As you know, COVID has been a challenge for all institutions including FPCG. The Session (the ruling body of the congregation) has been prayerfully discerning how we might most faithfully maximize our witness of coming together to worship God and serve in Christ’s name while also minimizing any activities that might put one another at risk of transmitting the virus.
In order to make well-informed decisions, the Session regularly reviews the data provided by the City of Philadelphia and the Center for Disease Control. This information is then considered alongside the input of the FPCG staff and the experience of our elders for their action.
At its September 7th meeting, the Session took these factors into account in making its decision to change FPCG’s masking protocols. Beginning Sunday, September 18th, masks will continue to be welcomed and encouraged, but no longer required.
As you make your decisions regarding your personal mask wearing, please know:
· Currently, the City of Philadelphia’s recommendation is that “masks strongly recommended in indoor public settings.” The city makes periodic updates of their assessment based on the average new cases per day, the rate of increase, and number of hospitalizations. You may go to the phila.gov website (https://www.phila.gov/programs/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/updates/) for the most recent update.
· We will continue to keep the pews of the sanctuary strategically roped in such a way as to encourage safe distancing between worshippers. Likewise, we encourage you to continue to be respectful and mindful of the comfort level of others as we greet, share fellowship, and pass the peace of Christ with one another.
· Please know that we will continue to have masks and hand sanitizer available throughout the building. Please ask an usher or FPCG staff member if you would like to take advantage of these amenities.
· The Session will continue to evaluate these protocols as conditions warrant. If you have any feedback or comments for the Session to consider in their discernment, please feel free to contact any Session member. Their names are listed on the back of the bulletin.
Please continue to keep our congregation and community in prayer as together we strive to live out the love of Christ through our actions as well as our words in these and all matters!