March 03, 2021

Beloved in Christ.

I write to let you know that on February 23, 2021, the Session (elders) of our congregation unanimously approved a transition to Phase 3 of ministry operations at the First Presbyterian Church of Flint.

In addition to creating more opportunities for in-person gatherings across our congregation including children, youth, and adult bible study gatherings, this exciting transition ministry phase will also enable us to gather for a weekly, in-person service of worship in the Sanctuary beginning on April 11, 2021.

In order to continue offering a livestream-only service at 9:30AM, our in-person worship services will be held at noon (12:00PM). To begin, these services will be reduced in length and scope. Finally, to abide by current capacity guidelines, these weekly services will be limited to 125 participants per service. More information about these in-person liturgies, how to RSVP, and what to expect are in the enclosed FAQ sheet and will be explained throughout the coming weeks.  

As we make preparations to welcome you to in-person opportunities for worship and faith formation, the Session has appointed a joint task force of pastors, elders, deacons, trustees, and staff members to be in charge of logistics and operations. This Transition Task Force meets weekly to manage the development and implementation of policies and procedures, and will help train our volunteer teams in implementing them. 

The Task Force has put in place the following church-wide policies for all in-person activities for this phase of ministry: 

  • Masks: Masks which cover the mouth and nose must be worn at all times while in the church building or when attending church-sponsored ministry events. Exceptions will be made for those individuals leading worship services.
  • Personal Distancing: We will practice good personal distancing by staying at least six (6) feet apart from others, by refraining from physical touch, and by sitting in designated seats and only with cohabitating family.
  • Contact Tracing: In the event someone tests positive for COVID-19 after attending a church function, the church will notify those who may have been exposed. A form will be provided to indicate your presence when you attend worship or other activities.
  • Food Service: For the time being, food and refreshments will not be served or consumed at in-person gatherings.

We know that this past year of being apart has not been easy, and we know that re-entry to public life will be filled with uncertainties and questions. Some will be disappointed by our cautious approach even while others will be fearful to return to public worship at all. We are working hard to ensure that our public life reflects our commitment to hospitality, welcome, and safety so that we can begin inhabiting a common space once again.

While we must grieve the pains and struggles and losses this last year has brought; we also have much to be grateful for as a church family: for the creative and engaging opportunities our livestream platforms have offered us; for the amazing expressions of fellowship and faith formation created by our Children’s and Youth ministries; for lives met by the Word through weekly online Bible Study groups and through many fellowship opportunities; for the thousands of meals served in love through the Neighborhood Breakfast; for the continued relationships with our local mission partners to provide assistance; and so much more. It has been a long, hard year, but God is still good, and we are still God’s people. 

With you, I eagerly look forward to this next chapter in our church’s life and I invite you to join us in prayer as we prepare for what lies ahead.