FROM THE PASTOR (June 25, 2020)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Below is An Update on the GPMC Facility and Possible Return to In-Person Events

The church office remains closed because of Covid-19 until further notice as the public health situation evolves and is evaluated. The staff returned to the facility on June 8 to continue their responsibilities in their offices. While most staff are now present in the facility, some continue their work remotely from home. Staff are following recommended public health protocols.

If church members need access to the facility, please pre-arrange an appointment by phone or email with the staff member you want to see. That staff member will escort you into and out of the facility. All persons entering the facility must complete a written health questionnaire.

At the stated meeting of the Session on June 22, elders received a report from an Ad Hoc Team (composed of Judy Masserang, Dan Aggas, Tim Butler, Jay Lytle, and Susan Mozena) regarding reopening of the facility in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the core of their concerns were the health and well-being of our members, staff, and community; and the continuing ministry of our congregation in providing worship, education, pastoral care, administration, and outreach. The Ad Hoc Team consulted relevant sources regarding public health protocols and best practices as recommended by the CDC and other health authorities. They also drew upon denominational and other religious body recommendations and suggestions. Their recommendations were based on the specific needs of our GPMC community and the characteristics of our facility and property that may present challenges and opportunities in this time of pandemic.

The following decisions were made by the Session:

  • Worship will continue to be offered indefinitely by remote recorded and/or streamed video through our website at 9 am Sunday mornings.
  • Communion will be offered during some recorded worship services. Dates for communion services will be publicized when they are known.
  • Trinity Terrace may be used for in-person gatherings provided that specific health protocols and restrictions are followed. Maximum number of persons allowed on Trinity Terrace is 50.
  • Events threatened or interrupted by inclement weather on Trinity Terrace will be cancelled.
  • Outside groups may be permitted and scheduled to use Trinity Terrace provided they comply with church requirements and restrictions (see requirements and restrictions immediately below). The church office will coordinate these requests.
  • Requirements and restrictions for attendees at any in-person event held on the property: practice social distancing, wear masks, answer relevant health questions, have temperature taken, and provide info for contact tracing.
  • A worship service at 5 pm was authorized (based on the previous 5 pm worship experience) to begin sometime in July. The staff will formulate the service plan and liturgy, consulting with previous leadership of the service. No singing or vocal music will be permitted. Communion will not be observed at this service, but baptisms may be scheduled in this venue.
  • If baptisms are needed outside of the 5 pm service time frame, arrangements will be made for a small group to safely gather inside the facility, and the event will be recorded and included in the following Sunday’s recorded service as part of the liturgy. Pastors will oversee this process.
  • Any wedding or funeral schedule for Trinity Terrace will be permitted inside the building in the event of inclement weather, adhering to strict limits on number of persons and health protocols.
  • No dates for a projected return to in-person worship or educational events within the church facility were determined. Return dates for in-person use of the church facility will be assessed in light of conditions as the summer progresses.

Our leadership will monitor developments regarding local public health issues, governmental regulations, and recommendations from health authorities. As situations change, we will keep you informed.

Your continued prayers and support for the ministry of Jesus Christ through GPMC is deeply appreciated.

Grace and peace
Rev. Mark E. Diehl

I’ve Got Peace Like a River
Sung by GPMC’s virtual choir and soloists.

Upcoming Events

Worship Schedule

Children’s message at early service. Childcare at morning services. 5:00pm is 45 minutes, informal with gluten-free & non-alcoholic Communion.

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