Message from Pastor Mike Carlson:

We continue to monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19. As you likely know, cases continue to rise in Washington County, in Minnesota and across the nation, largely due to the high contagiousness of the Delta variant.

The Mahtomedi school district recently announced it will require students to wear masks indoors and on school transportation until mid-October, at which time they will reassess the situation.

All St. Andrew’s staff and volunteers have been required to wear masks and practice social distancing since the beginning of August, and we’ve invited the congregation to wear masks to help protect the most vulnerable among us. We’ve reinstated social distancing in the Sanctuary and Great Hall, have reduced choir members, and have once again cut back on the amount of singing we do as a congregation.

Given the increase in cases around us, the St. Andrew’s COVID Task Force has determined that additional measures are needed to keep our community safe. Starting the weekend of August 28/29:

    • Masks will be required for all Children, Youth and Family events (with the exception of preschool), given many of our youth are unable to get vaccinated;
    • Refreshments after Traditional Worship will be served outside (weather permitting) on the new patio;
    • We will continue to seek ways to reduce prolonged exposure by limiting the number of choir singers, the length of time we spend singing, and the time it takes to receive communion.

We need your help to be able to continue meeting together, in person. Please wear a mask when you’re on campus, regardless of your vaccination status, and practice social distancing.

I know there will be a range of opinions about these decisions. Our approach continues to be to “pump the brakes,” not “slam on the brakes.”

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me or Pastor Breckenridge. As a reminder, online church remains an option.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make further adjustments as needed, communicating with you along the way, as we have been in recent weeks.

August 6, 2021
St. Andrew’s Mask Update

Let all that you do be done in love.   – 1 Corinthians 16:14

Message from Mike Carlson, Lead Pastor:

We’ve continually monitored the evolving situation with COVID-19. Cases are rising in Minnesota and around the nation. As a result, many organizations are reinstating precautions to help reduce the spread of the virus.

The same is true for St. Andrew’s. Our COVID Task Force has determined that, beginning Thursday, August 5, all St. Andrew’s staff will be required to wear masks when onsite and to practice social distancing. Beginning at this weekend’s services, we are strongly encouraging our volunteers to wear masks when serving onsite and are requiring masks be worn by communion servers. We’ve reinstated social distancing in the Sanctuary and Great Hall, have reduced choir members, and have once again cut back on the amount of singing we do as a congregation.

Starting the weekend of August 14 and 15, our entire congregation is encouraged to wear masks to services. Other parts of St. Andrew’s such as the Preschools will implement their own additional precautions and will communicate about them as needed. I know there will be range of opinions about these decisions, as we are a congregation that is diverse in opinion yet united in mission. It’s our goal to be able to continue worshipping in person together. In essence, worship is a communal experience.  As a church, it’s our job to do everything we can to protect our neighbor – including the most vulnerable among us. The actions we’re taking right now are meant to do just that, and I appreciate your understanding.

Whatever comes, we got through this once as a congregation, and I know we can get through whatever comes next, together. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make further adjustments as needed. We will continue to communicate with you quickly and transparently about our approach. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me or Pastor Sarah Breckenridge.  We’re happy to discuss with you.