Update from the Reopening Recommendations Work Group
Our 11-member group has met weekly since May to: assess the changing trends in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; consider recommendations from public health experts; review local and state government mandates, track responses from our sister churches; and, explore all possible avenues to gather together as a church body. Any recommendation made by RRWG must be approved by Session. As part of our work, we surveyed the congregation and twice surveyed our church staff. The result of these efforts is a three-phase document entitled Recommended Framework for Keeping Safe as we Re-Enter Our Building. The Framework outlines best practices and procedures for First Pres to maintain a strong on-line presence while gradually reopening the church building when certain viral conditions are met, and with an emphasis on safety for staff and our congregants.
We are currently in Phase II: Re-Entry of Small Groups and Preparation for Large Groups. Phase II includes procedures and practices to allow at minimal risk an opportunity to meet for outdoor worship, as we did on Sundays in September and October, as well as other outdoor in-person events, such as Six Sundays of Fun, College Lunches, special youth gatherings, and more. In addition, the church building has been reopened for staff and small groups (10 people or less) to meet using specific protocols. Any special request must be received and approved by the Reopening Communications Team. Please see this document if you would like to meet at church as a small group. We encourage those able to meet online to continue to do so.
In mid-October, the Session approved the RRWG proposal to extend Phase II to include transitioning to in-door in-person worship. The RRWG proposal allows for up to 25 congregants to attend in-person worship in the sanctuary beginning with Thursday night recording and moving to Sunday when live-streaming becomes available. The date to begin this Thursday, November 12, 2020 in-person worship opportunity is planned for early December. The specific date is contingent on viral conditions in the community, staff comfort, and progress with live-steaming. RRWG has developed indoor worship procedures including specific COVID-19 safety protocols, following CDC and other governmental guidelines. We continue to work closely with the Worship Committee and Technology Work Group to bring live-streaming to our Sunday service, with a projected start date in early 2021. Look for further announcements regarding in-person worship on our website and all-church emails.
- Recommended Framework for Keeping Safe as we Re-Enter Our Building (Through Phase II)
- Procedures for Reserving Space for a Small Group
- Indoor worship procedures
- COVID-19 safety protocols
- May Reopening Survey Results
- We are connecting online, on the radio, via Zoom or Google Hang Out.
- We listen and respond to phone, text and email messages.
- Our distinctive ministries of worship, music, Christian formation, congregational care and mission continue to operate to serve our community and members.
- We are deeply concerned for the health and well-being of our First Pres members and friends, and all our neighbors in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw and Detroit.
Need help using Zoom? Watch this tutorial from our very own Rev. Amy Ruhf!
We Worship on Sunday!
On Sundays, we worship virtually. Our Worship Service can be found on our YouTube Page and our Facebook page beginning at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday. After the service, please join us for a Virtual Coffee Hour on Zoom. Our service is also broadcast at 11:00 a.m. on WAAM (1600 AM) and on the web (www.waamradio.com/).
The First Pres facilities are now closed to all in-person ministries, events and meetings for the foreseeable future. All meetings, events and gatherings are suspended until such time as we can again gather together safely.
A skeleton team of administrators and our facilities team will be onsite Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Pastors and program staff are available by phone, text or email. Should you need to reach us, simply call the church (734) 662- 4466. Many meetings and gatherings have moved online, or in the process of doing so soon.
Funerals & Memorials
We are limited in our funeral practices. Find out more here.
Other than Zoom weddings, or weddings recorded on Facebook at an outside venue limited to 10 people — couples wishing for an in-person wedding in our Sanctuary or Monteith Hall – must limit the total people gathered (including officiants, musicians, etc.) to under 10 people. Recording the service is allowed.