We Welcome you to In-Person and On-Line Worship!
On the advice of a Planning Team of Elders, Administration, and Lay Readers with our Pastor, the Rev. Scott Herr, we are now offering weekly in-person worship! The in-person service will simultaneously be available streaming online via Local Live at 10 am.
May 20, 2021
Dear Members and Friends of FPCNC,
Grace and peace! With the recent CDC update headlines as of last Thursday, “that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” it has been up to the Regathering Task Force of our church to determine what is the “guidance” we feel is appropriate for our community.
Throughout the long ordeal of the pandemic, we have tried to err on the side of caution, as we have lost loved ones to COVID-19 virus and feel that whatever policies we implement should be “safe, sustainable, and fair for all.” As of our meeting on Wednesday, we recommend the following updates for COVID-19 protocols for the time being:
- Given our love for our children and youth, we recommend a continuance of requiring masks for worship and for any inside activities on the church property. Youth ages 12 and up have only recently been able to receive vaccination, and so giving our youth time to be vaccinated and allow for the vaccine to take full effect seems prudent and loving. As they are also required to wear masks through the end of the school year (June 17), we would recommend that we require masks in worship and for any inside activities on the church property at least through June 17th.
- Given our love for music and robust worship, we recommend that those of the congregation who are fully vaccinated be able to sing while masked during worship. Singing is important to our worship tradition and we have been disciplined in not singing as a way to show solidarity and care for our neighbors. However, the science indicates now that continuing ventilation (open doors and fans) singing with masks by those who are fully vaccinated poses minimal if any risk of transmission.
- Given our love for fellowship, we recommend resuming outdoor fellowship hour following our worship services (weather permitting) with refreshments and snacks provided. People should be free to engage in conversation and/or enjoying refreshments and snacks without masks outside as they feel comfortable. We will begin “in-person” fellowship outside as soon as possible, no later than Sunday, June 6th.
The Task Force is as eager to move toward full “normal” activities as anyone else, and so we continue to meet weekly to watch the “numbers” and any new updates from the CDC and state health officials. We appreciate your patience and prayers as we hope that we can one day soon move toward more relaxed protocols for our life together.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you have comments and/or suggestions, please feel free to contact any member of the Task Force: Jan Lucie, Serena Gillespie, Scott Herr, Jim Riehl, and Victoria Shields. We remain sincerely yours.
The Regathering Task Force
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, referenced May 18, 2021: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
All of us should consider our health concerns and safety requirements as we continue to experience COVID19 as a threat to our community. Each person is different and should evaluate which worship experience is best for them and their family: indoor or LocalLive.
- No pre-registration required. Seating will be limited to 100 persons in the sanctuary. Temperatures will be taken by our greeting volunteers. PLEASE PLAN TO ARRIVE 10-15 minutes before the start of worship to aid this process.
- Entrance to the sanctuary will be through the MAIN DOORS UNDER THE PORTICO. If inclement weather arises, volunteers and signs will direct you to enter through the doors off the North hallway so that a 6′ distance between families/individuals can be maintained while waiting to be seated. All coats and personal belongings should remain with you.
- PLEASE LOCATE YOUR NAME TAG after being checked in and wear it. We encourage you to take your name tag home and bring it back each Sunday that you attend.
- Ushers will seat all worshipers in family groups or by individuals 6′ apart in the sanctuary.
DISMISSAL AFTER THE SERVICE will be directed by the ushers. Please wait until an usher advises you it is your turn to leave. You are asked to leave the building promptly. Do not remain inside the building and converse with other attendees.
- COFFEE HOUR will continue to be held via ZOOM under the leadership of Mark Magnusen. We encourage you to not linger in the building so others can exit and so that you can join the coffee hour once you are in your vehicle or at home.
- MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES IN THE BUILDING for your safety and the safety of others. There will be no congregational singing and the musicians will wear masks.
- Please print out the Sunday bulletin and bring it with you. This avoids ushers handling the bulletin you will handle. No Bibles or hymnals will be used due to possible contact issues.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Continue to pray and worship! Continue to be a part of our warm, welcoming fellowship, whether in person or via the concurrent streaming service which will also be accessible later on Sunday or during the week.
If you are able, please go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0b4aaaad2aa31-sunday to volunteer!
Peace and blessings,
John Lanaway, Co-Clerk of Session Jennifer Van de Graaf, Co-Clerk of Session