IPC COVID-19 Safety Measures | Aug. 26
by: Rev. Susan Clayton, Associate Pastor, Congregational Care & Adult Ministries
With the current data related to the COVID-19 Delta variant creating a surge in our community of new cases as well as hospitalizations, IPC's Re-Opening Task Force resumed meeting on a weekly basis to keep track of the most up-to-date data and to put protocols in place to keep our faith community safe during this challenging time. The Delta variant has a much higher rate of transmissibility and is affecting all ages, including younger adults, children, and youth. While the highest caseload is among unvaccinated individuals, who also have higher rates of hospitalization and serious illness, we know that vaccinated individuals can also contract and transmit the Delta variant of COVID-19. The Re-opening Task Force feels we must try to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics to do all we can to keep our public gatherings as safe as possible.
At this time, we will continue to:
- Require masks at all indoor, public events for everyone aged 2 and above in order to protect one another
- Meet in person for indoor events such as worship, Sunday School classes, weekday classes, Wednesday night gatherings, and other public events
- Limit providing indoor food and drink on Wednesday nights to our youth group and children’s classes, which are socially distanced
- Offer disposable masks at the main entrances to the church and make hand sanitizer readily available
- Understand that it will be difficult to keep masks on two-year-olds and some older children, and that they may not be developmentally ready or capable of properly wearing a mask at all times
- Try to help children wear masks in group settings, in the most loving and kind way while offering grace for those who are unable to comply fully
None of us wanted to reinstate some of these restrictions, but we recognize our call as disciples of Jesus Christ to sacrifice for the highest good of one another. Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Our COVID-19 protocols seek to put love of neighbor into concrete action by doing all we can to protect one another, particularly the most vulnerable among us. Please read future communications from the church as we continue to monitor the situation on a weekly basis. And, please pray for everyone who is once again on the front lines of this pandemic, and for our church, as we continue to strive to lead a life worthy of the high calling that is ours as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world.
The Re-Opening Task Force met this week to look at the current rising trend in positive cases of Covid-19. In light of the current numbers and expected trends for the coming weeks, we are again requiring masks for any in-person indoor gatherings.
IPC's Re-Opening Task Force met July 29 after a bit of a hiatus to look at new CDC recommendations and evaluate the rising COVID-19 caseload due to the Delta variant. New recommendations for masks and social distancing came out of the meeting.
Following federal, state, local, and other church recommendations, IPC's "Re-Opening" Task Force lifts Covid-19 restrictions in worship, meetings, meals, and using the church.
With the recent expiration of the Birmingham city mask ordinance and with the favorable conditions in our community, the House & Properties Task Force has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions on the use of church property.
Read the current general guidelines as of May 17, 2021, for members and guests entering or using Independent Presbyterian Church buildings or facilities.
Preparations are underway by IPC staff, in coordination with the Re-opening Task Force and various committees, to return pew cushions, unlock exterior doors, and discontinue worship reservations.