COVID-19 Response

(updated March 10, 2022)

You may be aware that new guidance from both the CDC and state health officials have been released over the past couple of weeks. Last night, the Executive Committee of the Board met to review the new guidance and update our own COVID-19 policies.
Before I get to the details, I wanted to speak to our present situation. We’re in a more nuanced stage of the pandemic than we have ever been before. As your pastor, I know some folks are eagerly anticipating lower rates and fewer adjustments, while some are more cautious and feeling a bit uneasy about where we all find ourselves now and potentially moving forward. Some feel more comfort with present community levels than others do. Some of us have personal risk factors or live or interact regularly with those who do. Not all our congregation is vaccine eligible, as those under 5 do not yet have that option. It’s important we remember what it means to live in community with one another in such a nuanced and varied time. As people who follow Jesus, we’re called to live with concern and love for all.
Our updated policy regarding masking requirements follows the updated CDC guidance. If Scott County is in the “red” for high case rates, masking will still be required in all group settings inside the building. If Scott County is in the “yellow” for elevated rates, masking in group settings is still recommended & encouraged, but will not be universally required. If Scott County is in the “green” for low rates, there is no specific guidance regarding masking. Please note that anyone can continue to mask at any of these levels based on their own comfort and risk factors. We want to ensure FCC is a place where everyone who wishes to continue to mask personally feels supported in their choice to do so.
Currently, Scott County continues to be in the “red” for high case rates, even with the new metrics being used. While public health officials expect rates to continue to fall over the next few weeks, we’re not yet there in Scott County, so masks are still required in group settings.
The new case rates and designations for each county will now be released weekly by the CDC on Friday mornings ( Our mask policy for the week ahead will be based on that information and we want to communicate as clearly as possible. That means on Fridays for the next few weeks, we’ll send out a church-wide e-mail letting you know what our mask policy for worship that Sunday and the following week will be. Signage at the entrances will also be specific about that. It’s the current expectation of health officials that we’ll likely be out of the “red” designation soon.
A few more essential details about our updated policy:
  • For worship at this time, we’ll continue to do individual pre-packaged communion sets and receiving offerings through the boxes at the entrances. We’ll also continue to use every other pew for seating to provide some extra distance. You’re also reminded that the balcony seats are available for those who prefer additional distance and can navigate the steps.
  • In keeping with public health recommendations, we’ll continue to require masks for everyone in smaller indoor group settings where children under 5 are present as they are not yet eligible for a vaccine. That will include all children and adult leaders in those groups, regardless of their age or vaccination status. Such groups include Children Worship & Wonder, Wednesday Night Kids group, and nursery care (though those under 2 are not required to mask, in keeping with public health guidelines).
  • Groups of youth or adults may still choose to require a more cautious masking policy for their particular setting/gathering based on the needs & consensus of that group (for instance, a Bible Study or Sunday School group may choose to require participants to mask even if the policy/rates are not at a level requiring it churchwide).
As always, if you have questions or concerns, you can contact Barb Southworth, Board Chairperson, or me
I’ve tried to remind us repeatedly through the pandemic that “we are still the church.” That is still true! I’m hopeful for all that is currently happening within our congregation and all the opportunities that 2022 will bring us as well. May we continue to be a place where the love of Christ is made real to one another and to the community and world around us!
Grace and peace,