COVID-19 Updates

Here you will find the latest information on how St. John’s is responding to the COVID-19 situation.

In-Person Worship

In-person worship opportunities resume Sunday, March 28. As we move forward into this new phase, we continue to keep procedures in place to ensure a safe environment. Read up on what to expect, register for worship, and more on the worship page.

Virtual Connections

Even as we begin to re-engage in person, we continue to offer a number of virtual options to help ensure there is a safe and meaningful way for all to engage. While our gatherings are limited, additional virtual options are available. Get more information at the links below:


Re-Engagement Plan

Download St. John’s re-engagement plan here. (Rev. January 31, 2021)


Worship Volunteer Signup

Now that we have a date to return to worship in our building (March 28), there are scheduled trainings and sign-ups for specific tasks and weeks. All this information and links to sign up is available on the worship page.


Latest Update – March Update

Since this message, an additional message was sent with more detail on what to expect in worship. Read the full message here.

After an evaluation of the data as of the meeting on March 7, 2021, the COVID19 Task Force has recommended that the council move the congregation to “Step 3” of our COVID19 Plan. After a great deal of discussion, the council approved this recommendation at their March 9 meeting. 

Download the complete recommendation from the Task Force here.

This step allows a return to in-person, in-house worship and ministry, but with considerable restrictions at this time, and strict adherence to CDC/MDH Guidelines and to our COVID19 Plan

  • A return to in-person, in-house worship: March 28, 2021 (Palm Sunday)
  • A return to in-person, in-house ministry: Immediately 

Regarding In-Person, In-House Worship:

Based on the research from the Building and Property Focus Group, and the unique characteristics of our HVAC in the facility, our first move to in-person, in-house worship should happen in the Fellowship Hall.

Regarding In-House and Community Ministry Partners:

The COVID19 Task Force is recommending that our in-house and community ministry partners use only the rooms as indicated on the COVID19 Plan.

Worship Schedule: Beginning March 28, 2021

Sunday Mornings

  • 8:30 am In-Person and Live-Streamed in the Fellowship Hall
  • 9:15 am Zoom Worship Service
  • 10:00 am Education Hour – Virtual Only
  • 11:30 am In-Person in the Fellowship Hall

Wednesday Evenings

  • 6:30 pm Live-Streamed

Holy Week and Easter

  • Maundy Thursday (April 1, 2021) – 6:30 pm Premiered on Facebook and YouTube
  • Good Friday (April 2, 2021) – 10:00 am Community Service Premiered on our congregation’s Facebook and YouTube channels
  • Easter Sunday (April 4, 2021)
    • 8:30 am In-Person and Live-Streamed in the Fellowship Hall
    • 10:00 am In-Person Drive-In Parking Lot Service OR Worship on the Lawn depending on the weather
    • 11:30 am In-Person in the Fellowship Hall

Many more details about volunteer needs (necessary to be able to return in this capacity) and procedures for in-person meetings and events will be coming soon. We look forward to being able to re-engage in this way and count on your help in enabling us to be able to continue this into the future.


Task Force Purpose

A task force has been convened to provide direction, advice and information to council to aid in their decision-making process. To be clear from the outset: it is the purpose of this task force to advise our congregational council, but it is not the decision-making body in our congregation. Our elected council leadership is solely responsible for this aspect of our life together in ministry. 


Task Force Personnel

This task force is composed of professionals from many areas and expertise, including medical professionals, public health professionals, educators and administrators, public service and police, engineers, finance, management, and others. Please review the list below for further information about this incredible group of leaders who have come together to provide direction for our congregational leadership to aid in the decision making process for our worship and ministry life at St. John’s.

St. John’s Lutheran Staff Representatives:

  • Pastor Dave Efflandt, Lead Pastor
  • Deacon Amanda Sabelko, Deacon of Faith Formation
  • Lindsay Colwell, Director of Youth and Family Ministry

St. John’s Lutheran Council Representatives and their Professional Vocation:

  • Sam Marsland, President. Nurse Anesthetist at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  • Rayelle Haase, Vice President. Certified Veterinary Technician

Congregational Representatives and their Professional Vocation:

  • Dave Aakre, Retired IBM Engineer
  • Michelle Coy, ICU Nurse and Educator at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  • Terry Czeck, Culinary; Certified Food Production Manager with the State of Minnesota.
  • Amy Evans, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Olmsted County
  • Jim Evenson, Police Lieutenant, Rochester Police Department
  • Heather Hilgart, Technical Specialist and Assistant Supervisor, Infectious Disease Serology, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  • Joshua Larsen, Kasson-Mantorville Middle School Principal
  • Ariana Wright, Kasson-Mantorville Elementary School Principal
  • Tracy Lee, Financial Analyst/Project Manager at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  • Jackie Longendyke, Commissioning Professional for Mechanical and Electrical Building Systems

Recommendations by Focus Area

More information about current recommendations from the individual focus areas of the Task Force is available here.


Questions, Comments, or Concerns

Please feel free to reach out to members of your St. John’s Lutheran leadership team:

Sam Marsland, Council President
Rayelle Haase, Council Vice President
Heather Hilgart, Council Secretary
Dave Bornfleth, Council Treasurer
Pastor Dave Efflandt, Lead Pastor
St. John’s Lutheran Church Office Email


Office Hours

As of March 15, office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and Tuesday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Please wear a mask when entering the building, and thank you for adhering to CDC and MDH social distancing guidelines.


Additional Resources

For more information on best practices during this time, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization websites.


Past Messages