A letter from Dr. Gillespie

“Opening for Sunday Worship”


My dear MFPC Family and friends, the Session has given its approval for us to come back to worship in our beautiful sanctuary this coming Sunday, June 21st, at 11:00 a.m.  Worship will be the only event at church on Sundays, at this time. I wish to give all of us a heads-up: There will be some changes and inconveniences in what has been our typical Sunday morning routine in the past. When it comes to this Coronavirus, no one truly knows what to expect as to how the virus behaves and is transmitted. That being said, our Session wants us to come back to worship, and no one wants anyone to get sick.  Some among us are much more vulnerable than others. Some among us are much more careful than others, and well should be. The true mark of a Christian Community is that individual members understand and respect the concerns of others, and we honor those needs of one another. Below are the guidelines approved by the Session for coming back to worship:

 

Session-Approved Guidelines for Worship

    1.       All attendees will enter through the north and south doors to the sanctuary.  An usher will be posted at each door to assist attendees in maintaining social distancing while waiting to be seated.

    2.       It is strongly recommended that all adults wear face masks during worship, and all are asked to respect the space of others. Attendees may bring their own or masks will be made available at entrances.

    3.       It is recommended that children over the age of 2 years wear face masks.

    4.       Adults who do decide to wear face masks during worship will be seated forward in the sanctuary. Attendees who cannot wear face masks for medical conditions are urged to sit in the balconies. If they are unable to climb the stairs, those without masks shall be seated in the back of the sanctuary.

    5.       Seats in the sanctuary will be marked to comply with recommended social distancing guidelines. 

    6.       Family groups are expected to sit together.

    7.       Ushers will direct attendees where to sit in order to maintain prescribed social distancing.  Please note that it is likely that attendees will not be seated in their usual seats.  One usher will be assigned to each quadrant in the sanctuary to maintain distancing.

    8.       Nursery will not be provided during worship and there will be no Children’s church.  The Time for Young Disciples will be omitted from the service.  Children of all ages are welcome to sit with their parents in the sanctuary during worship.

    9.       Worship music will be provided by the Chancel Trio/Quartet and the organist.

  10.       Offering plates will be placed at the 2 entrances so that attendees can deposit their offerings upon entering or leaving the sanctuary. Please remember our Faithful Ones.

  11.       Friendship pads and passing of the peace are temporarily suspended.

  12.       Hand sanitizer will be available around the church campus and attendees will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the sanctuary and/or restrooms.

  13.       Any attendee who tests positive for COVID-19 after attending worship services should notify the church office so that appropriate responses can be made while striving to maintain the privacy of the individual.

  14.       As we re-open church activities piece-by-piece, communication with the congregation is vitally important. Activity schedules and notifications will be made through the Stained Glass Gazette, Facebook page, the church website, and through emails concerning evolving guideline changes approved by the Session. 


Other guidelines for church gatherings will be reviewed by our MFPC COVID-19 Consultation Committee. This committee makes its recommendations to the Session. The committee will be reviewing matters of resuming congregational singing, when and how to do this safely, as well as opening our Fellowship Hall before our time for worship. We all desire to be able to gather and worship as we have in the past. We must use caution and the Session supports the careful approach. So, I appeal to all to be patient and understanding as we move into this new threatening environment together, an environment we simply do not understand and cannot predict. 

     In closing, as we negotiate the waters and the rapids of this unknown river we are on, I offer to you the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Church in Ephesus:

 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

(Ephesians 4:2)

Dr. G.

 

 

   

 

 



Join us in this special event to honor our graduating seniors

Wednesday, May 27th      6:30-7:30PM

Because we won't be able to gather for baccalaureate service to recognize this milestone in the lives of our graduating seniors, we are planning a "Drive-Thru" celebration.  The seniors will place their memory boards on tables and, dressed in their cap & gown, they will greet church members in the parking lots.  You may take this time to congratulate them by driving through the lots.  Volunteers will be there to direct traffic.  We will begin by entering the south parking lot at the entrance closest to the Covenant Counseling Center.  Bring gifts, cards, or just congratulate them by honking your horn and waving.  Let's make this a festive occasion to try and make up for all of the activities they have missed.  Decorate your vehicle or find a unique way to let them know that their church family is proud of them!


