from our session  |  services during covid  |  May 18TH

It has been a long 9-week hiatus from public worship, but I am pleased to be announcing that we will be meeting again for worship beginning this week. 
According to Executive Order No. 2020-77, section 16, we are permitted to gather for public worship. Here is the text from the governor:
Neither a place of religious worship nor its owner is subject to penalty under section 20 of this order for allowing religious worship at such place. No individual is subject to penalty under section 20 of this order for engaging in or traveling to engage in religious worship at a place of worship or for violating section 15(a) [regarding the wearing of a mask in public places] of this order.
This means that according to the executive order, from the governor’s desk, we are free to worship without being subject to penalty either in worship or traveling to go to a worship service.
Along with this, we are also going to be taking several steps to ensure your safety. For example:
  1. We are going to be enforcing social distancing guidelines of six feet.
  2. We are going to tape off certain pews in order to keep proper social distance.
  3. We recommend wearing masks indoors.
  4. We recommend wearing gloves.
  5. We are sanitizing door handles and pews before each service using Lysol spray and disposable paper towels and/or Lysol wipes. We will not be using a reusable rag for sanitizing.
  6. We will not be using hymnals or Bibles for now, but putting the hymns in the bulletin and encouraging you to bring your own Bible.
  7. We will not have greeters. The bulletin/liturgy will be available as you walk into the sanctuary.
  8. We will not have fellowship time after the service
  9. We will not have an offering during the service. There will be several other ways to give your offering outside of the worship service including in the narthex, in the mailbox, or online.
  10. We will not have the Lord’s Supper until June and by then, we will have purchased pre-packaged, individually-wrapped bread.
We are also recommending that whereas we acknowledge that all of us are gathering at our own risk without fear of penalty, people 60 and up are at an even higher risk than everyone else, so please use wisdom as you decide whether or not you will be attending public worship. 
Additionally, if you have any underlying health concerns such as:
  1. Chronic Lung Disease, such as but not limited to:

    - Asthma

    - COPD
    - Acute Bronchitis
    - Cystic Fibrosis
    - Tuberculosis
    - Emphysema
    - Lung Cancer
    - Pulmonary Edema
    - Pneumoconiosis
  1. Serious Heart conditions, such as but not limited to:

    - Heart attack
    - Heart failure
    - Heart disease
    - Arrhythmia
    - High blood pressure
    - Congenital or inherited heart conditions
  1. Or if you are immunocompromised, such as but not limited to:

    - Cancer or cancer treatments
    - Smoking
    - Bone marrow or organ transplantation
    - Immune deficiencies
    - HIV or AIDS
    - Prolonged use of immune-weakening medications
    - Diabetes
    - Chronic Kidney Disease or undergoing dialysis
    - Liver Disease
    - Stroke
    - Blood clots
    - Hemophilia 
We are recommending that you stay home. Also, if you have been feeling sick or have been around anyone who has exhibited any cold or flu-like symptoms or tested positive for the coronavirus, please do not come to church.
We understand if you do not feel comfortable in public worship during this time. However, many of you have made it known that you are ready to worship and with other churches in the area and in our denomination already having opened, I am pleased to announce that we will be opening on Thursday, May 21st for our Ascension Day service. This is an evening service that starts at 7pm. We will also be back to our normally-scheduled Lord’s Day worship services beginning on Sunday, May 24th. These services are held at 10am and 5pm.
Again, we understand if you do not feel comfortable worshiping publicly yet, however, given the fact that we are permitted to worship, and many of you are ready to worship, we will have that option for those who are not at high risk.
For those who cannot come or do not feel comfortable in public worship yet, the sermons will continue to be online and on the phone app. Unfortunately, because of time and budget restrictions, we cannot continue to offer video of the entire service any longer.
We look forward to seeing those of you who have already said that you are ready and will be praying for the health, sanctification, and faith of all of the saints and members of the household of God at First Presbyterian of Bad Axe.
On behalf of the Session of First Presbyterian,
Pastor Scott McDermand