Covid Task Force
FCPC has assembled a Covid Task Force whose members represent different groups of the church and have diverse professional backgrounds.
The first priority is to keep our members, guests, and staff safe by following CDC, state, and local health guidelines.
An email address of has been created for anyone to send their concerns or questions to the team confidentially.
Messages From The Task Force
September 11, 2020
Dear Fellow Members of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church,
The Covid Task Force wants to express its gratitude to all the FCPC staff and committees as they work tirelessly and creatively under conditions pressured and limited by the global pandemic of Covid19. We continue to prayerfully balance our faith commitments with maintaining safe practices to mitigate the spread of this virus.
With the support of our Session, the Task Force continues to take into consideration all Federal, State, and County recommendations. Though we are not legally bound by these mandates, we are bound to our call to love our neighbor. The biblical mandate to love especially our most vulnerable neighbors, is the primary guide that drives our decision making.
We acknowledge that we have had to set aside important and meaningful practices during this process, and we grieve this. We yearn for a time when we can safely be close, to sing, to embrace without discernment, and to gather in all the ways to which we have become accustomed. Yet we also acknowledge that there is precedent for worship, on occasion, to take different forms. As Presbyterians, we are a people who are reformed, always reforming. Part of our heritage and history is that we are a people who both value our roots and rituals, while seeking to be adaptive in the face of change and challenge. This includes how and where we worship. As such, we are seeking to both stay grounded in the core tenets of our faith and tradition, while remaining confident God meets us, and is glorified, in every expression of worship, including online or outside gatherings.
* Sunday outdoor live services continue. All are welcome! 10:30 am in the parking lot. Bring a chair and prepare to worship together, under the sky.
* Tuesday evening gatherings continue on the terrace outside of Fellowship Hall, 7:00 pm. All are welcome! Come and participate in an informal period of reflection, prayer, and fellowship.
* Sign up and reserve your spot to donate blood on Tuesday 9/22 2 - 7 pm, at Fellowship Hall. Covid19 safe practices will be in place. Walk-ins are welcome, but wait times may vary. Stay for the Tuesday evening gathering!
vitalant.org group code G0010065
Call Vitalant @ 412.209.7000
Kelly Sample @ 724.971.4799
The Task Force was recently asked why there are certain programs and activities occurring at the church when the Sunday worship services are not being held in the building, and could it give clarification on how these decisions are made. Because the task force is committed to being transparent through this time of responding to Covid, we would like to take this opportunity to share our thoughts regarding the following:
1. Preschool. The preschool is utilizing a protocol similar to that currently followed by the FCASD, in keeping with its longstanding commitment to the young children and their families within our community. The preschool is functioning at attendance levels at or below the current Allegheny Health Department's recommendations. The preschool leadership, in conjunction with the task force, has put rigorous safety mechanisms and controls in place to ensure safe operations within well defined spaces of the church buildings, based on guidance from the CDC, APA and regional health departments.
2. Groups in the church. A few other groups have been given permission to continue routine and/or occasional operations within well-defined spaces of the church buildings as well. These programs follow careful safety practices, with limited numbers of individuals at any given time. We recognize that these groups and their efforts require a physical presence and that their mission cannot be reasonably accomplished by alternative means. We stand behind these efforts in order to support their critical missions within our community. This assistance is more important now than ever because of the ever increasing emotional, physical, and financial hardships Covid19 has brought to both individuals and families.
3. The Blood Drive. In keeping with supporting the health and well-being of our community, we are excited to hold a blood drive on 9/22. The demand for donated blood is at an all-time high. This is a one-time occurrence (though it may be repeated in the future), and is being held under strict protocols that ensure a very small number of people within the building at any given time.
4. Sunday Services. Sunday outdoor services have been ongoing and will continue! We encourage you to come to the outdoor live service, spread out, and worship together as we experience the Word. We feel it is prudent to take advantage of one of the safest ways to gather a larger group of congregants together as long as the weather allows. Our online prerecorded services also continue at 10:30 am on Sunday morning. These are valued and attended by those who are at risk and/or who feel uncomfortable with gathering in person under current conditions.
5. Sanctuary Worship. The Covid Task Force, Worship & Music committee, Deacons, and many on staff have been working tirelessly to prepare the sanctuary for worship. Worship in the sanctuary involves a much larger number of people in an indoor space - a context that has clearly been shown to be optimal for the dissemination of this virus. Many logistical components must be in place in order to support safe in-person worship while including and respecting those in our community who are at risk and/or feel uncomfortable with gathering in person, We currently are targeting mid- to late October for the beginning of Worship in the sanctuary.
6. How does the task force make these decisions? The task force takes into account current CDC, State and County health department guidelines and follows a cluster of routinely updated metrics that relate to the incidence and severity of COVID 19 in our community, which are generally available through the Allegheny County Health Department Dashboard. We have implemented a multi-tiered approach to reopening different portions of our facility to staff, congregants, and even outside groups. This methodology takes into consideration many criteria and is routinely re-evaluated, currently every two weeks.
We welcome your questions, your feedback and most importantly, your prayers.
God Bless you,
The Covid Task Force
August 28, 2020
YouTube and outdoor services in the church parking lot will continue to be offered.
The pastors, staff, and multiple committees are also working on plans to transition to a livestream worship in the sanctuary with eventual goal of worship in the sanctuary.
