Updates to FPC’s COVID Re-Opening Guidelines 

At its June stated meeting, the session discussed and approved new recommendations from our COVID Taskforce for our re-opening plan. These updates are based on CDC guidelines and seek to balance our commitment to public health, our mission of welcome and hospitality, and a recognition of the low number of COVID cases in Lee County.

The FPC session has approved that:

For Worship…
- Masks are optional while in the sanctuary.
- The choir will be masked while singing.
- The sanctuary remains at limited capacity and a weekly sign up will be sent out on Thursdays.
- The nursery (birth to 3 years old) and children’s church (kindergarteners to rising 5th graders) will be available starting July 4. Worship bags will also be available for children who stay in the sanctuary for worship.

For non-Worship activities…
- Groups should continue to let a staff person know in advance when they would like to meet and keep a record of all who attend.
- Groups do not need to wipe down their table and chairs after each use.
- All adults working with children under 12 years old must continue to wear masks while inside the building.
- Punch on the lawn will return later this summer.

While some things are changing, many things are remaining as they are. Our order of worship will remain an abbreviated liturgy, and the livestream will continue. Anyone is welcome to continue wearing a mask during worship and other church events. We are continuing to ask members to sign up for worship in advance through our weekly email. If you would like assistance in signing up, you may contact Katie Cooper (770-630-4634), Denise Salo (313-304-3248), or Kirsten Yost (910-309-1625 or kmyost97@gmail.com), and they would be more than happy to sign you up. Additionally, though the sign up goes out on Thursdays, it remains open until Sunday morning; you may sign up for worship as late as 10:59am on Sunday!

Punch-on-the-Lawn Returns Next Month!

As a part of the church’s new re-opening guidelines, Punch on the Lawn is returning! 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.
Greetings from the Scottish Highlands!

We are so grateful to have made it to the much-anticipated leg of our sabbatical journey that (up until the last month or so) we weren’t sure would be able to happen. A quick summary of how COVID has affected our plans:

  • Several weeks ago we learned that upon arriving in Scotland we would need to complete a 10-day period of self-isolation. Luckily, we were able to find a place in the Scottish Highlands (an old school converted into an airbnb that just happens to be in the backyard of a Church of Scotland parish!)
  • After what will go down in Reed Family history as the most dramatic, stressful, almost-missed-several flights journey of our lives, we made it to the Spean Bridge area of the Highlands (outside of Ft. William.)
  • During this ten day period the adults have had to take two COVID tests and pending negative results, our quarantine will end on Sunday, June 27th.

Although we never would have planned for our trip to unfold in this way, there have been many unanticipated blessings. Quarantine has allowed us to adjust to the time change and think in greater detail about what we’re going to do in the weeks ahead. Our house/school (pictured above) is situated in a stunning valley at the foot of Ben Nevis. In the next field over a flock of sheep provide entertainment and, due to Scotland’s “freedom to roam” policy, we have been able to walk and hike every day to stay busy.

When we aren’t outside, we are keeping busy with games, art, and reading. True to our sabbatical goals of exploring Reformed history and spirituality, Nick has been reading John Knox by Reformation History scholar Jane Dawson. Kathy just finished Abraham Heschel’s classic, The Sabbath, and is also enjoying a murder mystery set in the Scottish Highlands.

To close we leave you with a quote from Heschel that sums up how we’ve felt as we’ve been somewhat forced to stop, slow down, and take note of the beauty around us. Although it was never the plan to come to Scotland only to be “stuck” in one place for ten days, what this time has given us is a profound and deep appreciation for the moment and place in which we find ourselves.

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ....get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel

Kathy and Nick Reed
Sunday, June 27

✵ 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.
Providing Security through Blankets

Project Linus is a national non-profit organization founded in 1995 with the mission to provide new handmade blankets to show comfort, love, and a sense of security for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. We welcome you to join the FPC Sower’s group on Monday, July 5 at 9 a.m. in Conway Hall as we respond to this need by creating NO SEW fleece blankets. We have enough material to complete 6 fleece blankets. But if you feel so inclined to add to that number feel free to donate fleece for the cause. It takes – 1 1/2 yards of fleece fabric for a front and coordinating 1 1/2 yards for the back. Hope to see you there! Masks are required and then up to individual once you are in Conway Hall. Enter through the doors by Baird Hall. For more information contact:

Denise Salo 313.304.3248, Becky Buchanan 501.8127, or Kay Recknor 502.8990 or to check out Project Linus visit https://www.projectlinus.org/ 
We had an amazing week at Vacation Bible School! Our children explored Love, Trust, Faith, and Hope and how each of these leads us to being the Light of God in the world.

