Find the latest updates here regarding changes to worship, classes and other IPC related activities.

Guidelines for Special Events on Church Property

  • The guidelines for members and guests using the pool at the Children's Fresh Air Farm are intended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmissions. It includes limiting visitors, social distancing, wearing of masks when not in the pool, no sharing of towels or toys, and no food or beverages except for bottled water in pool area. Please review before using the pool.

  • The following are the current general guidelines for members and guests entering or using the Children’s Fresh Air Farm for the Summer Learning Program.

  • The following are the current general guidelines for members and guests entering or using Independent Presbyterian Church buildings or facilities.

  • The following are the current guidelines for guests and other family members attending wedding, funeral or baptism services at Independent Presbyterian Church.

  • The following are guidelines for members and guest planning to the attend the in-person worship service on Sunday, June 28 at the Children's Fresh Air Farm.

June 3, 2020 Update

Dear IPC Members,

These are indeed crazy times. I keep having to remind myself that God is in charge, and this too shall all pass. One day at a time.

Your Staff and Worship Ministry and House & Properties have been meeting and planning extensively for our reopening. There is a subcommittee of H&P that meets (via ZOOM) weekly, reviewing best practices from other churches, government issued mandates and procedures, and medical advice from our own medical profession members. We still do not know for sure when we will be able to open the building for services, classes and other ministries, but we look forward to being able to worship together when the time comes. The consistent advice from medical professionals in our church is that we should not consider gathering in large numbers until there is a steady decline in new COVID cases in Alabama and the community. Cases are still rising as of this date (June 3, 2020). The irony is that many of us that wish the most to gather and see friends and enjoy fellowship, are the most susceptible to catching the virus, with possible dangerous results. So, we are studying the risks and rewards.

When we do come together, for the time being at least, service will be different in order to reduce the risk of exposure. Likely, there will be no congregational singing, books and pew cushions will be removed, no programs will be handed out, and above all, social distancing will be in effect. Elderly and other high-risk members also will be encouraged to stay home and enjoy the live stream.  Hopefully, a vaccine will be developed soon or other positive developments relating to the virus will occur that make these types of precautions short-lived.

As you probably know, day care has been suspended since the pandemic started in mid-March. If the virus was not bad enough, shortly after closing, the nursery and several church offices experienced significant water damage from a broken toilet in March. FYI - the “flood” was all fresh, chlorinated water, but it caused significant sheetrock, carpet and furniture damage. The restoration work will begin very soon thanks to our insurance company and Brasfield & Gorrie, with a likely completion date in August. While this water damage event is unfortunate, we are grateful that it occurred at a time that turned out to be downtime and look forward to reopening with a fresh start!

Overall, we anticipate a gradual phased reopening once the COVID case trends and other indicators improve, beginning with a single worship service, possibly outdoors.  In the interim, we are focused on finding other ways to safely bring our members together.  For example, we recently established guidelines for small group gatherings and activities in designated outdoor areas of the church and the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, as well as guidelines for small, limited attendance wedding and funeral services in the sanctuary.  

We all want to be together as a church, but your safety is a paramount consideration.

More details of a gradual re-opening will be forthcoming. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you for your patience, and your prayers for our church. 

Regards, 
H&P Subcommittee
Mike Graham
Alan Deer
Paul Leaver
Julie Rediker
Dr. Steve Hunt
Dr. Sean Vanlandingham
Rev. Lucy Turner

COVID-19 News

The H&P subcommittee on reopening acknowledges the ‘farewell day” for our friend, Brian Lays, on June 28 and also the desire to meet in person our new friend, Steve Goyer. We had hoped to see a decline in number of new cases before we bring the congregation back together. Instead of declining, new cases pretty much doubled over the weekend. So, we are reluctant to meet so soon, but if we do, we really like the outdoor setting. 

Your Staff and Worship Ministry and House & Properties have been meeting and planning extensively for our reopening. There is a subcommittee of H&P that meets (via ZOOM) weekly, reviewing best practices from other churches, government issued mandates and procedures, and medical advice from our own medical profession members. We still do not know for sure when we will be able to open the building for services, classes and other ministries, but we look forward to being able to worship together when the time comes.

Our STAIR and LIFT OFF children are also home from Hayes K-8 School with special challenges that come with living in homes without reliable access to internet connection and with the added stress of food insecurity in many of their homes. In order to give our students access to academic and recreational activities they can do without internet access, we are planning to prepare Care Kits to deliver to each home.

The Community Ministries Department staff are continuing to support the most vulnerable in our community through the Social Service Fund at IPC. Right now, we are asking for undesignated gifts to Social Services so that we can be flexible in the way in which we expend funds to support those in greatest need.

Effective today, Tuesday, March 17 at 4:30 pm, church offices will be closed through April. Only essential services staff will report to IPC on select days for a few hours. The rest of our staff will work remotely and can be reached by email. Voicemail messages left on office phones will be checked regularly. All in-person worship, classes and groups are cancelled through April.

Sunday is the day when the church is filled with people I love and who love one another. Sunday is the day when we are most mindful of who needs our care and our prayers—especially when you or I are the ones most in need. Our concern for the coronavirus has temporarily robbed us of the opportunity to be together on this Sabbath day and a handful of others to come, but the virus cannot take from us the beauty of our life together and cannot break the ties that bind us with God and one another.

Online Resources

We have compiled a list of online resources to help you to continue to engage in the worship and ministry of Independent Presbyterian Church during this time in which in-person events are not possible.

  • Our Sunday 11 am worship service will be available through livestreaming only. Bulletins can be downloaded at here.

  • Please continue to remember to support the church. Even during this time when in person attendance is not possible, we do have basic necessary bills to cover. Offerings may be submitted by mail, online or through the ShelbyNEXT app. As always, thank you for your gifts.

  • Download a worship bulletin for the 11 am worship service from home.

  • Our Christian Education Ministry is creating daily video devotionals Monday through Friday. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notifications when new devotions are posted.

  • Need ideas for keeping your children busy at home? IPC Day School director Kathy Leaver is providing ideas every day.

  • Still need to download the ShelbyNEXT app? Login emails were sent to all unregistered members on Friday, March 13. Download instructions or view the video to learn how to use the system.