CPC AND COVID-19: Our Ministry, Our Latest Decisions

Check this page for updates to this information as the weeks progress.

Session Appoints CPC Reopening Task Force

June 3, 2020

At its June 1 meeting, the Session addressed the procedure for planning and implementing the gradual reopening of the church campus. The ruling Elders considered a document sent them by Dr. Hix that suggested key Principles to guide the process and the ongoing Problems we will face as we do so. 

The Elders agreed to appoint an 8-member task force to direct the church’s efforts at reopening over the next three months. Representatives from relevant church committees, plus one congregation member with expertise in medical fields and one representative from the preschool, will constitute the task force. It will meet frequently over the next month to review health guidelines, legal restrictions, building preparation, and necessary steps to ensure safety while providing a gradual transition to more access to the church buildings. The task force will present its findings to the Session and either implement the approved steps itself or assign responsibilities to session committees.

The following themes pertinent to the work of the task force arose during the session discussion:

  • Church members have expressed no sentiments that would lead to a rushed reopening. Throughout the process, we will move gradually and with an abundance of caution.

  • At all times, we will abide by legal restrictions and follow suggestions in the Phase approach utilized by government leaders. Although the judicial system has ruled that churches in NC are essential services and can immediately re-open, CPC will not abruptly move in that direction.

  • Even after the church relaxes its restrictions, alternative means of remote worship and participation will continue for those who are not ready to risk close proximity to potential carriers of the COVID-19 virus.

  • There will be an opportunity for congregation members to register their hopes, fears, and suggestions to the task force in a town forum meeting or similar online venue.

  • As the summer progresses, it is likely that opportunities for outdoor events and small indoor groups that practice clear social distance guidelines will become more frequent.

  • Although this is only a tentative target date, if no new restrictions arise because of a resurgence of the virus, the church could re-open for most purposes by September 1.

  • The intent of the re-opening process is to enhance the ministry of Jesus Christ through worship, education, mission, fellowship, stewardship and pastoral care, while protecting the health of members, staff, and all who yearn to serve Christ through our congregation.

On the Reopening of our Church Facilities

May 22, 2020
 
After the governor’s most recent announcement about North Carolina’s next phase of reopening, it is clear that worship will be “virtual” for awhile yet to come. Rest assured, however, that your pastors and Session will be thoughtfully planning for our own situation in the days ahead, keeping in mind the safety of our congregation and its most vulnerable members. 
 
The next Session meeting is June 1 and our path forward toward reopening will be discussed. That said, we would also like to have input and hear your concerns, hopes and suggestions as we navigate these uncertain times, so we will be planning opportunities for such dialogue in the near future. 
 
We are considering a town hall meeting to hear those thoughts from you, and will notify you with adequate notice when that occurs. We will at all times remember our calling to care for our members and exhibit a glimpse of the kingdom of Jesus Christ to the world.
 
Peace be with you all, 
Dr. Duane Hix  Bridge Interim Pastor

 

March 2020

Friends and Members,

Below is a category-by-category update on our responses to COVID-19 and our plans as things progress.
 
Please remember that your church staff, the Deacons and Session will respond to your needs as best we can under current circumstances, and we hope you will keep in touch with us.
 
While we can offer spiritual guidance and companionship and help to restore calm to a chaotic situation, we will not try to be an ongoing source of official medical and emergency pronouncements. We believe you will be best served on these issues if you consult the Center for Disease Control website for official information (cdc.gov), and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website for information, rather than relying on hearsay and informal blogs. 
 
We are bound together by a gracious God who transcends all the difficulties that nature’s untamed moments throw at us. Do not be afraid, but do not be foolhardy. Presbyterians believe in a good God of providence who nonetheless asks us to use our best collective wisdom to respond with grace and courage in times of crisis.
 
Dr. Duane Hix, Bridge Interim, on behalf of the CPC Staff
 
 

We have canceled or postponed all activities at the church campus until the appropriate designation by the NC state stay-at-home order. This includes Scouts, committee meetings, and all groups like Circles, Sunday School and support groups, whether specific church organizations or outside organizations. The office will be used by staff members on an as needed basis. Precautionary sanitation procedures like disinfecting door handles, keypads and common areas will help keep our staff safe. 

The Pastoral Care team will continue to send out lists of Joys and Concerns so you can know who might need an extra prayer or a phone call of support. The Deacon moderators will be asking the Deacons to double their contacts with members on their “beloved” lists. We are especially concerned about home-bound members tended by healthcare workers, as some agencies are hesitant to send out their workers, so staff will explicitly contact these people. If you are in that category, or know someone who is, please call the church office, or send an email to office@carypresbyterian.org.

Due to the unusual circumstances presented by the current pandemic, our Sunday Worship Services are being conducted online. 

In our weekly E-link newsletter on Friday prior to the Sunday service, we will link to the bulletin that will allow you to participate in parts of the service, including words to hymns and prayers.

The service will also be recorded and available online at the church website and at the Cary Presbyterian Church Facebook page. (Remember, previous church services are also available for access on Soundcloud via the CPC website at this link.)

Your relationship to God extends beyond worship, so we will also offer the following over the next few weeks:  
 
  • Mindfulness Meditation resources provided by Jason Troiano. Jason shares the link to his own Facebook page below. He will share posts for guided meditations and livestream mindfulness events from the best teachers in the U.S. as they reach out to the public during these challenging times.

    https://www.facebook.com/jason.troiano.522

    Home Faith Formation/Christian Education
  • Activities for children sent out to families by Children’s Ministry Coordinator Jen Pierce. (Parents, remember also that the church library has lots of videos and books for your family – and yourself!)
  • Until normal Sunday services resume, E-Link (containing the weekly bulletin) will be emailed to our mailing list on Friday mornings. 

In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Cary Presbyterian Church is establishing the CPC Cares: COVID-19 Community Assistance Fund.  The purpose of the fund is to financially assist our members, friends and community partners during this time of crisis.  Half of the offering received will be immediately disbursed to Dorcas Ministries and The Carying Place, two local charities with large CPC financial support and volunteer involvement.  The other half will be retained to help with financial assistance for CPC members, friends and neighbors in need.  Any funds remaining after the crisis has passed will be disbursed to The Carying Place, Dorcas Ministries and other charities.  

Gifts can be made online at http://carypresbyterian.org/online-giving or by mailing your check to the church office, attention Barbara Carew. 

If you wish to make gifts directly, here are links to Dorcas Ministries and The Carying Place. 

We appreciate all of your gifts, regardless of the amount.  During this time of severe worldwide crisis, what is most important is to remember all of those less fortunate, and help where we can, and if we are able. 

If you have any questions, please contact elders Todd Crouse, Hal Drumheller, Craig Hofmeister or Barbara Carew (finance manager). 

 

We recognize that CPC members are generous and conscientious members of our communities. If you want to extend the mission of CPC beyond our doors, please consider contributions of food or money to Cary’s own Dorcas Ministries, the Food Bank of North Carolina, or the Summer Food Service Program in which we participate. 

You may offer volunteer hours or funds to this at this SignUpGenius Emergency Meals link (a note about this went out by e-mail to members. 

The Courage, Strength, and Hope (Al-Anon) meeting scheduled for Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the Library, will take place on ZOOM during the NC stay-at-home period. People can access the meeting every Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. by visiting the Al-Anon district website – http://www.alanonalateen6nc.org and clicking on ” CANCELLATIONS”.  This will bring you to all the district meetings that have ZOOM availability.

We also remind you that expenses at CPC continue even though the offering plate cannot be passed at worship, so please send your pledges and contributions to the church until we meet again in person. Here is the link to our online giving option –
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