 7th of June 2020, you will be able to attend the worship service again. Unfortunately, we will not be allowed to have you all back into the sanctuary at once as gatherings are still limited to only 50 people or less. The Worship Service will still be broadcast live as what we have been doing since about 2009.

The following guidelines will be used and put into place when people come to church on a Sunday:

Arriving at St Johns
1. The Automatic door will be functioning, but the next set of doors will be prompt open.
2. All people attending the Service, will need to register as we are by the Government to keep a detailed register of all people attending.
3. Inside the narthex will be two hand sanitizing station available to clean your hands.
4. People are asked to please use mask when arriving at church and for the duration of the service.
5. Use of washrooms are limited to one person at a time and must be cleaned regularly.
6. No printed bulletins will be handed out.

The Sanctuary
1. The pews are marked with blue and yellow tape. We as Presbyterian Congregation will be using the yellow marked pews and the Lutherans, who are now meeting at 9am, will be using the blue marked pews.
2. The seating in the pews have been rearranged to accommodate physical distancing requirements and reduce crowding.
3. Congregational singing is to be discouraged but Soloists and instrumental music are alternatives to consider in lieu of congregational singing.
4. Offering plates care placed at the entrance into the sanctuary and people asked to place their offering upon entering or exiting.
5. All the Bibles and Book of Praise have been removed from the pews. All the Bible Readings and Hymns/Songs will be projected on the screens.

Holy Communion
1. The communion elements are prepared in a hygienic way and environment. This includes limiting the number of people who handle the elements.
2. The elements for Holy Communion, (Bread and Grape Juice) are placed on tables at the back of the Sanctuary and provides ample space between each portion, for worshippers to take.
3. Worshippers may choose to refrain from receiving communion in good conscience and without judgment.
4. A basket or table will be provided at the side(s) of the sanctuary where worshippers may leave their cups after drinking.

Departures
1. Doors will be opened to reduce contact with door handles.
2. People are encouraged to leave the building rather than mingling.
3. Until further notice, there will be no Coffee served after the service.

I wish to thank you all for your kindness and love that you do show to us, to one another and to your neighbours. I also wish to say thank you to all who regularly visit with us on a Sunday morning and people following us on the Internet. Since we have started to broadcast the Sunday morning’s service to multiple platforms, we have noticed that there were people watching the online services.

We have also successfully launched our Midweek Gatherings via Zoom and are pleased to report that several people have joined us online. It is certainly a new experience for all of us and it is our do hope that it may encourage you during this period of isolation. If you have not yet joined us on Wednesdays, we would like to invite you doing so. Just send us a request that you want to join to [email protected] or [email protected] and we will send you an invite to join us.

Maybe there are some of your friends that want to follow the service on Sundays. Invite your friends to go to our website at www.saint-johns.ca/ and watch the service with us. Help them to navigate the website, sharing with them how they should scroll down to live video feed, click on the tab which will redirect you to the live service. The quality of the video is also much better since you livestream to YouTube.
We are pleased to have the revamped Website running. It looks a lot different. Some needed updates have been made. Thanks to Rubert Jack helping us doing it!

If you need prayer, please contact Rev. Willem or an elder.
At this stage all other activities are still suspended indefinite, but regular worship services will continue using the electronic media, streaming the Sunday Worship Service live on the Internet. If you know people that don’t have Internet, you could also tell them that we also broadcast live on FM 89.3. As said earlier, we are looking for new ways we can serve you. The church will stay open for any questions and serve as a way to keep in contact with you.

We also would like to thank you for your generosity and contributions. Thank you for mailing your offerings to the church or dropping it through the mail slot at the door next to the Memorial Garden.
Once again, and as always, we want to thank you for your understanding and support. Let us all pray that the day will arrive sooner than later that we will be able to worship together. Till that time, let us all persist through our prayers that the will of God be done and that He will protect and heal our people from this disease. We belong to Christ; we will rise again.

Blessings
Pastor Willem