SFPC Updates for COVID-19
June 3, 2021 Update
In order to reopen for worship services on June 13th, a number of changes had to be made. We will be shifting from pre-recorded worship services for the last 15 months to a hybrid model of in-person and live-streaming. Everything that has been done has been with safety, equity, and accessibility in mind.
Our beautiful 100-year-old sanctuary lacks modern HVAC conveniences. We have a window and floor fan configuration that, when tested with a fog machine, confirmed the movement and refreshment of clean fresh air through the sanctuary multiple times an hour. This will help us follow CDC recommendations for keeping our air safe when we gather together.
We’ve changed the layout of the Sanctuary. We will be able to host up to 100 people in the main seating area (per current capacity restrictions,) and also have needed overflow with live video and audio in the Fellowship Hall. The chairs and pews have been reconfigured to allow proper spacing between rows, and we will ask groups or parties attending worship to keep two empty chairs between their groups for social distancing.
The spacing in the Chancel has also been opened up to allow proper spacing of all worship participants, while also reconfiguring sightlines for both in-person and on-camera live streaming. Most items on the Chancel, including the communion table, pulpit, piano and other worship equipment have all been moved to accommodate for our current needs.
Lastly, communion will look different, with new prepackaged individual servings of bread and juice being handed out by a server with gloves on as you arrive, so that everyone can enjoy communion safely at the proper time in worship.
What to Expect if Attending In-Person
For those wanting to join us again for in-person worship, we will be asking you to consider a few extra steps for everyone’s safety and equity.
Our worship service will remain at 10:30am, with live-streaming beginning at that time. A video of our worship service will also be available for later viewing. All details can be found on our website at salemfpc.org/live.
To join us, please reserve space for your group/party each week at salemfpc.org/live. This will help us in maintaining capacity guidelines and for contract tracing.
We ask that everyone wear a mask when inside our building, regardless of their vaccination status. There are some in our congregation, including myself, who have compromised immune systems or underlying health issues, but still want the opportunity to worship safely in-person. This is an extra layer of protection to safely worship together.
Seating will be by group/party. For some, that will just be their immediate household. Other groups may consist of multiple households that know they can sit safely together. Whatever your group or party size, please arrive and sit together with two empty seats between groups.
Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the service to accommodate sign-in and spaced-out seating. The Sanctuary will be open for seating starting at 10:00am.
Arrive through either the Winter St or parking lot doors and enter the Sanctuary from the back. Ushers will assist you with seating to ensure proper social distancing.
There will be fellowship time after the service, both indoors in the Fellowship Hall, and outside. For safety, we encourage everyone to bring their own beverage, but individually wrapped goodies to go will be available after the service.
We will be working to keep services to just under an hour, again, to keep things safe.
Yes, there will be singing! We look forward to lifting our voices together in song. So, bring a mask that you are comfortable talking and singing in!
There will be child care and children will be dismissed for elementary Sunday School.
To join us for in-person worship, please sign up by clicking HERE
To watch our worship service online (livestream or previously recorded), visit salemfpc.org/live
Our website and youtube channel will also host previous services you can watch anytime. You can also search “Salem First Presbyterian” on YouTube and subscribe to the channel.
We would also LOVE to see what worshipping together virtually looks like through pictures of you worshipping at home that we can post to the SFPC Facebook page! You can post pictures on either Facebook or Instagram and tag us (@salemfpc) or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For our offering time, you can give online via our website, you can send a text message to 503-676-5683, or use your bank or financial institution’s online banking services to send a check directly to the church. Thank you for your continued generous support!
We’re facing a very challenging time together right now, and the board of Deacons, and others in our community, are rising up in response to help those that need it. If you currently find yourself unable to leave your home, we are willing and eager to help you by delivering groceries, prescriptions, and whatever else you might need right now.
To receive these services, or to join the Deacons in ministering to our neighbors in this way, please contact me by emailing email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the church office at 503-363-9234 or 503-974-6125 if it is after church hours.
Congregational Care Coordinator
Salem First Presbyterian Church
P.S. I made a video about this! Check it out on our Facebook or Youtube.
The church office will be closed to public access through April 28th. The best way to be in touch with SFPC staff during this time will be through email, and you can find those email addresses on our SFPC staff page. You can also call the church office but we cannot guarantee someone will be in to answer the phone so you may leave us a voicemail.
Please note: Our amazing staff is taking on significant additional work during this outbreak so please limit your communications to items that are time and need sensitive during this time. Thank you so much!
Unfortunately, in light of the ban on public gatherings, we have had to cancel Easterpalooza this year. We will send out a community-wide announcement regarding the cancellation soon. Our amazing and creative staff is already brainstorming for a special event later this year once the all-clear is given for our community. We will share more details when the time comes…
SFPC Groups and Building use
Effective immediately, we are closing the SFPC main building and restricting access to staff and necessary Session leadership to carry out necessary and time-sensitive tasks during this closure.
We have chosen to cancel all programs and groups that meet in our building through April 28th and are asking all SFPC ministry meetings to move to electronic or video meeting methods if possible. For SFPC groups that meet off-site, we encourage following CDC recommendations of postponing or meeting online if possible, otherwise strictly observing personal space distancing of 3-feet, and limiting contact with vulnerable populations. The Session has also wanted to be sure that during this closure, that if our facility is needed for the medical needs of our community, that a way forward could be made clear.
We are encouraging all non-SFPC affiliated groups that use our building to be in communication with their groups about what their plans are with regards to meeting at SFPC. We will link to their websites below.
Little Friends Montessori School: http://salemlfm.com/
Mens Bible Study Fellowship: https://www.bsfinternational.org/class/713
Brothers of Valor: https://valormentoring.com/
New Beginnings Church
General Health and Saftey Links
We want to make sure that everyone in our community feels loved and safe. We can do so by staying informed and up to date on what the best health practices are and look like. We are including links below to help you stay informed as the SFPC Community. We will be updating this as any more relevant info becomes available.
Oregon Health Authority: http://www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus
The Importance to help "Flatten the curve": https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/flattening-curve-for-covid-19-what-does-it-mean-and-how-can-you-help
CDC recommendations for faith communities:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/index.html