Categories: COVID-19, News and Events

Updated Safety Guidelines

December 5, 2021

Effective December 5, masks will no longer be required at FPC services and other gatherings at church, but will be recommended for those who are unvaccinated and those most at risk for the coronavirus. That was the decision of Session at its November 16 meeting, approving a motion from the church Safety & Security Committee to change the guidelines for gatherings.

While interacting indoors with children under the age of 5, childcare/nursery workers and volunteers will be required to continue wearing masks. The committee noted that children from ages 5 to 12 are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The recommendation for the guidelines change from Safety & Security Committee was based on local data, CDC recommendations and state, county and city mandates and orders. Further guiding this decision by Session was the availability of the vaccine for children ages 5 to 12 and COVID boosters for adults. However, Session and the Safety & Security Committee understand the possible rise in COVID cases during the holiday season and will continue to monitor closely local conditions and data. These guidelines may change rapidly based on developments over the next few weeks or months.

July 23, 2021

With the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus proving to be highly contagious, and Williamson County re-entered the “Red Phase” on July 19, meaning an “uncontrollable community spread” of COVID, the Safety & Security Committee met on Wednesday of this week. They discuss how we can best continue to gather safely in worship while taking measures to protect the most vulnerable among us, including children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated.  To that end, they recommended and Session approved an update to our “Guidelines for Gatherings.” 
Masks are now required for vaccinated and unvaccinated alike at both the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services of worship (except for those while leading a portion of the service in the chancel area). For all other ministry gatherings that occur indoors and on the church property, masks are required only for those who are unvaccinated. The full version of the updated “Guidelines for Gathering” is listed below.
This decision changes nothing else about our services of worship. We will continue to gather, sing, and share in worship in the same manner that we have in recent weeks, and for this we are deeply grateful. We also continue to give thanks for the option members have to worship via livestream

Know that this was not an easy decision; neither is it a permanent one. While we cannot yet say when the guideline might change again, we do believe that FPC’s guidelines for gathering in worship need to be constantly monitored and updated to reflect what is safest for all members of our church family to gather.