Dear First Church members and friends,
We return to church life in the 2020 – 2021 church year as the coronavirus pandemic continues, and unfortunately worsens in Wisconsin and around the country. You are probably wondering about the status of in-person church programs and activities, including worship. We are continuing with our plan to hold worship online only for the 2020 – 2021 church year, and we plan to send you information about the time of that worship in an e-mail next week. The church building is currently closed, and for everyone’s safety, we are not currently holding in-person First Church activities in the building or outside.
There are many things we are still learning about the new coronavirus, but we do know it is highly contagious, transmission is airborne, and the highest risk is in person-to-person contact. The virus spreads quickly in groups, particularly in large groups indoors, such as in worship.
We are currently convening a group of lay leaders in our congregation who have expertise in public health and building management. This group of church members will develop a policy, in collaboration with the Senior Minister, detailing under what conditions we will open the building to small groups.
We will share the policy they develop and its plan for phased re-entry of various sized groups with you as soon as it is ready. Until we have both the policy and the plan that will ensure the safety of our members and staff, we will keep the building closed.
We are grateful to you for your patience as we work to develop a plan that is reasonable, safe, clear, and comprehensive, and balances risks, rewards, and costs.
With love and gratitude for you,
Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Senior Minister
Rev. Dena McPhetres, Associate Minister
Jean Johnson, Director of Administration
Mark Bender, President of the Board of Trustees