Recommendations by Focus Area

Includes updates as of May 31, 2022

The COVID-19 Task Force is divided into four focus areas: Data Evaluation, Worship, Building and Facilities Use, and Fellowship and Food Service. Below are the focus area recommendations for moving to “Step 3” of our COVID Re-engagement Plan.

Data Evaluation for Decision Making

Ariana Wright, Heather Hilgart, Amy Evans, Josh Larsen, Tracy Lee

Below is the tool used to make recommendations to the council pertaining to worship and ministry activities during this pandemic. Each of these indicators were given equal weighting in our decision making.  With expanded use of home testing, we anticipate significant under-reporting of positive cases in the community. 

Each of these indicators were given equal weighting in our decision making.


Jim Evenson, Michelle Coy, Rayelle Haase, (Ariana Wright, Amy Evans, and Lindsay Colwell)

Update as of May, 31, 2022: 

Worship is live, in-person and is also offered virtually each Sunday and mid-week service. 

  1. The nursery may be used, but please note that there is no airflow through this space.  Use by a single family is safe.  Use by a group of people is discouraged.
  2. Communion will be offered using single-serve bread/wine pre-packaged cups as well as single wafers/poured wine at the communion rail.  We will not be serving communion by intinction at this time.  Usher and pastoral staff will complete hand-hygiene immediately prior to administration of the elements.
  3. Social distancing is not required but should be respected by any who request it.
  4. Masking is encouraged; not required.
  5. Singing and communal responses are allowed.
  6. Vocalists and wind instrumentalists may perform without masks/bell covers if desired: Both are encouraged.  Physical distancing encouraged during performances/rehearsals. 
  7. Hymnals and printed materials may be used during worship.
  8. Routine cleaning of the sanctuary will be used after worship.

Building Needs and Facilities Use

Dave Aakre, Jackie Longendyke (Terry Czeck, Lindsay Colwell)

Early in the pandemic, the Building Needs and Facilities Use group learned how our building “breathes” and they understand the airflow patterns of the church.   The building and facilities can be used for in-person worship during Phase 3.

The Fellowship Hall and Fireside Room have an air distribution system that supplies air at the ceiling and returns closer to the floor. This is the preferred air distribution to minimize the transmission of viruses and provides the best mitigation.  The Fellowship Hall and/or the Fireside Room are the recommended worship locations when St. Johns is under the yellow light “in-person with limitations.”  The forced air unit serving the Fellowship Hall and/or Fireside rooms would need to be turned on to flush the space two hours before the occupants use the space and remain on two hours after the occupants vacate the space.  The maximum number of occupants calculated to fill both the fireside room and fellowship hall (with physical distancing) is about 100.

The Sanctuary’s air distribution supplies air at the floor and returns air high at the floor of the balcony. The higher risk for transmission of viruses with this distribution would be people seated near the return grills on the underside of the balcony. It is not recommended that anyone is seated under the balcony near the return grills during the pandemic. The Sanctuary could be used for in-person worship when St. Johns is worshiping under the green light “fuller return to in-person ministry and worship.” The balcony space in the sanctuary also has poor air flow and is not recommended for general seating during the pandemic.

The narthex of the church also has very poor airflow through it.  During surges, congregating in this space is discouraged. 

Sunday School classrooms have limited airflow.  Windows should be opened when reasonable to improve ventilation. 

CKP Classrooms have been outfitted with devices to improve ventilation.

Fellowship and Food 

Lindsay Colwell, Terry Czeck

At this time, food and fellowship do not have any restrictions at St. John’s.