Sermon Notes/Small Group Discussion Questions 08/09/20



Communion at Home Instructions for Aug. 9

Sunday, August 9th is Communion Sunday at FPC Tacoma, and you are invited to join us for our in-person worship service at 10:30 am that day. Register here. And if you can’t join us in person because of COVID-19, you can still participate in Communion at home! Because of COVID-19, our Session (Board of Elders) has authorized individuals and families to take the Communion elements in their own homes while they are being taken at the in-person service. Pastor Eric has come up with some guidance for in-home Communion, and if you are planning to take Communion in your own home, we ask you to read and follow the instructions he has written up. Even if you are able to join us in person, you might want to read Pastor Eric’s guidance. His document is a helpful reminder of the meaning of Communion and how to prepare for it. Read the instructions here.



Full Worship Service from August 2 Now Online

As many of you know, we experienced technical problems in the livestream at yesterday morning’s worship service, which meant that many in the congregation weren’t able to see the service. We are very sorry for this. A partial version of the service was posted on Facebook yesterday. But we’ve now been able to edit the full service and post it on Vimeo. So if you missed all or part of the service, you can watch it now or later this week at this link. This week’s service includes some important announcements as well as a special vocal ensemble directed by Dr. Daniel Perrin… you won’t want to miss it!
 

Join Us for In-Person Worship Again!

Also, we’d like to make sure you know we resumed in-person worship services in the latter part of July. So if you can do so safely and aren’t in a vulnerable population, please consider joining us for worship person for the rest of August. We have plenty of room to social distance! We do ask for you to register your intention of coming so we can prepare for how many people will be in the Sanctuary. If you’ve already joined us once, you can register here. If you haven’t come before, use this link, which will give you additional information. You can register for several weeks at once.



In-Person Worship Resumes!

In-person worship has resumed at FPC! For planning purposes and to make sure we have capacity, we do ask that you register. If you haven’t attended yet after we resumed, register here. If you’ve attended at least once, use the streamlined registration.



Tips as We Reopen In-Person Worship

It’s time to worship together in person again!  We are planning to reopen in-person worship services with communion starting on July 19 and 26 at 10:30 am. Starting on Monday or Tuesday, you will have the opportunity to sign up for one of our next two weeks’ services—either the 19th or the 26th. As we look forward to those services, Jenn Jensen, head of our Reopening Team, has provided some important information on what to expect:
  • First, know that we will continue to live-stream the worship service. We love how God is working through technology to allow us to worship together.  If you are even a little uncomfortable coming in person, or if you are in a vulnerable population, please continue to worship with us from home.  
  • For those of you who do join us in the sanctuary, expect six foot separation in the pews. There will be six feet between families, and an empty pew in between.
  • Expect to stay in your seats, not to move around to greet, etc.
  • Mandatory mask wearing. Everyone will be expected to wear a mask.  Children under 5 and people medically exempt will be the only exceptions. Attendees without masks be asked not to sing.
  • Expect communion to be served in individually packaged servings.  Masks will be removed just for communion and then replaced.
  • Everyone must pre-screen at home—any signs or symptoms, stay home and pray with us via live stream!  In fact, text us so that we can pray for you!
  • Expect limited bathroom use (Not off limits!  But limited, so don’t drink too much coffee. 😊)
  • There will be NO Kids’ church, nursery, or childcare of any kind available and no overflow room.  As always, children are always welcome in our sanctuary.
Reservations will be required for joining us in person. We are limited in the number of people we can have. Our maximum capacity during phase 2 is 200 people, so we will run a reservation system, asking you to choose 1 of the first 2 weeks  (there will be more services to come, but we have to start somewhere!) Here are the details:
  • Registration will start on Monday or Tuesday of this week.  Go to the FPC website and click on the reservation banner to fill out an RSVP form. The link will also be available on social media, and in email/eblast.
  • After filling out the RSVP form, you will receive a confirmation email to print and bring with you (or save to show on your phone!)
  • Once registered for a service, you will receive instructions for attendance. For example—pedestrian traffic flow! Expect to enter and exit through the main door of the sanctuary (or the wheel chair ramp beside it). No entering through Fellowship Hall!  The only open doors will be on the Tacoma Avenue side of the sanctuary.  Once in our beautiful narthex, signs and ushers will help families find their seats.  More to come 😊.
If you need help, let us know!  Daniel Perrin, our Minister of Worship, has taken on the role of Worship Service Coordinator to make sure all of these new pieces happen safely, week after week. We are so grateful to him and the entire staff who continue to meet our spiritual needs in creative and new ways.


FPC’s Phased Reopening Plan

Exciting news! FPC’s Session (board of Elders) has adopted a phased reopening plan drafted by FPC’s Reopening Team. The new plan follows state guidance and is a living document that will be updated by the Reopening Team as circumstances continue to develop. Download the summary of the plan here. We are now in “Phase 2” of the plan. If you want to submit comments or questions, remember to visit the FPC Reopening Team web page.



Visit FPC’s Reopening Web Page

Pierce County has entered “Phase 2” of Washington State’s reopening plan. That means our church may be able to start reopening some in-person activities in coming weeks. Our Reopening Team and Session (board of Elders) will be working hard on our reopening plans in coming days. Please keep these groups in your prayers as they seek to figure out what we can do to safely reopen as our government allows. Stay updated about our reopening plans by visiting our new web page for the Reopening Team at www.fpctacoma.org/reopen. This page will be your one-stop site for the latest news and announcements about our timeline for reopening. You will also find there the names of  members of our Reopening Team, and a way you can submit your questions, concerns, and suggestions to the Reopening Team. We are all in this together!



Message from Pastor Eric about FPC Reopening Team

Dear First Pres Family,

I just wanted to let everyone know that we are going to be continuing to meet via livestream for the foreseeable future. We have recently formed a reopening team that is developing a strategy for reopening the church which maintains the safety of our church members and the community as a whole. You can expect to receive regular updates from this team in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are so grateful for all of the ways that we have been able to continue to pursue the mission of FPC during these challenging times. Thank you all for your partnership in this important work.

Blessings,

Pastor Eric



Update from FPC Missionaries Mark and Iris Barnes

Watch two updates from FPC-supported missionaries Mark and Iris Barnes in Brazil.
 


Update from FPC Missionaries Brendan and Erin Connally

Hear an update from from FPC-supported missionaries Brendan and Erin Connally.