Congregational Survey - Please Respond!!

Please click here to respond to the brief congregational survey

"For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine." - Romans 1:11-12

Words cannot express the joy present in the sanctuary last Sunday. As a new semester was poised to begin the pews were filled (to appropriate capacity), greetings were shouted across the aisles, and when Chris invited the children up to have their backpacks blessed, the steps were filled for the first time in a very long time.

Since March of 2020 we have felt a lot like Paul in his letter to the Romans: longing and praying to be present with one another so we can be strengthened by each others' spiritual gifts. However, Sunday's service gave me hope that perhaps this fall will be the beginning of a new sort of normal - not a "life post-pandemic" normal but a "life slightly adjusted so that we might continue living amidst the pandemic" normal.

Right now our church leadership: session elders, staff, volunteers, and participants are prayerfully discerning how we can move forward into the year in a way that allows us to be present in each other's lives, unified as the body of Christ, while simultaneously maintaining practices that respect the varying comfort levels we all have with regard to masking and social distancing.

It would be so very, very helpful to our discernment if every household in the congregation could take a few moments to complete the survey crafted by our Congregational Care and Children and Youth Committees. Knowing what sort of gatherings you are longing for, how often you would like to have them, and where your comfort level lies right now will guide our planning going into the fall.

Pride may be a sin, but I cannot help but be overwhelmingly proud of how this church has navigated the challenges of the pandemic. I pray every week that we will continue to keep the love of God and our fellow human beings at the center of discernment in the time that is to come. Thank you all for being a part of this community, which offers all of us a glimpse of God's kingdom here on earth.

Grace and peace to you all,
Kathy Reed
Sign Up Now to Host Punch-on-the-Lawn!

We are excited to once again be able to enjoy a time of refreshment and fellowship following worship! If you would like to volunteer to host a Sunday Punch-on-the-Lawn, you may sign up here. For more information about volunteering, please contact Kirstin Yost at at kmyost97@gmail.com or 910-309-1625.
Update to Our Covid Re-Opening Plan
Updated July 26

At a called session meeting on Monday, July 26, the session voted to require masks for all participants for worship and indoor gatherings. They also voted to reinstate six feet of social distancing between family units in the sanctuary. These changes came as a recommendation from the COVID Taskforce in light of the high positive infection rate for Lee County, advice from EAMC health officials, and a growing concern over the Delta variant.

These changes were not made lightly but are being put into effect based upon the high infection rate for our county, advice from EAMC health officials, and a growing concern over the spread of the Delta variant. With these practices in place, we hope the church campus can continue to serve our congregation safely.

What is changing? 
  • Masks are required for all people attending indoor gatherings, including worship. 
  • Each pew can accommodate one family unit (approximately four- five people) in order to ensure six feet of distance between units. 


What stays the same? 
  • Worship continues in-person, online, and over the radio. If you wish to worship in-person, a sign-up is required. The sign up email is sent out on Thursday and is open until 10:59am Sunday morning. If you are having trouble with the electronic sign up, please contact Katie Cooper (770-630-4634), Denise Salo (313-215-3091), or Kirstin Yost (910-309-1671 or kmyost97@gmail.com), and they would be more than happy to make sure you are signed up for worship properly.  
  • Groups wishing to meet in the building must sign up with their designated staff person and keep a list of attendees. Groups are also able to meet in a hybrid style (in-person and via Zoom) or entirely over Zoom. If you have questions about how your group can meet, please contact your ministry’s staff person.
Sunday, August 15

✵ 11:00am: In-Person, Indoor Worship -  If you attend one of the indoor services in coming weeks you will notice many differences from our "normal" sanctuary worship. At this time, based on recommendations from our COVID Task Force and Session, we will have a very simple service without congregational singing, passing of the peace, and several other elements you might be looking forward to sharing with your church family. However, as local conditions and guidelines continue to improve it is our greatest hope that we will begin adding back in all these elements of worship we know and love. Thank you so much for your patience and grace as we try to maintain the greatest level of safety for our congregation, musicians, worship leaders, and our greater community.

At the sign-up link below (and the email containing the sign-up sent on Thursday), you will find detailed information on our current protocols for worship attendance.




