****UPDATED 7/10/20  CHECK BELOW FOR PREVIOUS UPDATES

Greetings, Friends in Christ.
 
We miss you and we know you are missing each other. That is why Session would like to provide you with an update on our discernment about regathering for corporate worship. In mid-May, the Regathering Task Force was formed to study the spreading COVID-19 virus and to recommend to Session when and how it might be safe to worship together again in person.
 
This task force consists of Jessie Hiott, who works in community health; Joan Reynolds, who is on our Hospitality Committee; Tom Keenan, an Elder on the Property Committee; Joyce Menz, an Elder on the Christian Education Committee; Jim Blackburn, a Deacon on the Property Committee; Robin Lashley, an Elder on the Worship and Music Committee; Pastor Forrest Foxworth, who oversees Family Ministries; Pastor Julie Jensen, who convened the task force while Acting Head of Staff; and Dr. Karl Kling, Interim Head of Staff. This task force is working diligently and expects to have recommendations ready to present to Session on July 21, or soon thereafter. 
 
The recommendations from the task force will take into consideration information from several sources:
·        the Insurance Board, which is the non-profit church insurance company that insures PC(USA) and First Presbyterian Church
·        the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
·        other agencies tracking the spread of COVID-19.
 
The recommendations will be based on observable, objective criteria such as a sustained downward trajectory in newly identified cases in our community, the availability of inpatient and ICU beds, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), the availability of testing, the timeliness of test results, and more.
 
We are prayerfully considering a great many factors and will be sharing a plan for determining how to safely regather, as well as how to worship safely in the meantime. For now, please consider the church campus to be closed, both indoors and out. Staff continues to work remotely. This is important not only to protect all church members, including the substantial number who fall in the at-risk age group, but also to do our part in helping limit the spread of the virus.
 
While we are apart, be sure to check the latest edition of the e-newsletter for ways to connect, including virtual worship and adult education. If you do not currently receive the e-newsletter, please contact the church office at (904) 261-3837 to be added to the list.
 
In closing, we would like to share these words of comfort from Philippians 4:6-7: Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 
Yours in Christ,
Jerie Lukefahr, Clerk of Session
Robin Lashley, member, The Regathering Task Force
Marion Galbraith, member, Congregational Care Commission

 

****UPDATED 4/15/2019 REGARDING WATCHING LIVE SERVICES

+IF you don’t have a Facebook account and are having trouble watching the services, you may find this helpful.  The FPC Facebook page is Public… which means you are able to view it even if you don’t have an account.  The problem is that Facebook likes for you to have an account, so you will probably see a banner/notification asking you to either LOG IN or CREATE AN ACCOUNT.
You don’t have to though.  You don’t have to do either of those.
If you’re on a computer, just simply scroll down and ignore the recommendation.
If you’re on a phone or iPad or tablet, it might have an additional banner that pops up on the bottom of the screen suggesting the same two options (sign in or create account), but you should also be able to click on the tiny “x” in the corner to close it or simply scroll past it.
 
As a reminder, when the service starts at 9:00 am, you won’t be able to view any video or anything until within 5 minutes of it starting.  So you should be able to pull up/start the video between 8:55 and 9:00 (or later) on Sunday mornings.

You also might find it easier to start here on our LATEST NEWS page… and then just click on the video (which takes you directly to the Facebook video).  Going to the Latest News page is also an easy way to look at previous videos!!

****UPDATED 3/27/202 REGARDING SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP
Right now, Sunday Morning Worship services will be streamed via Facebook at 9am on Sunday mornings.  The page is open to the public.  You DO NOT have to have a Facebook account to watch the stream.  However, you will need an account to comment/interact.  Simply follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresFB/
If you miss the live event, the videos remain accessible after they occur.  Simply scroll down to find the video.
Please let us know if you need help setting it up or getting connected.
Thank you for your patience.

Dear First Presbyterian Family,

At the session meeting last night, the decision was made to suspend onsite worship and mostly close the office to the public until further notice.  We will be live-streaming for the foreseeable future as we comply with CDC recommendations for large in person gatherings.  Staff members will be working from home as they are able and calls will be forwarded directly to Gayle Wood during church office hours.  I will be in the office Mondays-Thursdays from 10-12 for those needing Pastoral Care

What does this mean for our community?

  • Worship will be streamed from the sanctuary on the church Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresFB/) for the foreseeable future. At this time, that includes Easter Sunday. You may make your normal offerings through our website (http://www.first-presbyterian-church-32034.org/), or send a check to the office at 9 N. 6th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034.  Our congregation is still actively serving Jesus Christ and the community.
  • We are closing the office to the public; staff members will be working from home as they are able. Calls will be forwarded directly to Gayle during church office hours.  I will be in the office Monday-Thursday from 10-12 for those who may need in person pastoral care
  • No gatherings will be held at the church. We have subscribed to a service that will facilitate remote meetings.  Committee chairs will give you instructions on how to call in to your meetings.\First Café has ended for the season.  Join us in the fall!
  • The Community Easter Celebration has been cancelled, as has the Easter Sunrise Service at Ft. Clinch Park.
  • As most care facilities will not permit any guests, pastoral visitations to those facilities are not possible. Pastor Julie is “visiting” folks by phone.  Congregation members are encouraged to check on and visit one another by phone.
  • The Deacons are reaching out to every family in the congregation for updated contact information, and as a check in.

Your session is monitoring the guidance, and our goal is to have us return to worship together as soon as we are able.  Sometimes being a good neighbor means doing things to protect others.  Practicing social distancing is one way we can care for our community.

 If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by phone or e-mail (julieannjensen@gmail.com).

In Christ,

Pastor Julie