St. John’s Episcopal Church Welcomes You!

Watch this Sunday’s worship online!

SPECIAL NOTICES REGARDING ST. JOHN’S DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Father Cramer emailed/mailed parishioners information regarding action St. John’s is taking in response to the COVID-19 risk. The full text of that communication can be reviewed online here (este mensaje también está disponible en español en línea aquí). You can also watch a video introduction to this pastoral message below:

Highlights of Father Cramer’s message are:

For the health and well-being of parishioners and the community all in-person gatherings at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven are suspended through May 10, including public worship.As a suggested alternative to church attendance, St. John’s Episcopal Church encourages online participation in worship as follows:

  • On Sundays, Father Jared Cramer will lead a celebration of Morning Prayer with a Sermon at 10:00am that will be live-streamed on the Parish YouTube Channel. Director of Music, Nick Palmer, will provide music appropriate to the setting, joining the live-stream from his own home.
  • For our Sunday 12:45pm Spanish-language service of Holy Eucharist, our Missioner, Luis Valencia, will live stream a Spanish-language offering of worship and preaching, drawing upon the resources of Morning Prayer in the prayer book. This will be streamed live on the Spanish-language Iglesia de San Juan Facebook Page.
  • Every day, Monday through Thursday, at 12:30pm, Father Jared will also offer a livestream of noonday prayer with a reflection upon the Gospel appointed for the day in the Office. You can access that on our YouTube channel.
  • On Tuesdays, Father Jared will offer a weekly Bible Study as an online Zoom offering at 2pm. You may join that Bible Study at 2pm on Tuesdays online here. We will explore the lectionary readings for the upcoming Sunday

SPECIAL NOTICES REGARDING HOLY WEEK & EASTER WORSHIP

During Holy Week and Easter, you are invited to observe this time both at home and through live-streaming worship. We’re inviting every household to choose a place in their home to mark off as their Sacred Space. Ideally, this should be a space where you can come for prayer and also from which you can watch the livestream of our online worship offerings. All of these liturgies will be on Parish YouTube Channel.

Here are some suggestions for your Sacred Space as you journey through Holy Week:

  • Choose a low-traffic area such as a windowsill, small table, portable tray table, or a bookshelf. Cover your Sacred Space with a cloth of some sort, whether that is a tablecloth, placemat, scarf, or simple white cloth and other items of devotional meaning to you, whether that is an icon, objects from nature, flowers, prayer cards, or other items.
  • When we gather for the Palm Sunday liturgy on Sunday, April 5, at 10am, have some branches cut from trees in your yard with you so that you may use them in the blessing of branches for Palm Sunday and leave them on your Sacred Space during Holy Week.
  • On Maundy Thursday, April 9, for our 6pm online liturgy have a basin or large bowl, pitcher of water, and clean towels set near your Sacred Space so that you may wash the feet of the members of your household in that liturgy. If you live alone, you will be invited to wash your own hands instead during that service as an acknowledgment that your hands are meant for service. After that service, strip your Sacred Space of everything except the cross. Then, for the next twelve hours members of the church will volunteer for half hour shifts to keep watch and pray in their homes—sign up online here.
  • Speaking of the cross, choose a cross of any shape, type, or media. If you don’t have one, you can make one yourself by tying two sticks together with twine or order one online. It can either be a crucifix (with Jesus on it) or a simple cross. On Good Friday, April 10, for our noon online liturgy, you will have an opportunity to have a time of veneration of the cross in your home.
  • Have a candle on it (or several) as a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world. In addition to your regular candles, be sure to get a large white candle (preferably in a jar) that you can save for the Great Vigil of Easter on Easter Eve at 8:30pm on Saturday, April 11. That candle is one you will light for the first time at the Great Vigil and then you will keep as a symbol of your own paschal flame until we gather again in our Nave with the Paschal Candle I will be blessing during that live-streamed liturgy. In preparation for the Vigil, you can also return all other items to your Sacred Space for your Easter celebrations.

If you have kids, invite them to help choose and create your Sacred Space. It can be a great family activity. Once your Sacred Space is prepared for Holy Week, take a picture of it and share it on social media with the hashtag #SacredSpaceSJE. I look forward to seeing what all of you put together.

The Parish Office is hereby closed. However, we are still trying to help those who we know will be most affected by this pandemic:

  • Our Loving Spoonfuls Meal Ministry will continue but with a strict “curbside only” system. That means that an extremely limited number of volunteers (no more than five) will prepare the food in our publicly licensed kitchen. (Meals prepared at home may not be served publicly, according to Ottawa County Health Department Guidelines). During our regular serving times on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, a table will be setup outside the West Entrance and to-go containers with the hot meal for the day will be made available for pickup. Every effort will be made to avoid person-to-person contact so that the hungry may be fed while reducing risk for contagion
  • .Our Food Pantry will shift its hours to 4pm-6pm, Monday through Thursday. At 4pm, a table will be setup at the West Entrance with food and staples placed on it along with a sign inviting people to take what they need on an honor system. That setup will be done by the Parish Administrator. At 6pm, we are asking for a volunteer to come to move all food and staples to a different table inside the church so that it can be locked up overnight. If people are unable to come during those times, they will be invited to contact Cindi with a list of any needs they have. She will prefer a sealed bag with that person’s name on it and set it out by the West Doors for people to pick up as needed.

It is entirely possible that situations could shift for the better, enabling the lifting of restrictions, or things could worsen, requiring even more restrictions. Church leaders will continue to monitor this situation and respond to the advice and counsel given to us by the medical community and the wider church.

Our faith will enable us to walk through this time and we will find Easter joy and life on the other side.

For information about the restrictions on public worship at SJE (or additional information about these temporary changes mentioned above) please review the full text of Father Cramer’s message.  If you have questions after reading his pastoral message on COVID-19 please contact him at rector@sjegh.com.

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Palm Sunday Procession
Palm Sunday Procession

Welcome to St. John’s Episcopal Church! Our Sunday worship in English is at 8:30am and 10am and in Spanish at 12:45pm. Sunday school and adult faith formation is at 11:30am from September through May. In the summer months, the Spanish service is at 11:45am

We are a parish of the Diocese of Western Michigan in the Episcopal Church.  We are a diverse Christian community, following Jesus’ teaching through liturgical worship, transformation in the mind of Christ, and the pursuit of reconciliation and justice in God’s creation. This is summarized by our motto: Worship God. Be Transformed in Christ. Change the World. We encourage you to read our welcoming statement here to find out more about us.

If you are visiting our area, we welcome you to come and worship with us.  If you are seeking a church to call home, we would be honored if you would spend some time with us to see if we might be that  place for you.

If there is anything about our church that you are having trouble finding on the website, please contact us so we can help.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you!