April 27, 2021
Greetings Church —
We hope you are well and are finding moments of healing and hope during your day. We understand that we are each holding different levels of anxiety, pressures, and expectations about our future, and we will do our best to provide ongoing communication and fervent prayers as we move into the next stages of our life together.
Last week we made some initial decisions regarding a Reopening Plan for our church facilities and communal gatherings. We are grateful that local infection numbers and vaccination rates are making these conversations possible, but please know that we remain committed to proceeding with caution, thoughtfulness, and a willingness to adapt and change as needed.
Pending changed conditions and/or government mandates, we have made the following decisions:
- June 15, 2021: Limited office hours will be established, and the facilities will be open to church-based small groups and social gatherings for groups of less than 10 indoor and no more than 25 outdoor. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis to ensure coordination between groups and our July hosting of Hotel de Zink. Requests must be submitted to and approved by our Director of Operations.
- August 15, 2021: We will begin offering a form of hybrid worship by expanding our current Zoom worship to include an in-person attendance option. There are many details to be worked out, but our intention will be to continue to provide a robust and meaningful worship experience no matter how one attends.
- September 1, 2021: Office hours will be expanded, and facilities will be open to occasional outside renters, recovery groups, etc.
Vaccinations, Masking, Distancing, Singing: While we strongly encourage people to get vaccinated, at this point we do not anticipate requiring or tracking people’s vaccination status.
With this in mind, at this time we will ask that any groups meeting on church grounds continue to maintain safety protocols such as masking, social distancing, and no group singing.
The Pandemic Task Force and Session will be regularly revisiting the Reopening Plan, and we will be taking the rest of April and May to plan for hybrid worship, prepare the facility for use, revise facilities usage policies, and develop safety protocols.
We understand that there is a wide spectrum of opinions and examples of how faith communities and businesses are proceeding during this time, but know that our intention is to continually create a hospitable and safe space, not only for friends and members of First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, but also for the surrounding Palo Alto community.
We are grateful for your ongoing participation in the life of the church, and that you have lived into the idea that We Never Closed. If you have any questions, concerns, affirmations, or comments, feel free to email the church office, and messages will be forwarded to Session.
With gratitude and hope for our life together — Your Session,
Cynthia Chin-Lee, Evelyn Wong, Karen Huddleston, Lee Merkle-Raymond, Lela Noble, Margaret Ann Fidler, Mary Alice Thornton, Martha Maris, Mohan Iyer, Pat Kinney, Paul Jones, Shirley Eglington, and Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Pastor and Moderator of Session