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COVID-19, Face Masks, and Worship

Starting in June 2020, the First Presbyterian Church began opening our church campus for small groups, committees, and worship.  The elders and staff have worked hard to develop guidelines that we pray will balance safety with the desire to gather in person.  I am incredibly grateful to the congregation’s willingness to abide by all the restrictions and protocols implemented.  I understand that this has been an inconvenience, yet our church has been willing to bear the inconvenience to be together.  

As you now know, Huron County is one of seven counties named by the governor as “level 3” for having a “very high exposure and spread” of COVID-19.  This week, the state has informed us that during this time, face masks will be mandatory for everyone in our county.  There are a few exceptions such as children under the age of ten and those with medical needs.  

After consulting with the staff and leadership, First Presbyterian Church will be gathering this Sunday at 8:30 AM and 10:00 for in-person worship.  In addition to our regular guidelines for reopening, which includes social distancing, we are now requiring the use of face masks in worship.  Even I will be preaching with a face mask to observe the state’s requirements.  For those without access to a face mask, we will be happy to provide one.  

I know that there are those who believe that requiring face masks is an unnecessary burden.  However, with the state’s current requirement, we will be complying even as the debate continues.  All of us are subject to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1) even those who work to change the government.  

If you cannot attend in-person worship for whatever reason, we will be livestreaming the 8:30 AM service on our Youtube channel, sharing the service afterward on our Facebook page and our website.  We are also broadcasting highlights of last week’s service on WLKR 92.9 FM this Sunday at 8:30 AM.

Never forget that this pandemic is more than statistics or Facebook posts.  We have folks in our own community suffering from this virus.  Our love of neighbor moves us to care and to protect the elderly and the most vulnerable.  God will be faithful, and once we are through this, the First Presbyterian Church will be stronger.  

Grace & Peace,

James Hodsden

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