St. John’s UCC proudly offers an accessible facility to accommodate those with special needs! Special note: If you require the use of our ramp or elevator described below, please note that these entrances are locked once the 10:15 am service begins – see below for Safety/Security Preparedness at St. John’s.
Entering St. John’s
On weekdays, our rear parking lot is set up with several handicapped-only parking spaces. On Sunday mornings, much of the parking lot by the back door ramp is designated as handicapped-only parking to accommodate not only those with special needs but persons who have difficulty walking farther distances. Watch for the special signs directing you where to park along the back of the building. This parking lot can be accessed by turning on to Richardson Ave. from Main Street (Rt. 63) and turning right into the lot.
There is a wide ramp just off the sidewalk that leads into the building. On Sunday mornings before our 10:15 am service, our “Umbrella Ministry” team is there starting about 9:45 am to greet you, open the door for everyone, and to provide assistance if needed. Note: this door is locked once the 10:15 am service begins.
If you enter from the front courtyard or the parking lots on the west side of the building, the lighted sidewalk leads to a glass-enclosed porch and our elevator, which can take you to any floor of the building.
Inside St. John’s
If you enter from the back door ramp entrance there is a short, wide hallway that takes you to our front glass-enclosed porch, which leads into the sanctuary. Just inside the porch is the elevator, which can take you downstairs to our Assembly Hall where we have refreshments and fellowship after worship, and special dinners and events are held. Also on that downstairs level are fully-equipped handicapped-accessible restrooms. The elevator also goes to our 3rd floor where some Sunday School and VBS classes meet. Our sanctuary and public areas are air-conditioned for your comfort in the summer and heated for your comfort in the winter.
In the sanctuary, there are several special pews with a ‘cut-out’ sections on the outside aisles to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers and seating for persons with you in the adjacent pew. Please speak with an usher to direct you to one of them.
For your convenience, St. John’s also has some walkers and wheelchairs available should you need them while worshiping with us – please ask an usher for assistance.
Audio devices are available in the back of the sanctuary if you have difficulty hearing the service. Please ask an usher if you would like to use one during the service. If you are unable to attend worship or heard something in worship you’d like to hear again, a CD of the service can be mailed or held in the office for you – contact the church office. You can also listen to the sermon each week right here on our website – go to the tab “About Us”, then Audio – Sermons. The sermons remain posted on the website for about 9 months.
Worship bulletins and hymns are available in large print – please ask an usher for this, or they can be found on the table by the center rear door and the front side door to the sanctuary.
St. John’s Health Ministry Team
Should a medical need or an emergency ever arise during worship, we have a dedicated group of nurses & health professionals organized within the congregation to assist anyone in need – our St. John’s health Ministry Team. They also provide services like monthly blood pressure screenings after worship. We also have available a first aid kit and an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) in the Narthex. A collection is taken each year in early February (‘heart’ month) to pay for its yearly maintenance. Our Health Ministry also offers flu shots in the Fall. Please contact an usher if you need assistance and they can summon a member of the Health Ministry team.
Are we missing something that would make St. John’s more accessible? Your suggestions are welcome! Speak with our pastors or someone on church council.
Safety/Security Preparedness at St. John’s
We have learned from the news that even places of worship are not exempt from the kind of tragedy set in motion by someone determined to create havoc and destruction. St. John’s Emergency Preparedness Task Force was formed with the reality of being prepared for situations we pray will never happen here. The task force is made up of 20 people who sit in different locations in our Sanctuary on a Sunday morning, who worship at different services, come from a variety of backgrounds (military, healthcare professionals, teachers, emergency responders, etc.) and who understand the importance of creating a space in which compassion for others and a careful vigilance regarding our surroundings are both important.
Our task force met with local law enforcement officers and devised a safety plan (posted above). There will be opportunities for all members to learn what each of us can do to better plan for the unthinkable. Our goal is not to alarm anyone, but a plan to work together to make our church a place where all who come here to worship can feel safe and focus on what matters most as we gather to worship and do God’s work. Please know that St. John’s is on top of this important matter, and may we all be looking out for one another!
On weekdays, when the Montessori School is in session in our building, our main doors are locked, and there is a buzzer system at the ramp door connected to our nearby church office to only admit visitors with specific business at St. John’s.