Pandemic Task Force Letter

May 2021

Congregational Letter

To the Congregation of FPC:

We write you with several pieces of joyous news. After enduring a global pandemic for 14 months, we can report that there has been no community spread of COVID-19 in our building or at any of our worship services. We are grateful for a congregation that has valued the health and wellbeing of each other and our staff in your willingness to heed safety protocols that have at times seemed overly cautious. But your dedication to safety and your Christ-like love for one another have paid off.

Beginning Sunday, June 6, we are officially reopening the doors of our sanctuary! The Pandemic Task Force has reviewed the new CDC guidelines issued on May 13, as well as the accompanying medical studies. Based on the current vaccination rates in our community and the partial protection provided by the vaccines against the virus variants, the task force recommended to the Session on May 17 that the church may reopen; the Session members present unanimously approved this measure. The indoor service will occur weekly at 10AM.

Although our case numbers in the area are declining, we feel it is important to protect the children of our congregation until they are vaccinated, and to continue protecting the immunocompromised and their families as well.  Therefore, we are leaving in place the mandatory mask requirement. Social distancing will no longer be required as long as everyone is masked; additionally, masked singing will be allowed. Entrance to the sanctuary will be through the porte cochère door (1S) and the sanctuary elevator. We ask for your continued flexibility as further information and guidance are released.

For those who do not yet wish to worship inside the building, the outdoor service will continue to be an option, moving to an 8:30AM start time on June 6. Masks will still be required if you wish to leave your vehicle; social distancing will no longer be required. Both the 8:30AM outdoor service and the 10AM indoor service will be live-streamed on the church’s Facebook page and website. If in-person attendance at the outdoor service is canceled due to the weather, the service will still be live-streamed.

Wearing masks is the second-most effective step you can take to protect yourself and those around you; the most effective step you can take is to become vaccinated. With thankfulness and congratulations to those of you who have already been vaccinated, we humbly and passionately implore those of you who have not to consider the health and safety of our youngest members. If you would like assistance in finding a vaccine appointment or if you would like to discuss and explore the science, process, or experience of vaccines more fully, please contact a task force member or staff member.

With your continued care for one another, we are ready to move forward joyfully with what God has in store for us on the corner of Iowa and Kirkwood.

In Christ,

The Pandemic Task Force

Dr. Andy Bowles Edwards
Heather Calvert
Jim Middleton
Kristine Oswald
Pam Paulsen
Jeanne Sherwood
RuthAnn Tobey-Brown

Matt Bishop, Director of Music
Darren Long, Maintenance & Custodial Supervisor
Rev. Dr. Kathy Stoner-Lasala, Bridging Pastor​