Expanding In-Person Worship Letter

March 18, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

I am excited to be able this week to announce that Saint John’s Church will be expanding in-person worship in a deliberate and phased approach beginning the weekend of March 21. As a first step, we will be adding a second in-person worship option for Sundays: the 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist.

Along with the lay leadership and staff, I want to welcome back parishioners and invite visitors into our treasured church on Sundays for our second service of the day. This mass is accompanied by the organ and four well-distanced singers, uplifting us in the very special way that only music can enrich our worship. At this time, no congregational singing is permitted.

The 10 a.m. Sunday service, and all events in the main worship space, are limited to the attendance of no more than fifty. This number is exclusive of the altar party, musicians and AV teams in the balcony, which remain around ten or fewer persons.

In the days ahead, we will also be sharing more information about all the amazing Holy Week and Easter services the staff has planned. Some will be online only, others in-person only, and many offered in both methods of participation. Reservations will open at the time that the events are published in church emails.

Coming together as a community, lifting prayers and sharing the Holy Eucharist…these are fundamental aspects of our lives together and followers of Christ. With guidance of the Diocese, and in consideration of the novel coronavirus numbers declining in Tulsa, we are taking this next step toward opening up with joy and humility. As YOU feel ready and feel safe to return to in person worship, know that we are being as careful as possible at Saint John’s Church.

We will continue to employ safety practices as we gather, including limiting seating at each event, offering generous spacing in the pews, requiring mask wearing, taking temperatures at the reservation check-in stand, sanitizing high-touch areas, and other measures to keep our parishioners, visitors and staff as safe as we can.

But remember, this is still a time to proceed with care. If you have not received your full dose of virus vaccine, think about joining us online only until your vaccine is fully effective. And of course, if you or any household member are feeling unwell, please rest up and wait to join us in a couple of weeks.

And if you do not feel this is the right time for you or your family to come back into the church, know that is okay! When you join us online for the sharing of the sacraments, you are still participating fully and with our community.

We encourage you to follow updates on our website and through our email communications, where you will find the latest news of when each additional ministry or aspect of our church life will resume or expand. At this time, and for the immediate future, you must register for each event or service you desire to attend, so that we do not exceed our safe capacity maximum. Look for invitation emails from the church office to RSVP. You can also call or email Diana Carter directly to register.

If you have children, please communicate with our staff about your interest in nursery services. While nursery services will not be available during the initial phase of reopening, understanding the level of interest will help us to prepare for the future time when the family option can again safely be made available.

As the virus situation in Tulsa continues to improve, we will look toward resuming small groups, so please watch for updates in our e-news and on the website. It may take many more months, but we will return to normal routines and activities in the life of our beloved church.

In the building or participating from home, God is continuing to weave us together in a community of love and discipleship. Thank you for your continued support of Saint John’s Church and all you do outside her walls to spread the love of God and the lessons of his son, Jesus.

Yours in Christ,

Father David+