A Letter to the Congregation – May 18, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

Throughout the past year the session of First Presbyterian Church has had a difficult job, balancing the safety of our congregation, public health advice, and the desire to maintain the mission that we have called to do. I want to commend our elders, both for their thoughtfulness, and for their dedication to our mission to: Love First, Love All.

I want to commend you, too. This has been a challenging year; and yet, as many congregations have struggled with mask mandates and closures, you have been patient, dedicated, and understanding. The leadership of the church appreciates you, as do I.

While we have been cautious, we have attempted to follow public health guidelines as closely as we can. And, to that end, in light of updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, the session has taken the following steps, updating our church safety procedures:

Effective immediately, masks and social distancing will no longer be required for any vaccinated attendees of First Presbyterian Church. This means that you are welcome to shake hands at church, enjoy fellowship time indoors, sing, share a meal, and attend a meeting if you are vaccinated against COVID-19. The choir will now be open to vaccinated members, too.

Exceptions to this rule will include any children’s activity as children are not yet eligible for vaccination. We would also ask that members and visitors who are not vaccinated to remain masked inside the church building.

We recognize that members may have different levels of comfort with such a drastic change. We hope to express our love, both in the freedom we share to enjoy church fellowship and in our understanding for those who make different choices. For members who remain uncomfortable with in-person activities, we will continue to offer our Facebook livestream and our podcast, and we will attempt hybrid meeting models that can accommodate both in-person and distanced attendees.

If you have any questions or concerns about this updated policy, please contact me or a member of session.

Please continue to pray for our church and our leadership as we implement these changes. And come join us Sunday as we sing praise to God!