Dear First Presbyterian Church Family:
Session, the leadership council of the church, met last night to discuss church operations for September and October in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We spent the week leading up to our meeting studying and praying. You can click on this link to see some of what we looked at: https://bit.ly/32cJ0g5 Last night we voted unanimously on the following:
Worship Schedule every Sunday August 23 – September 27:
- 9am: Worship in the Park in-person. (Alexander Park, Bring your own chair and facemask)
- 10:30am: Stay-at-Home worship broadcast from the sanctuary via Facebook Live, KICS 1550 AM radio and weekly television broadcasts.
This schedule provides an in-person worship opportunity that mitigates the risks of disease spread by being outdoors and encouraging mask usage and social distancing. It also provides a high-quality stay-at-home worship experience, all without overburdening our staff and volunteers.
The one exception to this will be on Sunday, September 13 which would be our traditional “Kick-off Sunday.” Unfortunately we can’t have a potluck or the bouncy houses we had last year, but we can worship together with joy and share fellowship with some food trucks after worship in our parking lot! We will hold One Service in Alexander Park at 10:30am on Sunday, September 13. We will also distribute bibles to our kindergartners, 3rd graders, and 8th graders on that day. And we may even have bagpipers at the service, stay tuned!
Christian Education Programming for September-October:
- Our PreK-5th grade Christian Education will be offered remotely with lessons available to watch on YouTube and a packet of information sent home to all families with children in that age group.
- Middle School and High School youth groups will meet in-person starting on September 16 on Wednesday evenings, 7pm-8pm. Facemasks will be required and social distancing will be encouraged
- Adult education will be offered primarily remotely and on-line, but also with some hybrid options for people to meet in-person at the church for those who would like to.
- A detailed description of what was decided can be read by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/3gjodfG
All of your Session members and I continue to miss our traditional in-person worship in the sanctuary. We miss the sounds of your voices uniting to recite the responsive prayers and sing the hymns. We miss the joyful buzz in the sanctuary during the passing of peace as we greet one another in the name of Christ. We miss seeing you check in with one another in the Memorial Room before and after services. And how I miss our potlucks! We’ve heard from many of you how much you miss this too, and how we are all anxious to get back to a sense of normalcy. We also hold those feelings in tension with the concerns we have for the safety of our church family and our community, and a desire to preserve and protect health and life, particularly for those who are vulnerable and at risk. It is a difficult tension to live in, but our faith has taught us how to navigate these difficult tensions: with grace, compassion, and love. So we ask for your continued prayers and for grace, compassion and love as we move forward together.
Your Servants in Christ,
Rev. Greg Allen-Pickett and the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Hastings
Mary Seiler, Brian Johnson, Kay Georgiana, Mary Fisk, Pat Kern, Kris Horton, Bev Rader, Erik Nielsen, Harold Korb, Joe Black, Neil Riley, Scott Shardelow, Cheryl Lockwood