✵ 11:00am: Virtual Worship - We are pleased to announce that we are live-streaming our worship service at 11am. What this means is that those worshiping from home will be able to watch the service live as it is happening in the sanctuary. To view the service you can go directly to our church’s YouTube Channel via your computer, smartphone, or Smart TV app (https://tinyurl.com/t7dl8vh) or you can access the worship service through our website or Facebook page.

If you are unable to watch live at 11am, a recorded version of the service will be available at these same links later in the day.
Thank You from Our House

Our House extends its gratitude to the congregation of First Presbyterian Church. The kids received their shoes last week and were so excited to wear them this week for the start of school.
As the fall semester approaches, UKirk Auburn is excited to welcome returning and new students to our ministry! The best way to reach new students is through word-of-mouth and a recommendation from someone they trust.

The UKirk Campus Ministries of our presbytery (Auburn, University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Jacksonville State) would love to be introduced to any and all college students who may be interested in a Presbyterian campus ministry. You can refer students through this form, and don’t forget to tell your college students to look for “UKirk” when they arrive on campus.

For more info, contact Caroline Barnett at cbarnett@fpcauburn.org.
Adult Christian Education Opportunities

Masks are once again required to be worn by anyone inside our church buildings.

Old Testament Walkabout Class
9:30am, Baird Hall OR Zoom

The Old Testament Sunday school class has resumed meeting in person in Baird Hall. We also offer a live Zoom option. Our current study is what many refer to as Second Isaiah (Isaiah, chapters 40 thru 55). Class begins at 9:45. Please join us either in person in Baird Hall or contact Gayle Andress, if you wish to receive a Zoom invitation.


Bible Journaling Small Group
Tuesdays, 12pm, Library OR Zoom

You do not have to be an artist to find a great deal of meaning in the practice of Bible journaling. Join us in the church library (or, if you are more comfortable, via Zoom) every Monday as we reflect upon the previous Sunday's sermon and Scripture text and explore various kinds of drawing, painting, and journaling techniques. For more information, please contact Susan Fillippeli.
CE News

Sundays, 10am, Church Courtyard, Weather Permitting
As our children and youth resume in person Sunday School gatherings, those in the pre-retirement phase of life are invited to bring your own chair and coffee for a visit in the courtyard while the children are having their lesson. For the time being the goal is catching up and enjoying fellowship, though we will be crowd sourcing for ideas on Adult Education offerings for this age/stage of life for the fall.

Children Pre-K through 5th grade
• Worship Readiness will begin September 12. This year, Worship Readiness will be offered for 2nd and 3rd graders. Each Sunday for six weeks children will learn about all of the different pieces of worship and why we worship the way we do. At the conclusion of Worship Readiness, our 2nd and 3rd graders will be prepared to stay in worship for the entire service.
• The nursery is now available from 10 until noon on Sunday mornings for children birth to age 3.
• Children’s church is back! After the Word to Grow By, children ages 4 to rising 3rd grade will go together to the preschool room for the remainder of the worship service.
• Worship bags are also available for all children during worship.
• Children’s Sunday school will meet this Sunday from 10:15 – 10:45 in Conway Hall.
• Masks are required indoors for children 3 & over and youth, as well as all adults working with them.

Jr. and Sr. High Youth
• This Sunday is "Sundaes on Sunday"! To celebrate the first week of school, youth will gather for a time of fellowship in the church courtyard at 5pm.
• Saturday, August 21, our youth and their families are invited to participate in the Alabama Rural Ministry Day of Service, from 8 am to 4pm. This is an awesome mission opportunity to serve folks in Lee and Macon Counties working on and fixing up their homes! If you would like to participate, please let Chris know and he will get you on the list. The deadline to sign up is August 17. Youth must be 12yrs old to serve. No particular skills are needed.
• Youth Sunday school will meet this Sunday from 10:15 – 10:45 in the Senior High room.
Procedures for In-Person Meetings in Church Facilities

As you read the information below, please note that the church building is NOT yet open for general use. PLEASE do not enter the building without first contacting a staff member (preferably as outlined below, via email at least 48 hours in advance) so that we can continue to provide the greatest level of safety and sanitation.

