If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:1-5 NRSV)
At the writing of this article, Northampton County is currently in the Green Phase of Governor Wolf’s plan to combat COVID-19. Our church is following the advice of the CDC, PA Department of Health, the ELCA and other ecumenical partners as we gather. Following these guidelines ensures that, in humility, we look to the interests of others. They are meant for the sake of everyone’s health and safety. We, as a church, can set a positive example for the larger community.
I had hopes that by August we could begin to hold our Saturday evening services in the nave. This was not meant to be as cases continue to rise and the PA Department of Health has restricted indoor gatherings to no more than 25 people. As disappointing as this is, the church leadership has decided to follow this restriction and not meet in large groups indoors.
There are many restrictions placed on our worship experience together upon entering the sanctuary. We are working through those procedures and will inform you of those plans as they become clear. We are discussing procedures for seating such as being ushered to your pew, seating people from the front to the back, dismissing people from the back to the front, and using the Shepherd’s Room for overflow. These procedures will work to maintain proper physical distance.
Once we are indoors, ventilation is important to lower the risk of infection. During indoor worship, the plan is to turn on the exhaust fans in the kitchen and the fellowship hall and open the windows in the nave along Prospect Street to draw air through.
It is our plan to begin celebrating the Lord’s Supper once again on August 2nd, provided the supplies arrive in time. We will be using pre-filled communion sets. The grape juice and the wafer are prepackaged by the manufacturer into a communion cup that is double-sealed. The first seal when opened exposes the wafer. The second seal exposes the juice. When you arrive at worship, these pre-filled sets will be sitting out on a table. One person from your household should pick up enough for the household. When the time of distribution comes, you will remain at your seat to commune yourselves or members of households can commune each other. Please discard the trash or take it home with you. If you have children or others in your household not communing, a member of the household will be instructed to bless that person(s).
Unfortunately, we have not found a gluten free option. Those needing gluten free bread can bring their own bread and wine or grape juice. Anyone who wishes may bring their own bread and wine or grape juice as well if that would make you feel more comfortable.
For those watching at home, please have bread and wine or juice ready before the service begins. You may want to set up a home altar with a cross or perhaps a candle on which to set your communion elements. You may also drop by the church office to pick up pre-filled communion sets for your household.
On Sundays at 9:00 a.m. we will worship in person outdoors in the main parking lot. If you wish to attend in-person worship, we ask that you follow these guidelines.
Guidelines for Outdoor Worship at the Church:
In the case of inclement weather:
What to expect during in-person worship:
We will continue to pre-record a worship service in the nave to be posted on YouTube, and our website at 5:30 pm on Saturdays and then on Facebook at 9 am on Sundays. For those of you who are used to attending worship on Saturdays the 5:30 pm posting is for you. For those who are used to attending on Sundays and enjoy the watch party feel of Facebook Premier the Sunday morning posting is for you. CDs of this worship service will continue to be mailed to those requesting them.
Welcome to Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, located in historic Nazareth, PA. We are pleased that you have found our website and would like to take this opportunity to invite you to visit with us soon. While you are here, please visit our web pages to learn about us and the things God is doing at Saint John’s.
Saint John’s Lutheran Church was established as a union church in 1859. Over the next fourteen decades, Saint John’s roots spread deep into the limestone rich earth and its trunk grew strong. The congregation flourished under the nurturing of eleven dedicated and gifted pastors who encouraged the laity to develop leadership skills.
We give thanks to God for our rich history, our magnificent building, and the legacy of faith handed down by those who have gone before us. We also give thanks for our life together at Saint John’s today.