The Deacons will be hosting a blood drive in collaboration with Vitalant on Tuesday, September 22 from 2 pm- 7 pm in Fellowship Hall. Many blood drives have been cancelled due to the pandemic and blood of all types is very much needed at this time. Covid-19 Antibody Testing is also available for all donors. More information will be posted in future emails and the church website regarding the blood drive.
Many elementary, secondary, and college level students have already returned to learning both online and in the classroom. The FCPC preschool is also set to reopen in September. We keep all of these students, teachers and school personnel in our prayers.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6
August 6, 2020
Allegheny county continues to experience relatively widespread infections throughout all communities, a positive test rate of 7-9%, and roughly ~100 new cases/day. These metrics suggest we must remain cautious, but do allow for some flexibility, with safe practices in place.
The Church office remains open by appointment only and meetings are strongly recommended to be held virtually or outside.
YouTube services will continue each Sunday morning.
Outdoor live services on Sunday mornings (not streamed or recorded) will also be held, weather permitting. Please keep an eye out for information from the Church by email, on Facebook or call the office with any questions/updates.
For the outdoor services, and based on the Allegheny County Health Department mandates, gatherings must be fewer than 50 (outside). Overflow worshippers may be asked to stay in their car.
We know this may be inconvenient! We are working to implement a robust system to RSVP for the services. Thank you for your patience and your support.
We are coordinating carefully with the pastors, staff and the Worship & Music team to establish the best safe practices that align with a meaningful worship service. The health of all our congregation, staff and volunteers remains a high priority as we engage in worship together.
Tuesday evening gatherings continue on the patio outside the Church at 7 pm; please contact Nici in the office if you'd like to attend!
Youth group activities continue! Please contact Ryan if you are unsure of the times.
Safe practices to limit the spread of COVID19 remain in place:
Distancing of more than six feet
Masks are strongly encouraged outdoors, and remain mandatory indoors
We ask that the congregation refrain from singing along during the services
Remember that if you are sick, have recently travelled to a "hot spot", or have had other recent potential exposure to covid, to remain at home and enjoy the YouTube service.
We are so grateful for the over 200 responses to the recent survey! These responses reflect a diverse cross-section of our church community and each and every one is important. Your comments are so helpful and we are grateful for all of them. If you would like a paper survey, please let us know at the email address listed below. Here is a brief summary of the responses:
Thoughts toward returning to indoor worship are varied:
30% are not comfortable until a vaccine is available
26% will wait several additional weeks
25% will return at the first opportunity with precaution and concerns
19% want to return at first opportunity even with restrictions.
Most are feeling satisfied with and are enjoying the current church offerings as well as participating in online activities
A vast majority are willing to attend a service at a different time than they are accustomed to (90%).
Almost all are willing to wear masks while at the church (94%).
For those with children, the response to resumption of children’s participation, while following best practices, was generally positive (~60%)
There were many open form comments - we love hearing from each of you! Where appropriate and/or relevant, the comments have been shared.
A significant number expressed gratitude and appreciation for the work by staff and church leaders.
Chris Taylor’s daily devotions are greatly appreciated.
There were many thoughtful suggestions for improvement to the technical side, format and content of the worship services.
The music is important and enjoyed by many.
Many expressed a desire for more connection - both virtual and in person.
Many of you expressed caution and concern for moving forward, remembering to consider those of who are older or with health issues.
If we didn’t hear from you, you can reach out to us at: email@example.com. Please continue to help as we work to enrich your church experience. From so many of you, we see that faith and trust in our church is strong. Knowing this helps sustain all of us through this journey. Each of us is but an instrument of God’s hands and we can all work together for His glory, trusting in Him and His plan.
The Members of the COVID Task Force
Kimberly Bartolacci, Ann Boyd, Emy Boag, Dudley Hawley, Joe Mettenburg,
Sue McCann, Karin Miller, Barbara Patterson, Kelly Sample, Jon Sweringen,
Chris Taylor, Senior Pastor
Ellen Dawson, Associate Pastor
Tara Woodard-Lehman, Associate Pastor
“Let everyone give all their praise and thanks to the Lord! Here’s why—he’s better than anyone could ever imagine. Yes, he’s always loving and kind, and his faithful love never ends. So, go ahead—let everyone know it! Tell the world how he broke through
and delivered you from the power of darkness and has gathered us together from all over the world. He has set us free to be his very own! He led us right into a place of safety and abundance.... So lift your hands and thank God for his marvelous kindness.” -Psalm 107:1-3, 7-8 The Passion Translation
In preparation for the church reopening, please follow all the current guidelines for safety
Use hand sanitizer upon entering the church
Practice social distancing of at least six feet between you and others
Wear a mask when you enter the building
Remain home when sick, and after being around someone who is sick or having traveled to high risk areas, in the previous 14 days
In addition, Caretakers Greg and Mike have been regularly cleaning the church facilities using Bactronix cleaning products, which are hospital grade disinfectants that are also environmentally friendly
Due to Covid-19 our church office hours may fluctuate and can be found at the bottom of our website page. We try our best to keep the information accurate; however, often things change rapidly depending on the Covid spread in our community, so it is recommended you call or email to double-check our office hours and policy before stopping by.
For questions about building usage please contact Toni: Borrellit@fcpc.us
Church Office And Building
Letters To The Congregation
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