Deans' Note October 10, 2021

Last week we discussed moving ahead with a new program year as we hopefully are seeing light at the end of the Covid tunnel. While our children's choral academy has returned this fall, this week, we want to discuss the return of children to St. John's more broadly.

A parent recently asked about our policy regarding children coming to services, and another parent asked about planning a baptism. These are good questions since we are in an uncertain time with regard to children and vaccination.

Our priority is always keeping everyone safe. That's why we have insisted on a vaccination mandate at St. John's for everyone. We currently ask everyone to wear a face mask during worship indoors. This is particularly important in the presence of children.

Parents with unvaccinated children can be assured that everyone eligible for a vaccine will have been vaccinated if they are in our building or grounds. That being said, we leave it up to the discretion of parents as to whether they feel comfortable bringing a child under 12 (currently the age limit for vaccination). Pfizer has conducted research indicating their vaccine is safe for children as young as five and has formally requested CDC review. A recommendation to administer vaccines for these children may come later this fall.

Current CDC guidelines suggest that children under 12 wear a face mask in all indoor public settings (CDC does NOT recommend placing masks on children under two years of age).

If you wish to bring children under 12 you are welcome to do so. We will have the orange rug in place in the Figueroa side transept (near the garden) as we did before the lockdown in 2020. Parents will be able to be with their children and monitor their activities in a child friendly setting. Our nursery area will not be staffed for the foreseeable future, but the room will be left open if parents would like to bring a child there under their supervision during a service.

If you would like to discuss baptism, please contact us. We believe that if you would like to move forward with this sacrament, we can arrange it with little risk and appropriate protocols. Let us know if you have any other questions we can answer as well. We want to support you in any way we can.