**** Update from the Session Reopening Task Team*****
The Session Reopening Task Team has recommended that the earliest we would resume in-person services would be 9/13/20, the Sunday AFTER the Labor Day holiday. The objective benchmark we are watching for is “a steady decline in active COVID-19 cases in Licking County and the Newark community. “ The team held a meeting this week and will meet again on July 8th. Using professional guidance from a number of sources, we are developing procedures to ensure the safety of all who attend. That will include having members take their temperatures before coming to church, providing hand sanitizers at each church entrance, roping off some pews in the sanctuary to assure necessary social distancing, recommending masks be worn by all who attend, and sanitizing the building both before and after services. Thank you for your patience as we work through the necessary processes to ensure a safe reopening.
It is with great disappointment that I inform you that the session has decided to close Second Presbyterian Church until further notice. I can assure you that this decision was not made lightly. This path was chosen in order to follow the lead of Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health to assure that we get ahead of this virus and slow down it’s spread.
Closing the church means that everything including outside groups has been canceled. We will continue the food pantry and community dinner with a bare-bones staff. No one should be working in their offices or entering the church for anything other than the food pantry and community dinner. If you enter the building for one of these services please make sure to wipe down anything you touch and to secure the doors when you leave. We will continue to do Virtual Worship and E-Blast each week.
Please keep an eye on your email and the church’s social media and website for updates and for some content that we will be generating to allow us to stay spiritually connected during this time. I also encourage you to reach out to each other in phone calls and letters to assure that our connection with each other stays intact. Even though the office will be closed, Amanda and I will be available through phone calls and emails, so do not hesitate to contact us.
I encourage you to stay at home as much as possible and to stay safe! If during this time a need arises that you are unable to fill (i.e. food and/or personal care items) we encourage you to please reach out to your deacon and let them know of your need. They will then work with their fellow deacons, the staff, and the session to assure that your needs are taken care of. Please, especially if you are in the vulnerable population, do not put yourself at risk by going out when someone else could easily and safely deliver items to your doorstep.
Please pray for each other, for all who are ill, and for our whole country and world during this time. And don’t forget to wash your hands!
With Great Love,