W.A.T.C.H. 

"Wednesdays At The Church"

Join us Wednesday evenings for WATCH!


Dinner begins at 5:30, followed by programming for all ages at 6:20.


Shuttle available for those with limited mobility. Contact the church office to reserve a seat on the bus.



“Living Faithfully Through the COVID-19 Shutdown”

 

Sisters and Brothers of Moultrie First Presbyterian Church:

“Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was,

and who is to come.  (Revelation 1:4)

 

After these verses, the witness of Revelation proceeds to open for our review God’s divine plan for creation, and for us.  The greeting above, to us as well as to the seven churches in Asia Minor, comes to us from the future God has prepared for us in Jesus Christ.  Realization of this has always intrigued me, filling me with tremendous hope for God’s promise of what lies ahead for us, the great Church Triumphant, beyond what Revelation calls “the Great Ordeal.”

 

The world is indeed passing through a challenging time in the Great Ordeal.  The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the entire world in ways just now beginning to dawn upon us.  When conditions, such as we are now entering, set upon us, anxiety and fear of the unknown becomes an epidemic of its own.  Our sure defense in the face of this threat is two-pronged: 1) Gain as much knowledge and information about the disease as we can, including being tested when available, and prepare for the worst; and 2) Lean on our faith in Jesus Christ, holding firm to our Lord’s promise to be with us in all circumstances, even should we be struck with illness, or worse. 

 

This is a time for us to take extreme care for ourselves, our families, our neighbors, following all the recommendations given by the CDC, Federal, State and local governments until the crisis for infection passes.   

 

As our congregation moves forward through this ordeal, here are some things you should know:

 

  • Worship Services, Sunday School, Choir, WATCH, Confirmation Sunday, Youth-led Worship and any other group activities are postponed until further notice.
  • Session and Diaconate will not meet until further notice.
  • All Committee Meetings are postponed until further notice.
  • Church Staff met Tuesday, March 17th, to make adjustments to the church calendar for the rest of our Lenten and Easter seasons.  Dr. G., Penny and Susan P. will continue to keep office hours. The Church Staff plans to meet Tuesday, March 31st, to evaluate where we are at that time.
  • Our Congregational Care Committee is staying in touch with our elderly members.  We have food available as needed by anyone.  In order to serve those who should need help with shopping, picking up prescriptions, being served a meal, we need to know who those people are.  Call the church and we will pass the concern along to Congregational Care, which will respond appropriately.
  • Session had called a Congregational Meeting for this coming Sunday to elect 4 at-large members to the 2020 Nominating Committee.  Session will reschedule that meeting.
  • In the meantime,  Service of Worship for Sunday mornings will be broadcast at 11:00 a.m., until we resume normal worship together.  The worship services will be broadcast on this webpage under the "Sermon" heading on the menu and also on the church Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MoultrieFPC/
  • Please check daily your email, our MFPC Face Book page, the church web site, and especially the church calendar on the website for any updates amidst these rapidly changing circumstances.  We are keeping these channels of communication updated for you.
  • If you have any questions, or wish to make contact with us at the church during weekly office hours, do not hesitate to call.  We are here!

 

As we struggle to adjust to this new normal of isolating, frequently washing and sanitizing hands, let it also become habit to pray for one another, to pray for the world, and to pray for God’s will to be done in all things.  I have been trying to think of different songs to sing as I wash my hands.  I found the following verse from “Amazing Grace” to be most comforting:

 

“Through many dangers, toils and snares

We have already come;

‘Tis grace has brought us safe thus far

And grace will lead us home.”

 

Dr. G.

 













 

Special Notice concerning Sunday morning worship services

Moultrie First Presbyterian is honoring and exercising "social distancing" as our participation in our nation's and community's effort to help curb the spread of COVID-19.  Therefore, the only people allowed in the sanctuary will be those necessary to assist in the broadcast of the service.  Doors to the sanctuary will be closed and locked during the service.  The live stream of the service can be found by clicking on the link below.  Thanks to all for your understanding, support and cooperation with this effort on the part of MFPC to stem the spread of Coronavirus throughout the nation.

Blessings to all,

Richard


Holy Week Events Calendar

Click Here for a list of church activities during Holy Week.