COVID-19 Update (June 3, 2020)
We pray this note finds you healthy and whole, both in body and spirit. Given the shifting developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Session is developing safety measures and protocols for holding in-person services once again, based on CDC guidelines. Tentatively, Overland Park Lutheran Church (OPLC) and Overland Park Presbyterian Church (OPPC) plan to hold in-person worship on Sunday, June 14th, 2020, and will also provide a pre-recorded service for those choosing to worship at home. This date could change, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in Johnson County. If you are over the age of 70, or are in one of the CDC’s at-risk categorizes, we strongly encourage you not to attend in-person services until July or August. OPPC will continue to live-stream services for those who want to worship with us from home.
Here are some conditions for holding in-person services at OPPC:
1.) People will sign-in upon entry, to help with contact tracing should someone become ill.
2.) Attendees must covenant with OPPC, guaranteeing if they have a positive case result of COVID-19, they will inform Pastor Jason. (Don’t worry, your medical information and identity will remain anonymous).
3.) In the event someone who has attended worship in either OPLC or OPPC during the asymptomatic phase of the infection, OPPC will immediately suspend in-person worship for one month. (We will tell members that someone has been made sick; we will not divulge that person’s name without permission).
4.) If Pastor Jason tests positive for COVID-19, number 3 above will happen and the Session will take on the responsibility of ensuring the congregation has access to spiritual nourishment while he is sick.
When we begin to have in-person worship again, the Session wishes to stress that our desire to worship and be with one another is not the only faith-filled way of being a part of the church. One of our foundational principles is freedom of conscience. We respect and honor those who choose to attend in-person and those who participate through our continued online services. It is important for everyone to know that we are not pressuring people to come if they feel like it is unsafe. We speak of our worship space as a sanctuary, a safe space, a holy place. If coming together makes you feel unsafe, then we encourage you to wait until you feel it is safe. Regardless of whether we are together in each other’s presence, or together separately, nothing is able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:39).
In summary, as we draw closer to a fixed reopening date, the Session will send follow-up letters to the congregation with more specific guidelines for holding in-person worship services (hand washing, spaced seating, mask apparel, etc.). In the meantime, we pray for health and safety for everyone at OPPC, the U.S., and the world as we strive through these difficult times together.
May Christ’s peace be with you,
The Session of Overland Park Presbyterian Church
About Overland Park Presbyterian Church
Overland Park Presbyterian Church is a place where we affirm the following for those in Overland Park, Johnson County, and Kansas City:
Because God is love, God calls us to create a community that is open and accepting. We do this by meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our neighborhood.
Overland Park Presbyterian Church is a member of PC(USA). We are an inter-generational congregation with both older and younger members and know that we are incomplete without each other. We believe that God has called us to be together, and we invite you to come explore life, faith, and all the messiness that it entails as we seek God’s kingdom here on earth.