Dear Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church,
I hope this letter finds you well in the midst of this continued difficult time.
The purpose of this letter is to communicate our current plans for worship services as public life begins to reopen from shelter-in-place. This coming Sunday, May 31st, Pentecost Sunday, is the first Sunday that churches can have in-person church services… and that is great news! We are eager to get back to our regular worship services and share the priority of making that happen.
However, the necessary rules and recommendations for churches to reopen would significantly alter our time together and would not be anything like the worship service we know and love. We are told these rules and recommendations are being put in place for at least three weeks and are designed to limit the spread of Covid-19 and to protect the vulnerable population among us as things begin to re-open and a second “wave” is anticipated. Some examples of these regulations include no more than 100 people in a service, no children’s ministry programs, no congregational singing, no responsive readings, no handshakes, no communion, and no offering. Additionally, masks are required, strict social distancing must be enforced, and it is recommended that worship services be held outdoors. Even with all these precautions, it is still recommended that senior citizens and those with pre-existing health issues not attend.
These are necessary requirements and recommendations from the CDC for the protection of life—which is what we as Christians care deeply about. Because of this, Session has decided at this time to continue offering recorded traditional and modern worship, and to wait to offer in-person services until they can be done safely, in a way that makes sense, and in a way that feels worshipful.
At the same time, we are excited to get people together in a responsible way, so church leaders and the staff will be exploring opportunities to get our church family face-to-face in smaller groups. I know we can all agree, we are all looking forward to being together as soon as possible.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this, or if there is something the church can do to support you during this difficult time.
Grace and Peace.
Pastor Dave, and the PDCPC Session