The Church is Never Closed.
However, St. James has suspended in-person worship.
Loving our neighbor means being aware of how our actions and decisions impact our community Please take good care of yourselves. For the sake of our community members, please do all you can for the sake of others: Wash your hands. Wear a mask when you’re out. Avoid gathering.
This season will pass. Our hope and faith in God’s promises will sustain us.
Staff will also be working remotely during this time of social distancing. The best way to reach them is via email.
Reopening Strategy 2020

Phase 1- Planning for reopening (We are currently in this phase as of 2/1/2021)

  • Communicate plan to members once strategy is approved by St. James Church Council via mail, email, separate webpage on our website and social media. 
  • Send a survey out to members along with the strategy gauging members likelihood to return to worship in each phase of the plan. This information will help us determine what the likely numbers would be for each phase.
  • Put plans in place for sanitizing and cleaning surfaces. 
  • Block of pews and make other preparations for the worship space.
  • Council will make the decision when it is best to move to each phase, dialing up or dialing down as per the best information provided by CDC and MDH. 
  • Worship options:
    • Streaming/recorded only


Phase 2- Limited reopening 

  • St. James will provide a clean and safe environment, and be mindful of health needs and issues in preparation for a non-touch experience. 
  • In-person worship limited to 75 people (25% capacity) to allow for social distancing
    • No children’s programming, adult ministry classes or nursery
    • No coffee / fellowship time
    • Dismiss worshipers by pew from the back of the sanctuary to allow for social distancing as people leave. We ask that members leave the building after they are dismissed and to not congregate near the entrance. 
    • Communion will be placed in pews before worship (or prepackaged and a volunteer had out with gloves)
    • Pews will be taped off to allow for at least 6 feet between families. Hymnals, pew cards and pencils will also be taken out of the pews. 
    • Offering will be contactless- an offering plate will be in the back of the worship center and electronic giving will be encouraged via PushPay and Venmo. Money counters will count every other week (toward the end of the week to allow Sunday‚Äôs offering to sit until the threat of spreading via touching the money is gone)
    • No singing – music will be by a cantor or special music only prerecorded and played from the screen.
    • Sermon will be prerecorded and shown via the projection screen to avoid the pastors removing their masks to preach.
    • No bulletin or Pews News- screen only
    • No sharing of peace and stay in pew. Place reminder signs on pews using hashtag: #itsoktosmileandwave
    • Masks required for all entering the building
    • Space will be cleaned and sanitized between services 
    • Hand sanitizer throughout the building
  • Streaming worship still available.
  • Groups of less than 10 can gather for Bible study, quilting etc. if they can maintain social distance. We will ask that each group sanitize the space following their gathering. 
  • We will have social distancing signs, requests for sick persons to stay home, and reminders for using good hygiene. 
  • Restrooms will be open, but with Clorox wipes that we will ask people to wipe down their touch points while using the facility. Trash can outside the door to allow users to dispose of paper towel after washing their hands and then open the door. Signs also in the bathrooms to remind them of good hygiene practices. 
  • Outdoor worship was considered but with many of these same considerations, it would be very difficult to execute effectively. Outdoor, socially distanced social gatherings will be considered.



Phase 3- Increased capacity reopening 

  •  In-person worship limited to 150 people (50% capacity) to allow for social distancing.
    • Same as phase 2 except for:
      • Pews News to take home only at end of service- screen for everything else
  • Streaming worship still available.
  • Groups of less than 10 can gather while social distancing.

Phase 4- Full reopening

  • Resume all church activities as normal. 
  • Streaming worship still available.