Church suspends in-person worship

St. John’s United Church of Christ will suspend in-person services and return to Sunday worship entirely online starting Aug. 1 because of rapidly rising COVID-19 cases on Madeline Island.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to make the change. The action returns St. John’s to its practice of 10 a.m. Sunday worship exclusively at For more than a year, St. John’s held online-only services before opening for in-person services with safety precautions in June.

The board also made four other changes with church events and ministries because of confirmed rising cases of COVID-19, driven by the rapid spread of the coronavirus’ more virulent delta variant. For more information and details, please read the full news release about this decision. Also, see news coverage from WDIO/WIRT-TV and KBJR/KDLH-TV.

Rev. Rachel Bauman, pastor at St. John’s, said, “I’m grateful for the careful  deliberations of the board, and we are praying for the health and well-being of our entire community.”

Comments (2)

  1. Loren/Linda Huber
    Loren/Linda Huber

    We are headed to the Island this weekend for our annual summer vacation on the Island … and so looking forward to worshipping with your congregation on Sunday morning . It is one of our favorite things to experience on the Island. We are glad you are looking out for all of us, but we will miss worshipping with you. (I did watch some of your services last summer and loved the music coming from homes and how you were able to tie everything together and make it feel like we were all participating in person. Loren and Linda Huber. Wellman, IA

    • Rob Karwath
      Rob Karwath

      Thank you for your nice note. We will keep you and everyone in our St. John’s community posted about worship and activity plans. Our church board is meeting weekly to review the COVID-19 situation on the island and to determine if we should make any changes. In the meantime, we hope you can enjoy online worship at 10 a.m. Sunday. We have a link on the home page that makes it easy to watch with one click.

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