8-27-21 UPDATED COVID PROTOCOLS: FROM PASTOR PAUL
PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS per St. John EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Out of an abundance of caution and with heartfelt care for all our friends and members, but especially the immunocompromised, the unvaccinated (particularly the children), and any who may otherwise be susceptible to COVID19/DELTA, the St. John Wellness Team, under the auspices of our St. John Council, has updated protocols moving forward for all worship and service at St. John, and, until further notice, has SUSPENDED WITH COFFEE/FELLOWSHIP before Sunday church and after funerals, CONTINUED WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING, and MANDATED THE WEARING OF MASKS for all who gather to worship, study, and work at St. John. Let us do this selflessly for the sake of neighbor, and may we suffer this even joyfully in order to be the good neighbor - the love of Christ we proclaim and the person of Christ we follow insisting that his Word (and Way) become flesh in all of us, whatever cross may stand in our path.
We are not called of Christ to follow his Way in word only as some cerebral exercise, giving lip-service to his unconditional regard, but in action and in deed, understanding that faith without works may very well be dead. This is not, I assure you, a political pitch. Politicians know that musing and talking is always safer than acting and doing. Having heard God’s Word in scripture, we may opt to ask, “Now, how could that have happened?” or “Now let me think about that.” But Scripture doesn’t just want to be understood, it longs to be put into action. Jesus doesn’t just want to be heard, he wants to be trusted… and so obeyed, as Jesus himself obeyed the Father: “Not my will, but your will be done.” Wearing a mask, again, after so many months “mask-less” may well feel like a heavy cross to bear. Guessing, personally, that wearing a mask is a lot less excruciating than being crucified, I’d prefer, personally, to wear the thing (mask) sans the grumbling; I’d prefer to wear it with humility, with gratitude. Is this not the least I (we) can do? Indeed, this is a choice I, your Pastor, am grateful to make. A theological choice formed by faith, with no politics in sight. Please, with faith, patience, and good cheer, join me, and tell anyone you may know who might miss this missive. And let’s all remember that anything we may do for the good of the children must certainly be pleasing to Christ, who said, “Let the little ones come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such as these belongs the kingdom of God.” If for no other reason, one should think, suspending with what freedoms we may have to do whatever we want, we might all agree to engage the freedom Christ gives us to do those things that we ought. We can freely choose to wear a mask for them, if we will.
Please also know that worship service videos at St. John are also available via St. John’s Website: www.stjohnlutheran.net and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/StJohnAmericanLutheranChurchSF