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Preparing for Post-Pandemic Life at SPC

Update: May 14, 2021

Dear St. Philip the Deacon Friends,

After we sent out our communication yesterday about plans for the next few months, we learned that the mask mandate was going to be lifted here in Minnesota.

Given this news, effective immediately, masks at St. Philip the Deacon are now optional.

If you have been vaccinated and prefer to not wear a mask for worship or small group meetings, you are no longer required to wear a mask.

If you have not been vaccinated or simply prefer to continue to wear a mask in large or small gatherings, you are encouraged to continue wearing a mask.

The rest of the timing in yesterday’s announcement remains accurate—so, for example, social distancing protocols will remain in effect until May 28.

Given this mask mandate change, we will also be reviewing our plans regarding a start-up date for fellowship hour between services. Look for more news about that soon.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, and thank you for your partnership in the Gospel at St. Philip the Deacon.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Blessings,

Tim Westermeyer, Senior Pastor
On behalf of the Pastoral Team, the Church Council and Executive Team

__________________________

May 13, 2021
Dear St. Philip the Deacon Friends,

Following last week’s announcement from the state of Minnesota easing Covid restrictions, here is a quick, high-level summary of our plans at St. Philip the Deacon for the next few months:

  • As of now, masks are now optional for all outdoor gatherings at church. Social distancing protocol remains in effect until May 28.

Sunday, May 16

  • Congregational singing will be allowed and encouraged (behind masks, which will still be required until July).
  • Both the 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. services will be the same format, with hymns and sung liturgy.

Monday, May 17

  • The church building will once again be open during regular business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at west entrance Doors A and B.
  • We will retain the cabinet outside of Door A to allow for before or after hours drop-offs and pick-ups.

Sunday, May 30

  • Worship with no social distancing will resume, which means that sign-ups for worship will no longer be necessary.
  • Masks will still be required.

Sunday, June 6

  • Baptisms will return to the 9:45 a.m. service.

Thursday, July 1

  • Masks will no longer be required inside of the building—although people are obviously welcome to continue wearing them if they feel more comfortable doing so.

Sunday, July 4

  • Masks will no longer be required during worship services.

Sunday, July 11

  • Our Childcare Center will reopen during worship services.

This timeline, of course, presumes there are no changes or updates to the state restrictions or mandates between now and the dates noted here.

A reminder, too, that we remain committed to maintaining a digital presence for worship and other activities, so the 9:45 a.m. service will continue to be livestreamed every Sunday.

Looking further out to the fall and the start of the program year, we will continue to communicate updated plans, including adding additional in-person worship services, as they develop.

As I have said in other places, I send along my deep appreciation and gratitude to our members, our staff and our leadership for exhibiting such grace, creativity and patience over the last 14 months. It has indeed been a disruptive and challenging period, but it has also been an opportunity for us to learn and grow in new ways, and I trust that, as a community of faith, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger than we were going into it.

Your inquiries are always welcome to me. Please feel free to reach out to me personally with any questions or comments, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Grace and Peace,

Tim Westermeyer, Senior Pastor
On behalf of the Pastoral Team, the Church Council and Executive Team:

Pastors: Pastor Mark Schmid, Pastor Cheryl Mathison, Pastor Valerie Strand Patterson
Church Council: Beth Jacob (President), Bjorn Berg, Ben Bienert, Debbie McIntyre, Heidi Hukriede, Sarah Johansen, Greg Lindberg, Alyssa Porubcan, Jason Scherschligt
Executive Team: Tom Abrahamson, Mike Braun, Lana Jones, Bob Paulson, John Schultz

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— CHRISTIAN WISDOM —

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Martin Luther King Jr.