Report from the Church Reopening Task Force

This week’s eNewsletter feature
is a report by the FPCE Church Reopening Task Force.

Dear friends,

At its May meeting, the Session voted to create a “Reopening of the Church” Task Force. As selected by Session, the Task Force is being chaired by Pastor Henry, and its members include Alexis Langlois, Matt McLeod, Cam Traut, Jide Okechuku Nzelibe, and John Powell.

These individuals offer a broad representation of the various professional disciplines that lend key perspectives in putting together a comprehensive plan, bringing their working knowledge of the Building Committee, Session, Trustees, public health, and education. In addition, Jim McAuley, a physician with ties to the CDC, is acting as a medical consultant to the Task Force.

The goal of the Task Force is as follows: “To create a comprehensive plan that, in response to the Pandemic, permits FPCE to continue ministering to the needs of the congregation and the community it serves. This includes: 1) a plan for the safe reopening of the Church for worship and other activities, and 2) where that is not feasible, a plan to continue serving virtually.” This plan includes collaboration with School for Little Children as they prepare for their Fall classes.

As all of you may know by now, with the onset of the pandemic, Session voted to continue virtual services through the end of August. Therefore, with that date soon upon us, the Task Force is charged with coming up with specific recommendations for September and beyond.

Meeting weekly, we have been spending a significant amount of time reviewing relevant literature and webinars from a variety of sources, including the CDC, the State of Illinois, and the City of Evanston, as well as various religious, health and medical organizations. In addition, we sent out an online survey to a sample group of the congregation soliciting their feedback and input, and we are currently reviewing the results.

The Task Force will be presenting our preliminary thoughts and recommendations to Session at their July meeting, later this month. We welcome any thoughts or suggestions from the congregation as we all prayerfully consider this important work for the future of FPCE. Please feel free to reach out to any of us with any and all ideas.

Most of all, the Task Force would appreciate your continued prayers, as we seek to discern God’s Will in this matter. Rest assured that the Task Force is committed to full and detailed communications and transparency as to the plans for reopening the church.

Yours in Christ,

John Powell
Task Force member