Coronavirus

May 22, 2020

Preparing for gradual steps of reopening

St. Paul is looking forward to some gradual steps of reopening the church for small group gatherings and other meetings and events this summer. Scale will be everything. Given a size limit requirement for all in-person group gatherings and events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all but regularly scheduled onsite committee meetings will require signup. The signup requirement will not only help guarantee a safe small size for the in-person gatherings but will also save time and disappointment for those who may otherwise show up and have to be turned away. A number of these small gatherings and events — always socially distanced in character — will be offered in repeat fashion to accommodate more people who have interest in attending.

In the June edition of the Journey and on our signups page, you’ll see new opportunities available to you, offered both online and in-person.

The sheer size of St. Paul, combined with gathering limits imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mean that all large gatherings at the church (including full worship in the Sanctuary) are indefinitely suspended. The congregation will continue to meet online for worship every Sunday. A link to receive weekly email notification of these worship services is available at bit.ly/stpaulenews.

St. Paul is taking every precaution to honor strong health safety standards. Our top concern as a Christian community is to be thoughtful of others’ susceptibility to virus infection and to avoid jeopardizing their health through casual practices of our own. A whole series of measures are in place to help secure the health and well-being of anyone attending a small in-person gathering at St. Paul. Watch for details in a mid-June pastoral letter from Peter Marty.

Small services of Holy Communion to be offered

We expect to be able to offer small services of Holy Communion throughout the summer, beginning late June. Offered at an
array of convenient times, these services will be signup only. As with everything planned right now, changes to these services would need to take place if COVID-19 numbers in the region rise alarmingly and new restrictions on gatherings were to be imposed. Each of these refreshing 15-minute services of Holy Communion will allow St. Paul people to gather around a meal that is fundamental to our faith, forgiveness, and fullness as children of God. You’ll have the chance to sign up online for one of multiple services offered in the main Sanctuary each week.

Communion in these brief services will be served in an entirely different manner than we’re accustomed to. Large distances between very few people seated in the pews of the Sanctuary will combine with other safety protocols being put in place by the staff. While singing will not be an option, because of its contribution to spreading the virus, we will have the chance to be together in small communities of faith.

Weather permitting, we’ll be able to greet each other on the patio outside after each service. As with other events, bring along your face mask. Watch for more details in the mid-June pastoral letter.

 

May 13, 2020

In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic St Paul’s counselor/social worker, Angie Vaaler, LMSW, has placed in-person counseling sessions on hold and is now offering tele-health counseling services (over both audio and video means). If you are interested in exploring these options and determining if this is an appropriate fit for you, please contact Angie at her office: 563-326-3547, ext 312.

 

April 18, 2020

Continuing the attempts to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on our community and health care system, in-person worship and public activities at St. Paul remain suspended through May 31. 

St. Paul Preschool, in accordance with direction from the state of Iowa, is now closed through the end of the school year.

Worship and activity plans for June will be shared at the end of May.

 

March 26, 2020

In-person worship and activities suspended through April

Continuing the attempts to lessen the impact of Coronavirus on our community and health care system, in-person worship and public activities at St. Paul remain suspended through April 30. Exact worship plans for May will be shared as health department recommendations evolve.

Preschool will follow state guidelines — school is now closed through at least April 13.

Online worship, learning, and fellowship opportunities online will continue. Holy Week begins on April 5 with Palm Sunday and concludes with the joy of Easter Sunday, April 12. Enjoy participating in online worship from your own home.

Palm Sunday, April 5: We won’t be waving palm branches to signal Jesus’ triumphant final entry into Jerusalem. But sit near a green plant, or put a coat on the chair next to you (since cloaks covered the path Jesus trod) and enjoy the power of Palm Sunday worship and what it means for us.

Maundy Thursday, April 9: We remember the Last Supper of Jesus’ earthly ministry differently this year. Instead of gathering at church, we go online to experience our own breakfast and supper tables of meaning and togetherness – all this through prayer, reflection, and music.

Good Friday, April 10: This is crucifixion day. The spiritual goodness of it involves the undying love our Lord displays for us. So light a candle before going online. Be ready for holy music, stirring scripture, and prayers we need to take seriously.

Easter Sunday, April 12: You’ve never celebrated Easter quite like this year. But worship online with the rest of St. Paul as we reckon with the joy of a Lord whom death could not pin down. Who knows what all will happen in this service. The important thing is that you be included.

 

March 19, 2020

Connect with St. Paul through our social media.

Facebook

Youtube

Vimeo

Instagram

Twitter

 

March 16, 2020

Based on direction from the state of Iowa, St. Paul Preschool will be closed through Monday, April 13. For now, classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, April 14.

 

March 13, 2020

There is a sudden change in plans for St. Paul Lutheran Church. We made an unprecedented decision to suspend all worship and public activities at church.

To assist the larger community in trying to stem the spread of COVID-19, and to ease the potential burden on our local health system, we believe this decision is also a smart one.

What this means for St. Paul:

The immediate suspension of all worship and public activities will remain at least through Tuesday, March 31. Upon further evaluation at the time, we’ll make and be able to communicate decisions regarding worship and public activities for April.

This weekend, our pastors and staff will be on hand during times that would normally be our worship service times. Should you drive up to church to receive further information about this suspension of our regular activities or to greet staff, they will be on hand this Saturday, March 14, 5:15-6 p.m. and Sunday, March 15, from 7:45-11:45 a.m.

For the weeks ahead, we anticipate providing an online opportunity each Sunday morning, available starting at 7 a.m. This version of worship will be where some music, prayers, and a message are brought to viewers. This will be available on the St. Paul website, as well as FacebookVimeo, and Twitter. This video opportunity will be available for viewing beyond Sunday morning as well.

St. Paul anticipates other online offerings, still in development, for some learning, household, and devotional experiences during this season.

Church offices will remain open, Monday-Friday, 8-4:30 p.m.

Groups who wish to meet may use the church’s online video conferencing tool to do so from home. Please contact Ann McGlynn, ann@stpaulqc.org, to get a link and/or phone number for participants to log into. This tool can be accessed by Internet or phone line.

Even as the pastors and staff do their best to stay connected with the congregation through their various ministries, members of the church are also encouraged to make regular connections with one another. See the church’s sign-up page – stpaulqc.org/signups – for opportunities that may exist for you to serve others in this time of suspended activities.

One additional note for St. Paul people: Thank you for continuing to support the church and its ministries through your regular financial giving. Your generosity is so important for continuing the congregation’s many commitments and for sustaining St. Paul operations. Options for making offerings and pledge commitments include:

  • Personal checks to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 Brady Street, Davenport, IA 52803.
  • Visit stpaulqc.org/give-online where one-time gifts can be made by credit or debit card, and recurring gifts can be established.

Watch your mailbox, inbox and St. Paul social media sites (if you’re connected in these ways) for additional resources and information in the coming weeks. Thanks for keeping in touch with one another and with church staff to bring your faith, passion, and humanity to our community in these otherwise isolating times.

-Peter W. Marty, senior pastor