Weekday Email to Members and Friends – 2020-06-26

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Friday 26 June 2020
 
Members and Friends of 
First Presbyterian Church
Champaign, Illinois
 
Dear Friends, 
 
Some of your friends are going back to face to face worship at other area churches. Your Covid-19 Response Team thinks that is unwise for us at this time. Please read their statement below about how the team is thinking about the virus.  
 
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Rachel reminds me that my birthday is next Friday. It’s poor form for a pastor to ask his flock for a present, but I’m asking. Consider making a donation to DREAAM House in my honor (or in anybody’s honor). I’d be SUPER glad if you did that. I love DREAAM, what they stand for, how they work, and the love the DREAAM Team has for its “dreamers.” Write a check to DREAAM and sent it to the church address. Help a young person dream!
 
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See you on Sunday. We have a guest preacher on Sunday. (You’ll thank me.)
 
I love worshiping with you on Sunday. Invite a friend.
 
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Pay attention to God’s activity in the world around you.
            Be amazed.
                        Tell somebody.
 
PEACE,
 
Matt Matthews
864.386.9138
Matt@FirstPres.Church
 
To those wanting to return to First Presbyterian Church of Champaign for a face-to-face event, meeting or worship service – from the FPCC COVID-19 Response Team
 
Since Sunday, March 15, prior to the Shelter In Place Order from Governor JB Pritzker on March 20, the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Champaign changed our in-person worship services to online streaming, our staff have been working remotely from home except for critical activities that required them to be present on campus.  A FPCC COVID-19 Specific Safety Plan and Guidelines for Staff was approved and implemented, including strict personal hygiene practices, wearing a mask, social distancing, self-monitoring of health and a negative test result of the COVID-19 test.  We want our staff to be healthy in order to serve God and His congregation and as a testimony of our commitment to the community.
 
As we move into our transition into Restore Illinois Phase 4 – Revitalization expected to be announced today, June 26, 2020, many of you are asking when we can resume face to face worship at FPCC, return to our routine meetings and gatherings? Here is some of our thinking. (The Session has approved that we won’t begin face to face worship until September at the earliest.)
 
The Coronavirus COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel virus first emerged in 2019.  From what we know, it is a respiratory virus, but also affects heart, kidney, brain and many other vital organs in human.  Globally over 8 million people were affected by COVID-19; in the United States, there were over 2 million confirmed cases with ~120,000 deaths (June 21).  What was alarming is over 80% of the deaths were people 65 years and older.  So far there is no cure for this virus; when you catch the virus, you either recover from it, get really sick or die. 
 
In managing this type of Pandemic, the following 3 principles are applied: Prevention, Isolation and Treatment. 
 
Prevention:  First, if you are sick, have a fever or have recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home.  Because COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, transmission is most likely through droplets (i.e. breathing, speaking, singing etc.) Wearing a mask is the most effective and simple solution as a simple fabric mask will stop droplets from coming from you to other people or surfaces near you.  We strongly encourage you to wear mask and practice social distancing when you are inside the church premise (including the Parking Lot). You are requested to wear a mask to protect yourself and others. If you need a mask, a clean disposable mask will be provided (please ask an usher for it).  In addition, hand sanitizing solution are available throughout the church.  Hand washing with soap and water and avoid touching your face will prevent you from catching virus from surfaces you touch.  Social distancing (6 ft. apart) is another good way to avoid droplets from other people around you.  As for common areas in church and surfaces, our custodians are spraying the entire church (Sanctuary, office, classrooms, bathrooms, door-knobs, tables, pews, hand-rails) using a FDA approved electrostatic sprayer and disinfectants between use.  We have also removed bibles, hymnals, writing pads, pens and paper etc. from pews as they cannot be disinfected properly.  In order to practice proper social distancing, our elevator and bathrooms are for single occupancy (unless you are from the same household). Collection of offering, Holy Communion with passing of the plates, corporate singing, spoken liturgy etc. will be redesigned to avoid contamination. We are working hard in ensuring your safety when we resume face-to-face meetings and services.
 
Another consideration is your risk in contracting COVID-19.  Please refer to the CDC Guidelines on this.  People considered to be at risk for COVID-19 are: 65 years or older, having any of the following diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illness (asthma, COPD), cancer, currently under immune-therapy treatment, immune-compromised, chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, diabetes, hemoglobin disorders, severe obesity and people in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.  If you have any of these conditions or fit into these categories, please prayerfully consider the risk(s) you may be taking.  Consult your medical professionals if you have question of this or speak with the FPCC COVID-19 response team members.
 
Isolation:  This is the “true and tested” approach to manage a Pandemic.  If you are sick, you should contact your medical professional and stay home.  Do not go out unless you are going to visit your doctor.
 
Treatment: You have probably heard about the over 100 vaccines that are being developed for COVID-19 in many different countries.  The soonest date of availability for a vaccine ready for the general public will be in 2021.  This is assuming if the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing people from contracting COVID-19. Until then, the best approach is Prevention.
 
FPCC COVID-19 Response Team:
 
Dr. Ken Chapman Ph.D.
Rev. Eric Corbin
Dr. Ruth Craddock MD
Dr. Ron Deering MD
Ms. Judi Geistlinger
Rev. Matt Matthews
Mr. Mark Schoeffmann
Dr. Peter Yau Ph.D.
Mr. Timothy Young
 
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From your Nurture Team — Congrats to Nancy Brombaugh for being the first to correctly recognize last week’s photo of Bob Kirby!  

Here’s a new photo challenge.

Visit http://fb.com/groups/firstpreschampaign to make your guesses, or email them to photos@firstpres.church.  
 
Please join in the fun!  We would like you to select a photo from your younger years (grade school, high school or early adulthood). Photos need not be professional. Candid shots are welcome. Please send your photos to photos@firstpres.church.

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Friday Night at the Movies: The film Just Mercy has been made available to watch for free during the month of June. This film follows the story of Civil Rights Attorney Bryan Stevenson. You can watch the movie by following this link https://www.justmercyfilm.com/
 
French Prayer Service Saturday Evenings 6 pm

Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.

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Somebody asked me recently, “When’s the last time you listened to Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life?” Answer? Twice in the last three weeks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGZYWSfiYbM&list=PLjb5kMzP2zolSAPpMXR7_0MfYjEcDWQJO
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sIjSNTS7Fs&list=PLjb5kMzP2zolSAPpMXR7_0MfYjEcDWQJO&index=5
 
Are trains safe in Covid? The “A Train” is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2w2m1JmCY