In mid-May, a team was formed to serve as a task force to review and set forth guidelines for the church as we continue in this time of COVID-19 precautions. The task force is charged with providing guidance in making plans that are right and responsible for Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. To that end, the task force is committed to the health and welfare of our entire community of faith. We will not rush to reopen simply to do so. The very nature of our existence calls for us to be in community, to share space and experiences together. Until we can do that safely, we must continue to experience community and connection in other ways.
Efforts have been made to ensure representation of our wide-ranging demographics, our various program areas, and our worship. Experts and leaders in medicine, law, and education are included as well. Those serving on this task force are:
Nicole Bell, incoming Head of Preston Hollow Presbyterian School
Robey Canaday, children’s ministry representative and father of young children
Dave Cole, head usher, worship council member
Paige Conley, educator
Whitney Rose, mother of young children
Charles Rutherford, MD, current elder
Lacy Schultz, current elder, youth ministry representative, mother of youth
Bruce Wall, MD, current deacon
Kim Bates, Director of Business Operations
Mark Brainerd, Senior Associate Pastor for Care and Administration
Sara Stoltz, Director of Communications
- Essential in-person ministries currently allowed to gather people on campus include: worship preparation and recording; safety and security of the campus, including maintenance, repairs, and improvements; maintaining financial functions; inurnments, memorial services in the Chapel, Sanctuary or Columbarium for family groups of no more than 10; indoor or outdoor weddings for groups of no more than 10.
- Though plans for our Sunday worship offerings remain online, the pastors are actively discussing creative options for worship in the fall.
- Classes, study groups, and committees are encouraged to continue utilizing online meeting options such as Zoom video conferencing whenever possible into the fall.
- Be reminded that our staff continues to work hard to provide a wide-range of online options for spiritual enrichment and connection on the PHPC website. Visit www.phpc.org/resources for more information.
These determinations are based on resources such as guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), counsel from elected officials in our city, county, and state. We are in communication with comparable congregations in our community and beyond to learn of their planning and decision-making processes.
Even with all the foregoing plans, we recognize the fluid nature of these decisions and establishing a goal date. For instance, On June 9, a report published by D Magazine indicates that Dallas County is now ranked fifth-highest behind Harris County (TX) as a COVID-19 hotspot, meaning we are fifth-highest in the nation for number of new cases reported, according to Johns Hopkins University. Such reports likewise factor into our considerations. We ask for the congregation’s patience during these evolving circumstances.
The congregational survey referenced in the May 11, 2020, letter to the church from the Session, is expected to be sent to you within a week to 10 days. This survey concerns the ministry areas of the church as well as providing a way to gauge our community members’ comfort levels about returning to in-person activities at church. Along with our Session, we encourage you to make your voice heard through completing the survey. Results will help us plan for the future.