If I am a part of a small group (circle, committee, bible study, etc.) that would like to meet on site, what steps should I take? 
  • PRIOR TO YOUR GATHERING - Contact your group’s designated staff member (please see below for a full list of staff resource persons for each ministry area). Work with your staff person to schedule a time and space for your group to meet. They will explain to you which entrance, exit, and restrooms your group should utilize for the time you are schedule to meet at the church. 
  • DURING YOUR GATHERING - Masks are now optional (unless children are present), although please be respectful of the level of comfort within your group. Proper social distancing should be observed and no food or drinks may be provided.
  • AT THE END OF YOUR GATHERING - Coordinate with your designated staff person to ensure that a list of all attendees is submitted to the church (for contact tracing purposes), the space is properly cleaned and the church doors are locked upon exiting.

Who is my designated staff person and how do I contact them?
Please send an email at least 48 hours before your group would like to gather so staff members have plenty of time to communicate and avoid overlapping groups.


Please contact the following staff members with any questions or concerns in the
following areas:
Ministry Area | Staff Contact
Children and Youth | Chris Sarkowski
Music | Damion Womack
UKirk and University Ministry | Caroline Barnett 
Worship | Nick Reed or Kathy Reed
Mission | Kathy Reed
Adult Education and Presbyterian Women | Kathy Reed
Congregational Life | Nick Reed 
Property | Nick Reed or Steve Hickok
General Office | Kathy Rushing
Generosity | Kathy Reed
Finance | Nick Reed 
Personnel | Nick Reed or Kathy Reed

We thank you in advance for your patience and grace as we do our best to transition into this next (exciting!) phase of our reopening. Please know that in the weeks ahead we may find need to institute a more formal scheduling system in order to facilitate groups that desire to meet in the building. We will use the weekly email newsletter as a place to share these updates.

With much gratitude, The FPC Staff
Birthdays

Aug. 15 - Erin Brown, Jim Wright
Aug. 17 - Caleb Dimick
Aug. 18 - Charlie Johnson
Aug. 19 - Shirley Helmke
Aug. 21 - Carolyn Tamblyn

Anniversaries

Aug. 19 - Robbie and Jessica Barnes
Aug. 20 - Jan and Shirley Bartels
Prayer Concerns & Celebrations

For the time period in which our church family is worshiping virtually, our pastors have decided that prayer concerns will be shared via weekly email. These individuals will most certainly be prayed for during our Sunday worship service, but their names and specific concerns will not be shared via broadcast.

Concerns:

• Prayers for Kathi Kishkorn, who is at EAMC following a cardiac procedure and will likely remain there for the time being to receive rehab.
• Prayers for Dave Lindahl, who is navigating a severe back injury and will be receiving treatments in the weeks ahead
• Prayers for Liz Lindahl, who has moved to Azalea Place. Her new contact information is: 334-209-1942; 1601 Professional Parkway, Apt. 105, Auburn, AL 36830.
• Merilyn Hozer who is moving to Auburn Assisted Living this Saturday. Merilyn does not have a phone number at her new residence yet but you may send her a card at: 350 Samford Village Ct. #223, Auburn, AL 36830.
• Prayers for the Spencer family for healing and strength.
• Prayers for Gerri Talley who is recovering from back surgery. Also prayers for her son-in-law, Gary Sagunsky, and his family as he begins chemotherapy as well as dialysis for multiple myeloma.
• Prayers of healing and rest for Kevin Wells as he recovers at home from successful cardiac surgery.
• Prayers for Belinda Wright, friend of Karen Herring & Leslie Carter, who is undergoing cancer treatment.
• Prayers for Rodney Greer’s mother, Dixie, as she recovers from surgery.
• Prayers for Bob Webeler's sister, Sue, who was receiving rehab in Phenix City but is now at EAMC following some setbacks in her health.
• Prayers of healing for Tom Webb’s sister as she recovers from successful surgery. Prayers for Tom as he cares for his sister in Oregon.
• The Cochran family’s friend Sarah Andres, scheduled for a kidney transplant in Philadelphia, PA.
• Prayers for Melanie Jackson, Jessica Barnes’ childhood friend, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
• Prayers of healing for Amy Well’s friend Suzi Bonifay undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
• Prayers of healing for Amanda Smith’s co-worker and friend, Susan Scales, as she undergoes cancer treatment.
• All who are dealing with significant health and wellness issues but do not wish to be mentioned by name at the moment.
• All who are suffering from COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant.
• All students, teachers, and other educators as they return to school.
First Presbyterian Church |info@fpcauburn.org | (334)887-5571 | www.fpcauburn.org