Pentecost Sunday ~ May 23, 2021
Following the recommendation approved at the April session meeting, we will return to in-person outdoor worship this week at 8:30am; Pentecost Sunday.
The responses to our survey show that 95.5% of respondents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and most will be fully vaccinated by the end of the month. Still, we will continue to observe the following practices approved by Session.
· Everyone in attendance (regardless of vaccination status) will be required to wear a mask that completely covers their nose and mouth. Masks will be made available for those who arrive without one. Anyone unwilling, or medically unable to wear a mask will be invited to worship online at 11am via the recorded service. Worship leaders will be unmasked only when speaking. Even though CDC guidance indicates fully vaccinated individuals may be unmasked outdoors, we consider masking to be an expression of neighborly love that reflects a culture of caring for those who are not yet fully vaccinated.
· Family units will be asked to maintain at least one open seat (approximately 3 feet of distance) from one another during the service.
· All in attendance will be asked to provide information in the event that we need to do contact tracing.
· Health screens/Temperature checks will not be done upon entering. Rather, congregants who wish to attend will be asked to self-monitor any potential COVID symptoms and refrain from coming if they are symptomatic.
· Practices will be posted and printed in worship bulletins which will be available for people to pick up for themselves. Hymns will be printed in the bulletins.
· Anyone in attendance who subsequently tests positive for COVID is asked to immediately contact the church so we can begin contact tracing.
· Unvaccinated persons who are considered at elevated risk of complication from a COVID infection are asked not to attend and to instead worship online.
· Passing of the peace and other interactions will all be non-contact. Offering plates will not be passed. An offering box will be available to make offerings.
· The Sacrament of the Lord’s Table is suspended for the time being.
· Indoor commons areas will not be available for gathering before or after the service. A maximum of two people will be allowed to use the restrooms at any one time.
As we make progress in putting COVID behind us, guidance on safe practices has been dynamic and changing. Session will continue to discern how best to determine when we can move indoors and when to no longer require masks. There are obviously strong feelings about how quickly, or slowly this should be done. Not everyone will agree or be satisfied with decisions as they are made. We are doing our best to balance the needs of our congregation with what is in the interest of public health and safety. My prayer is that we would continue to be generous in our mutual forbearance of one another for the sake of our shared life in Christ.
We are also live-streaming our worship service on Sundays at 11:00am. To partake in online worship with us, please click on the link below. You will be redirected to our Youtube channel to view the services.
If you are unable to join us online on Sunday mornings at 11:00am for worship, the service will be recorded and available on our Youtube Channel and on our Facebook page.
Click the link to subscribe to our Youtube channel and watch past services and pastoral videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCtefdBVIyzXtOpdikx2nFg
If you have a Facebook account, you can follow us at First Presbyterian Church @albuquerquefirst and view worship recordings as well.
**** Regular Sunday Worship Services are temporarily suspended, in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic and our State's restrictions on social gatherings. ****
First Presbyterian Church offers two regular Sunday worship services, one at 8:30am and at 11:00am.
This service, held in our downstairs Fellowship Hall (accessed most easily from the south side of the building), is the more informal of our two services, with no organ and a pick-up choir that meets at 8:00 a.m. to rehearse that Sunday’s anthem. In the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) worship is moved outdoors to a courtyard just below the main church building. Worshippers are invited to share in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Table every Sunday. Hunger offerings for the Rio Grande Food Project are received at the communion table the first Sunday of every month. Infant care (infants to 5-year-olds) is provided for this service. Parents are encouraged to bring older children to worship with them. Children’s and Adult Sunday School classes begin at 9:45 (after the 8:30 service).
This classic service of Reformed Christian worship is held in our sanctuary and features the Chancel Choir, accompanied by music from the second largest pipe organ in the state. This service includes a time for children and occasionally features the children’s/youth choir. Childcare (up to 5-years old) is provided for this service. Communion normally is served the first Sunday of every even-numbered month. On these Sundays, hunger offerings are received at the communion table for the Rio Grande Food Project.
All services include congregational hymn singing, a time of confession and forgiveness, readings from God’s Word typically taken from the Revised Common Lectionary, and a sermon exploring how we might hear and think about God’s Word for us. We pray for creation, the world of nations, our own nation, and our surrounding community, and we offer up our own lives and gifts in response to the many ways in which we ourselves have been blessed. Infants and adults alike are sometimes welcomed into the household of God through the sacrament of Baptism. Always through worship, we enter into God’s presence so that we might carry a sense of God with us as we go to love and serve this world that God so loves, in the Way of Jesus Christ.