BEGINNING OF MASK OPTIONAL WORSHIP
We are excited. On May 23rd, Session met and approved a motion to begin mask-optional worship on June 13th, 2021.
It is not news to any of us that this has been a very challenging fifteen months. When the Session made the decision to suspend in-person worship on March 13th, 2020 none of us imagined it would be this long before it might be safe to gather without masks. But, finally, thankfully, here we are.
Following CDC recommendations and given how prevalent the vaccination rate is within our congregation, Session has come to the conclusion that it is appropriate and safe for us to gather without masks and sing together in worship. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask will be warmly welcomed. We know that there may be some who have not yet been fully vaccinated, who are not able to safely receive the vaccine or who have chosen to not to be vaccinated.
All this being said, 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, we know that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:39).
The Session has approved the following schedule with these tentative dates.
June 13th: We will gather together for worship in the main sanctuary for the first time without the mask mandate.
June 20th Celebration Sunday: We will gather this Sunday for a hymn sing and a Potluck following. Some people during the pandemic learned how to make sourdough bread. I killed mine quite efficiently, and so decided to buy a smoker instead. I will be smoking a brisket for that Sunday. Bring a side dish, a salad, or something that you have learned how to make during the pandemic to share.
Remembrance Sunday TBD: We lost several friends and members of the church over the course of this pandemic. We were not able to gather to mourn or give thanks to God for their lives. We are scheduling a remembrance Sunday.
About Overland Park Presbyterian Church
Overland Park Presbyterian Church is a place where we affirm the following:
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.