We Are Gathering in the Sanctuary for In-Person Worship!

June 17, 2021


Hello Presbyterian Friends!

We are writing with good news today.  We are going back to indoor worship!  Session voted to approve the new worship protocols recommended by the Worship Reopening Task Force that has been working hard to research, understand the pandemic and keep us safe.  Although our church leaders continue to be concerned about the low vaccination rates in Elkhart County, the Task Force and the Session believe we may now safely return to worship in the building.  This will happen in two stages.


Stage one begins this Sunday on Father’s Day.  We will meet for combined worship at 10:00 AM in the Sanctuary.  We ask that you enter the church through the door under the portico and wait for an usher to seat you.  We will seat people in family groups 6 feet apart, every other pew. (Single people are invited to create their own family pod of 2 -3 people so they have friends to sit with in worship.)  For now we are asking everyone to wear masks while indoors.  The service will be similar to the shorter services we have been having outdoors.  You will be welcome to sing hymns and songs through your mask.  After the service the ushers will dismiss the congregation by rows.  Once outside you are welcome to take off your masks and visit with friends as you wish.


Stage Two begins as soon as we can get the Bridge space open for worship.  This involves getting the windows to open so we can create some natural ventilation in the Bridge.  The locks are currently frozen shut.  Once the Bridge space is safe for worship, we will return to two services:

                9:30        Traditional

                11:00     Bridge   (These times are temporary for the summer.)

When we are in two services we will further relax some of our Covid protocols.  All the doors in the church will be open on a Sunday morning and you will be invited to move freely about the building.  Vaccinated people will be allowed to remove masks once seated for worship except when singing.  We will ask that masks be worn by everyone when moving around the building.


Please know that the Reopening Task Force and the Session continue to monitor the development of the pandemic and the CDC guidelines. Every congregation has to make these difficult decisions about reopening based on several factors: the risk level for the virus in their county, the safety of their worship space (ventilation in particular) and the vulnerability of their people.  We will be recommending a further easing of restrictions as soon as it seems prudent for our people at First Presbyterian.  The leaders of our church take seriously the charge by God to care for every beloved adult and child entrusted to our ministry.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Sally Wicks
Real-time CovidActNow infection information for Elkhart