March 03, 2021 | News
PHPC is committed to providing opportunities for connection and nurture even while it remains unsafe for us to congregate. That includes keeping everyone involved in the life of our church up to date on the work of the Task Force on Reopening.
The Task Force has been meeting every other week since last April. In each of our meetings, we receive COVID data updates from our medical doctors, updates from the Preston Hollow Presbyterian School and reports from church staff.
The Task Force advises church leaders on the conditions under which we could safely gather within the church walls, provides guidance in ways to create community in pandemic conditions, and plans for the day when our campus can once again be open for all.
Following are some questions and answers that you may find helpful:
What plans are in place for in-person worship?
The church staff is working on three in-person outdoor services on Easter morning at 6:30 AM, 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Outdoor worship plans for after Easter are also being made. More details about these worship opportunities will be sent soon. As was the case last fall, advance registration will be in place.
When will the building reopen to members, and when can we return to indoor worship?
A 14-day decline in cases and hospitalizations in Dallas County has been our metric for making such plans. This remains our guideline. With improving weather, we are exploring ways to more immediately provide for outdoor small group gatherings for meetings, studies and fellowship. Details on when and how these can take place will be announced soon.
Why can we not meet for indoor worship while other churches are doing so?
We have learned throughout the last year that reasonable, thoughtful individuals and organizations can come to differing conclusions regarding the appropriateness of gathering together. Our thinking at PHPC has been driven by a desire to leave no person behind. Although many organizations have taken the position that the individual should have the right to decide whether attendance at a gathering is appropriate for them, this approach excludes those who may feel that circumstances do not offer them the same choice. We are likewise guided by the Biblical understanding that we are all a part of the one Body of Christ, and as such, we bear a responsibility for the welfare of each one. As a result, we will reopen the building when it is safe for all of us.
How does the vaccine factor into our decision-making?
This will become clearer once the new CDC guidelines are released. These new guidelines are expected this week.
How does Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent decision to end the mask mandate affect our practices and procedures?
PHPC will continue to follow CDC guidelines for activities on our campus. At this time, this includes mask-wearing and social distancing.
What is happening with our staff?
The church staff continues to work remotely, coming into the office as their work necessitates. We plan to survey the staff soon to gauge their thoughts and feelings about more regularly returning to the building.
Please know that we are as eager as anyone in wanting to return to in-person worship and other gatherings while doing so as safely as possible for all members of our community. We recognize the importance of regular communication and updates to the congregation, and we will continue to update the church on significant developments as they occur and otherwise will provide a status report monthly.