Dear Members and Friends of FCCI,
FCCI’s reopening task force met on Tuesday to revise the phased reopening plan we had outlined back in May. We have opted to reopen FCCI sooner rather than later, which is exciting news for our members and friends who have waited patiently for this moment.
As you know, Governor Cuomo has recently lifted COVID restrictions across the state for vaccinated people, and active COVID cases and new infections in Tompkins County are currently low. The New York State Department of Health has also released new guidelines specifically for communities of faith. While these guidelines are evolving, they permit churches to reopen without restrictions.
Our task force has been tracking the shifting guidelines while trying to balance caution and safety with a desire to fully reopen. It has been a challenge! We know there are FCCI members and friends who want to return to church, congregate, and sing, and there are others who prefer to remain home for now. We would like to open the church’s doors sooner rather than later to let everyone participate in worship in the way they feel most comfortable.
Beginning Sunday July 11, masks will be optional for vaccinated Sunday worshipers. The balcony and the library will be reserved for worshipers who prefer to mask and distance, regardless of their vaccination status. As per CDC guidelines, we strongly urge unvaccinated worshipers of any age to maintain all appropriate COVID restrictions for their own safety and well being. Members and friends who prefer to worship from home are welcome to do so since we will continue to live stream each Sunday service. Children’s programming will follow camp guidelines with masks optional for outdoor activities.
Back in May we set World Communion Sunday (October 3rd) as the date when we would be open and mask-optional. Our worship teams will still be planning something special for that day. In the meantime, we invite you to begin participating in FCCI’s Sunday worship in a way that feels comfortable for you and your families, whether that is being physically present, singing, and fellowshipping in person, or participating in congregational life from home. The church is the church for all of us.
If you have questions or comments, please reach out to David, Pam, or Steve. And please join this coming Sunday’s town hall discussion at 11:15am to share your thoughts.
Rev. Dr. David A. Kaden
Pamela Hanna, Council President
Steve TenEyck, Council Vice President