Congregational Survey Cover Letter

July 1, 2020

Fellow members of St. John’s,

My name is Mark Renze and I have the honor of being the chairperson for the Return Team that was recently formed for our church.  The team is made up of an incredibly talented and dedicated group of people:  Dr. Melanie Dixon, Wendy Welsch, Mike Welsch, Marty Holzer, Dana Dallman, Jim Buckley, Scott Vial, Jonathan Kopplin, Pastor Heather and Pastor Andy.  In our few meetings I have found this group’s drive, willingness to help, and intellect to be inspirational.  I have also found their camaraderie and sense of humor something to lean on during challenging discussions.  We are blessed to have these people in our midst.


Our team’s mission statement reads as follows:

The St. John’s Lutheran Return Team has been formed to provide a detailed plan on how to resume in-person ministries that closely follows recommendations from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and our ELCA synod.  We will prioritize mission critical, urgent ministerial needs including funerals and interim ministries.  In order to keep the congregation connected during this time it will be important to create a detailed action plan that follows public health conditions in our community as opposed to arbitrary dates.  Frequent communication between the team and the congregation as to why decisions are being made are essential to the success of this plan. 

There are two points in the mission that I’d like to address:  “frequent communication” and “keep the congregation connected.”  On the first point you may have noticed that we have launched weekly video updates to provide a quick synopsis of progress or recent developments.  These are intended to be brief, uploaded following our regular Tuesday meetings, and (mercifully for you) will not always just be me talking.    Look for these on the website. 

On the “keep the congregation connected” point the team has a request of you and your families.  We are seeking your input on several questions related to our return to in-person worship and we ask for your replies via survey. 

The logistics: 

  • One survey per family

  • The survey can be found online on the St. John’s website (Click here for survey)

  • The link will be included in an upcoming email blast

  • A paper survey you will receive in the mail can also be used

  • Responses due/postmarked by July 20th

Thank you in advance for your feedback.  Your input will be invaluable to Return Team’s planning of future events and actions, and we commit to sharing the results following their compilation.