St. John’s United Church of Christ on Madeline Island will resume in-person services Sunday with requirements that attendees wear masks and practice other COVID-19 safety precautions.
The church’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to return to in-person worship four weeks after suspending in-person activities and moving to online-only worship because of rising COVID-19 cases on the island.
In addition to requiring masks regardless of vaccination status, St. John’s will not include congregational singing in worship for now. All attendees also will be asked to practice social distancing. Fellowship after services will be outside and will not include food.
“We appreciate everyone’s support as we temporarily stepped away from in-person services because of rising COVID-19 cases on the island,” said Rev. Rachel Bauman, pastor of St. John’s. “Our board has met weekly to review available information about COVID-19 cases here and in nearby communities. We feel at this point that it is safe and responsible to resume in-person worship with these precautions. I look forward to being back in church in person with everyone Sunday .”
The board also approved re-opening of The Island Closet resale store at the Town of La Pointe’s Materials Recovery Facility. Patrons there also will be required to wear masks and to practice social distancing.
The Woods Hall craft shop, gallery and studios next to the church has reopened with masks and a limited number of people in the store.
Bauman said she and the church board will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on the island and to follow guidance from health officials and the Wisconsin Council of Churches. The church will post updates at stjohnsmadelineisland.org and on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.
In addition, the board urged all island residents, part-time residents and visitors to get a vaccine if they have not done so already.
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 stjohnsmadelineisland.org. 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.”