2021 06 15: Updates to Reopening
Dear Members and Friends of North Park Covenant Church,
We write to you with exciting news about our life together. In light of the increased numbers of vaccinations in our community, the continuing drop of COVID cases in our local area, and the city’s lifting of restrictions as of June 11, we have made the decision to further open our Sunday morning worship services.
What follows is a list of the most recent updates, effective Sunday, June 20. As we continue to transition toward more “normalcy”, we are working to provide multiple ways for people to safely and comfortably join together in worship. As always, please feel free to reach out to Pastor Jeff or Pastor Libby with questions or concerns.
- There will be no restrictions on the number of people who attend on Sunday mornings, and reservations for worship will no longer be required. We will no longer conduct temperature or symptom checks, or require sign-ins. Additionally, you may enter the church through the south doors, tower door, or sanctuary doors.
- We will continue, through the summer, to do the bulk of worship in the sanctuary (we know it gets hot) and masks will not be required in that space for those who are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must continue to wear a mask. (Those who are 12 and younger should follow the direction of their parents/guardians with regard to masking.) Of course, anyone who cares to wear a mask is more than welcome to do so.
- You will be asked to seat yourselves, and we will be utilizing every other pew. Please watch for signs indicating which pews are open. We ask you to be cognizant of other people/pods and try to maintain a 3 foot distance.
- We will also be opening up the parlors, with staggered seating, for those who are hesitant to sit in the sanctuary with people who are not masked. Those in the parlors can sit in the cool of the air conditioning and participate in worship via a livestream to the screens in that space. Seating in the parlors will be limited, and masks will be required in that space. Priority seating will be given to the elderly and those with other health issues.
- We will also continue to livestream our worship services.
- Children will return to using “reusable” worship bags on Sunday mornings.
- We will be able to enjoy coffee hour outside on some Sundays following worship.
- The staff will slowly and incrementally begin returning to the building this summer and anticipates returning in full by the start of fall. Beginning the week of July 5, the church will be open Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3 pm each day.
- Babies and toddlers are welcome in worship (there will be no childcare just yet), but both the nursery and toddler room will be open for parents if a play space is needed.
- We will reassess again in late summer to discern next steps then.
- As always, if you are feeling unwell, please refrain from attending in person until you have recovered.
Thank you for your patience and support during this challenging, but exciting, time of transition together.
Pastor Jeff and Pastor Libby and the Regathering Taskforce:
Kevin Anderson, Sue Anderson, Susan Dawson, Marti Hindaileh, Christine Olfelt, Joel Olfelt, and Carol Schlensker
2020 11 30: In-person Worship Suspension Continues
Based on the current COVID numbers in the area, we are extending our decision not to have the congregation present in worship for the time being. Once our neighborhood and city numbers go down we anticipate opening our worship services again to a limited number of in-person participants.
2020 11 12: In-person Worship Suspended for Remainder of November
Based on the current COVID numbers in the area, we have made the decision not to have the congregation present for worship at least through the end of November (November 15, 22, 25, and 29).
We will continue to livestream our services–with pastoral staff and worship and tech teams only present in the sanctuary–each Sunday morning, but we will not have congregation members and/or ushers present.
We are sorry that we have had to make this decision, but we have done so out of our care and concern for all of you.
We pray that we will be able to return to in-person worship soon.
Please join us in prayer for our global community, as we continue to fight this virus.
Pandemic Ponderings… for Posterity
It has been six months, now, since the global pandemic began and life changed dramatically for us. So much has changed about the way we do life, ministry, and worship at North Park Covenant Church, and so much has changed in individual and family life, too. While we don’t know exactly how long this pandemic will last and how long we will need to be so very careful, we would like to start compiling a COVID-19 Memory Book: How the Pandemic of 2020 Changed Our Lives. It will contain a recap of the ways in which we have altered life at church—ministry and worship—but it would wonderful to also be able to include some thoughts, notes, and journal entries from all of you. How has the pandemic changed the way you are living? What have you learned? What has been hard? What has been good? Do you have stories to share? Perhaps you have already been keeping a journal of sorts and have pieces you would be willing to share, or perhaps this is just the impetus you need to write or create something.
Please send your writings (short written observations, longer reflections, paintings or drawings, photos—however you might feel most comfortable expressing yourself) to Pastor Libby’s email (email@example.com) when you’re ready. And, of course, feel free to reach out if you have questions, too. Once complete, this memory book will be available to any who would like a copy. It will also serve as a memory piece for the archives.
Christianity and COVID-19
We invite you to listen to a Language of God podcast episode from the BioLogos website. BioLogos was begun by Dr. Francis Collins, lead scientist on the Human Genome Project and the current “boss” of Dr. Anthony Fauci. In this particular podcast, Dr. Collins is chatting with N.T. Wright, well-known and gifted theologian. Listen in as these two brilliant men of faith discuss the current COVID pandemic and how we might deal with it as people of faith. (You might remember, too, that Pastor Libby mentioned this podcast in a sermon at the end of July.)
This is an unprecedented time as we face the coronavirus pandemic in our neighborhood and nation.
As we are walking together in this moment, we have come to realize that keeping up with developments and communicating well through this season will take care and innovation. This page will be constantly updated as we work together to communicate clearly, support one another as the family of God, and stand together against fear and anxiety.
If you have concerns, ideas, or needs that you would like to share please reach out to Pastor Jeff, Pastor Libby, or Ann-Marie.
North Park Church Cooperative Preschool
- The North Park Church Cooperative Preschool is back with online classes.
- Head over to the NPCCP Website for more details.
Church Communication and Updates
- Our main source of communication continues to be the NPCC email lists.
- Reach out to Ann-Marie, Church Administrator, to be added to the email list.
- NPCC Facebook