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Important Notice - May 18, 2020
The Church Office has experienced issues with the phone lines over the past two weeks. If you are having trouble calling the church office please email the church at:
Announcement About Our Worship Services
*Due to COVID-19 all public worship services have been suspended until further notice. Videos of the weekly worship services will be posted to our YouTube Channel. If you would like to receive the Sunday message through email please sign up for our weekly emails through "contact".
Church's Plans for Reopening - May 21, 2020
Members and Friends of First United Protestant Church,
I miss you all and I hope this message finds you well. The church council and I have been working on plans and procedures for reopening the church. The risks and costs of providing a safe space within our church for everyone to return to are complicated and there are several factors that must be considered.
Among those factors are:
The love and concern for all those who use our church campus.
Our belief that God is everywhere and not confined to a building space.
The capacity of our building space to adhere to social distancing recommendations by the CDC.
The vulnerability of particular populations of people who are most at risk.
The effort and costs of sanitizing the building regularly.
The availability of technology that makes it possible for most people to worship with us at home.
The knowledge that many outbreaks have began in churches and places of worship.
The knowledge that many people have spread the disease without knowing they had it.
The likelihood of seeing a second wave of infections as our State and economy reopens.
At our last council meeting we did finalize plans and a policy on reopening the church. However, those plans have since been revised as new information on reopening has been released by the State of Hawaii and the Department of Health. These plans will likely continue to change, especially as new information is received and the events surrounding COVID-19 change.
As of right now the State of Hawaii will only allow in-person gatherings of no more than 10 people, only if certain criteria are met to accommodate those people. Obviously, reopening the church for 10 people is not the most constructive and practical way to serve our church community on Sunday mornings during this time. So for now we will continue to offer online worship into the month of June, probably longer.
There will be some changes to our online worship services, which I hope will be more spiritually nourishing and feel like the worship services you had been attending before we suspended public worship nearly ten weeks ago. Starting in June, a small worship team will return to the church to prerecord our weekly worship services. We will once again have music and other voices in our worship services. We also recently purchased a camcorder that will offer a better picture and sound.
When the State does give us clearance to return back to the church, I want to stress that we will not be coming back to the church we left. Our Sunday worship services will look and feel much different than they did before. As of right now some of those changes to prepare for are:
A limited capacity of no more than 30 individuals or family units on Sunday morning.
Asking everyone who enters the church to wear a mask and to maintain 6-foot social distancing.
No personal touch rituals such as passing the peace of Christ or the passing of offering plates.
Communion will be suspended due to the risk it presents of spreading infection.
No large meals will be served during fellowship hour.
No hymnals will be in the pews and there will be limited singing during worship.
I have placed a link to our most current reopening plans below. I want to encourage you to look at them so you will know what to expect when that time does come. Yet when it does come, especially if it is before a vaccine is developed, I want to encourage those who are most at risk to please consider staying home for your own health and well-being. If you need me I am only a phone call or email away.
With All My Heart & Love,
-Rev. Christopher Czarnecki