A HUGE thanks to all of our adult and youth volunteers who made it happen! The Lord's glory has shone upon you!
Moms Demand Action Event

The Alabama Chapter of Moms Demand Action will host The Rev. Deanna Hollis, Gun Violence Prevention Coordinator with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in a Zoom Webinar, Sunday, June 27, at 3:00 PM CDT, as she presents "Unmasking the Powers Behind Gun Violence." The presentation explores the forces behind our gun violence epidemic and gives us resources for how we can respond and live into one of the Great Ends of the Church -- Exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world. Registration for the event is required at https://tinyurl.com/2zmbrdvp. For more information, contact Harriette Huggins.
Adult Christian Education Opportunities

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
Mondays, 12pm, Baird Hall 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 Baird Hall (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. (If you have a child or children who aren't scheduled for SS that particular week, they are welcome to come play/hang out in the courtyard while we visit!) 

Children Pre-K through 5th grade
Children’s Sunday school meets weekly on Sunday from 10:15-10:45 in Conway Hall.

Jr. and Sr. High Youth
Youth Sunday school meets weekly on Sunday in the Senior High room.

• Sr. High’s, mark your calendars! We will have a pool party Monday, June 28, from 7-9pm at Burke Place HOA Pool. Bring a friend, hope to see you there!
• Jr. High’s, mark your calendars! We will have a pool party July 22. More details to come!!!
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.

Sabbatical Summer Staffing Plan
from May 23 until August 8,

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/University Ministry | Caroline Barnett
Worship | Damion Womack
Mission | Caroline Barnett
Adult Education and Presbyterian Women | Chris Sarkowski
Congregational Life | Caroline Barnett
Property | Chris Sarkowski
General Office | Kathy Rushing
Generosity | Caroline Barnett
Finance | Kathy Rushing
Personnel | Caroline Barnett
Pastoral Care/Blessings Bunch | Caroline Barnett

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

June 27 - Derek Holman, Jean Peterson
June 28 - Becky Lauziere, Phil Shevlin
June 29 - Leslie Carter, Lili Muljadi
July 1 - Pete Forster
July 2 - Graves Lovell, Tracy Parsons
July 3 - Bob Greenleaf

Anniversaries

June 27 - Doug and Emily Klinkenborg
June 27 - Jim and Ki Seroka
June 28 - Terry and Mari Ley
July 3 - Steve and Margaret Craig Schmidt (50th!)
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 the families, friends, and community of the ten people (nine of whom were under 18) who lost their lives in the car accident in Butler County over the weekend. We pray for all who knew, loved, and now grieve for these individuals. 
• Prayers for Gwen Reid as she recovers from knee replacement surgery.
• Prayers for Gerri Talley who is recovering from back surgery.
• Prayers for Bob Webeler's sister, Sue, who is receiving care at a facility in Phenix City after suffering a stroke.
• Prayers for rest and safe travels for the Reed family during their sabbatical this summer.
• Prayers for Katie Lee as she undergoes physical therapy after knee replacement.
• Prayers for patience and good news for Barbara Dunham as she waits on medical tests at the end of the month.
• Prayers of healing and rest for Kevin Wells as he recovers at home from successful cardiac surgery.
• Prayers for members of the congregation who are waiting for results from medical tests.
• Prayers of healing and recovery for church members who had successful surgery and are now beginning the rehab process of their recovery.
• Continued prayers of healing and wholeness for many in our church family and their loved ones who are dealing with significant health and wellness issues but do not wish to be mentioned by name at the moment.
• 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.
• Sophie Ban, Anne Leader’s cousin, who is struggling with mental health issues and for her family.
• 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.
First Presbyterian Church |info@fpcauburn.org | (334)887-5571 | www.fpcauburn.org