FPC Dallas Church Family,
We write on behalf of the Session and our Reopening Task Force with an important update about our plans to reopen the church campus.
The progress fighting the pandemic in our country is incredibly encouraging. Vaccines are now readily available for people above the age of 12, infection rates are down, and multiple studies indicate that the vaccine is highly effective at preventing both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection. We thank God for the answered prayers and the medical professionals, researchers, and public health leaders who have made this possible.
Late last week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidelines in response to the progress the US has made and the studies confirming the vaccine’s extraordinary effectiveness. As you’ve likely heard, the new guidance directs that, with a few exceptions, it’s now safe to gather indoors without a mask, if you are vaccinated.
The announcement from the CDC was met with a mix of emotions: excitement for the corner it appears we are turning and concern for the health and safety of people we care about who are not yet vaccinated. Perhaps like you, the announcement surprised us.
For over a year now, our Reopening Task Force has remained dedicated to the health and safety of everyone at our church, at The Stewpot and Meal Services, and at the Day School. This group, made up of Elders, at-large church members, and staff has met every other week since April 2020. From the beginning, the recommendations they’ve made to the Session to advance our phased reopening plan have been informed by two factors:
On our website at fpcdallas.org/sundays you will find additional details about how the new CDC guidance will impact our Children’s programming. Also included there is news that the 8:30 am service returns on July 4 and that in-person Sunday School is coming soon. Please note that we will soon host a vaccination site on campus in partnership with the Dallas County Health Department. Be on the lookout for more details in the coming days.
Again, if you aren’t vaccinated, for whatever reason, we expect and encourage you to wear a face mask on campus at FPC Dallas.
Worship will continue to stream online into your home on Sunday mornings at fpcdallas.org/live. One of our congregation’s gifts is our willingness to meet people where they are. We will not all gather in the same manner for some time. And yet still, God knows where to find us.
The Covid-19 virus remains an opportunistic virus. The pandemic isn’t over, and even though our progress in Dallas has been steady, countries throughout the world still struggle to contain the virus and find adequate vaccine supply. Please remain compliant with protocols on our church campus. We strongly encourage compliance with CDC guidance in other places of business, when traveling, and when in large groups.
On behalf of our Reopening Task Force, Session, and staff, thank you for your flexibility and patience. We are almost there. May God continue to abide with us.
Amos Disasa, Pastor
Matthew Soucek, Elder and Chair, Reopening Task Force