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COVID-19 update

Worship services
We are pleased to offer both live worship for those who are comfortable worshipping in the Sanctuary and online worship for those who prefer to worship at home.  Live worship is held Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.

At a special meeting of the Session on January 3, 2022, the elders considered the following factors and took the actions set forth below. Most significantly, we will once again be requiring masks and, for the time being, will continue with one Sunday worship service at 9:30 a.m. Hopefully, these measures will only be necessary for a short time: 

Background 

  1. Our priority is the safety of our members, guests and staff.
  2. Previously during the surge of the Delta Variant during late summer and fall, we followed CDC advice, that where transmission is “high,” all persons should wear a mask indoors. We also relied on information from the NCH hospital system.
  3. The Omicron variant is extremely contagious; fully vaccinated persons are getting infected.
  4. Last Friday, Florida recorded 75,900 cases.
  5. Collier County is in “high” transmission. “High” is if seven day numbers show 50 or more cases per 100,000, and positivity rate of 10% or higher. Current 7 day numbers show 293 cases per 100,000 and positivity rate of 18.77%.    
  6. NCH system as of yesterday had 83 COVID patients, thankfully only 6 in ICU. Census has gone from 17 (Tuesday) to 34 (Thursday) to 64 (Sunday) to 83 (yesterday).
  7. Worship attendance on Sunday, January 2 was 200.
  8. When decisions were made weeks ago to remove the mask requirement and go to two services the transmission rate/risk in Collier County was “moderate” (less than 50 cases per 100,000, hospitalizations at NCH were down in the teens and Omicron variant was not on the horizon).

The elders asked the question: What would please God? What would Jesus do? What is right thing to do for the common good?

And took the following actions:

  1. For the near future, we will stay with one worship service at 9:30 a.m. and utilize all balconies if needed. We will monitor attendance to see if there is a need to go to two services.
  2. Masks will be required for all.
  3. Congregational singing will be allowed.
  4. Communion will be by take-home packets.
  5. Offering will be in boxes, not by passing the plate.
  6. Attendance will be obtained by cards, not by passing the friendship pad.
  7. For all in-person meeting on premises, attendees will wear masks.
  8. Zoom meetings will be encouraged.
  9. Staff, including Preschool staff, will mask unless working alone in their office.
  10. There will be no food or drink served or consumed for church events; hosts can provide take home meals if desired.
  11. We encourage all to be vaccinated and boosted.

Thank you for your cooperation and please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Blessings and Peace to you,

Craig Goodrich, Pastor and Moderator of Session
Rex Childs, Associate Pastor
Ruling Elders of FPCN

 
Last Published: January 4, 2022 2:37 PM
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