March 25, 2022

The COVID-19 Task Force, in its regular meetings, has followed the CDC recommendations along with looking to other experts. According to the CDC, East Baton Rouge Parish is in a “low” risk category. We encourage you to follow whatever mask wearing protocol is appropriate for you. The task force will continue to monitor the local and federal recommendations/guidelines and communicate with the congregation if anything changes. The recommendations at this level are as follows:

  • Stay up to date on vaccinations, get tested if you have symptoms.
  • No mask wearing is required, whether indoor or outdoor.
  • When should a mask be required? If you have had direct known contact to a COVID-19 patient or if you are immuno-compromised and are indoors.

After reviewing recommendations from the CDC and our guiding principle to do no harm, the COVID-19 Task Force proposed a Staff & Volunteer COVID-19 Vaccination Policy to the Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC).  The following policy has been adopted by the SPRC for St. John’s United Methodist Church as of July 7, 2021.

St. John’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Staff and Volunteers

Each member of the St. John’s United Methodist Church staff has a vital role to play in supporting a healthy work environment and congregation as we continue to navigate the current COVID-19 pandemic (and any future pandemic), and the following requirements are a reflection of that shared responsibility. 


  • All employees, contract staff and interns (i.e. “staff”) who regularly interact with the congregation are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • To prepare for this policy change, all staff will need to share their vaccination status with the SPRC Chair or Lead Pastor by July 15, 2021 and provide a copy of their vaccination card or record. A copy of the vaccination card will be kept in the staff person’s personnel file. The staff person will be responsible for providing any updated vaccination information to the SPRC Chair or Lead Pastor.
  • Any staff member who is not fully vaccinated will be required to obtain a medical exemption from your healthcare provider. Note: Due to the nature of interaction with infants, toddlers, children, and youth, medical exemptions will not be granted for any position whose primary role is to interact with infants, toddlers, children and youth.
  • Staff who are not fully vaccinated (5 weeks since first dose) are required to wear a mask and social distance at all times while interacting with members of the congregation. 


We require all volunteers who serve in our children and youth ministries to be vaccinated. 

This policy will be reviewed and updated on a quarterly basis or when new data is released. 
Adopted by the SPRC July 7, 2021

April 2021: Corporate to Personal Responsibility

We encourage everyone to do a self-health check if you are considering worshiping in-person with us. As always, we encourage anyone who does not feel well to worship with us online, using one of the available streaming services (Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, or our website).

For those who feel comfortable with in-person worship, we are asking you to bring your phone to church! No, we don’t want you texting or playing games, we want you to be able to register your attendance. With your phone, you will scan a QR code found at your pew, which will take you to a brief online form. We ask that you complete this registration form each time you attend in-person, as this helps with contact-tracing.

If you do not have a smartphone, please let a greeter know when you enter the narthex; they will write down your name, email and/or a cell number for contact tracing purposes. Below, please find detailed instructions for our new contactless registration process, utilizing QR codes. (The QR codes will be posted within the pews.)
With iPhones:

  • Please open the camera on your phone. You DO NOT have to take a picture of the QR code. 
  • Hover over the QR code. Once your phone has “captured” the code, a banner or icon will appear at the top of the screen.
  • Please click on the banner/icon. You will be directed to a form to complete.  
  • If you are not redirected to a form, please attempt to rescan the code.

With Android phones:

  • Open your Camera app and point it steadily for 2-3 seconds towards the QR code.
  •  Whenever scanning is enabled, a notification will appear.
  •  If nothing happens, you may have to go to your Settings app and enable QR Code scanning.
  •  If QR Codes isn’t an option in your settings, your device unfortunately can’t scan QR Codes natively. You will have to download a third-party QR Code reader app.
  • Android users can read this article to discover the best way to scan QR codes on your specific android phone.

The 8:30 a.m. service will include Communion each week, whereas the 11:00 a.m. service will include Communion on the first Sunday of each month.

We continue to adhere to the Wesleyan tradition of “do no harm.” We remain together in spirit.

St. John’s UMC COVID-19 Task Force Members

Rhonda Tucker (Lay Leader), Bonnie Byland, Pat Cobb, Donnie Lambert, John Toney, Rev. Lane Cotton Winn

Find all Messages from Pastor Lane and the COVID-19 Task Force relating to COVID-19 here.

Read about the COVID-19 Memorial Crosses, which were displayed on our campus during Holy Week and Easter Season 2020 in memory of the lives lost to COVID-19 in Louisiana.