Beginning December 5, advance reservations for in-person worship will no longer be required. Everyone will be asked to spread out and maintain physical distance as much as possible. Entrance to the sanctuary will be through the Narthex doors (with access by the handicap ramp provided for those who need it). Attendance will still be recorded for everyone present.
We will continue to require
1) Evidence of full vaccination
2) Wearing masks throughout the service
3) No congregational singing or reciting prayers aloud
Booster shots are proving to be very important in keeping everyone’s immune response high. If you received your vaccination 6 months ago (or 2 months ago, for those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine), you absolutely need to get the booster shot as soon as possible. Please show your updated vaccine card to the attendance takers, upon arrival for worship.
The season of Advent begins on Sunday, November 28. Advent is the time when we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s coming among us. We are looking forward to gathering together for worship throughout this season! Please be sure to call ahead of time to make a reservation for Sunday morning.
This year we have selected a daily devotional guide for adults called “Wait Upon the Lord!” This devotional includes daily scripture readings from the prophet Isaiah, who inspires us to wait for Jesus with great hope and anticipation. We are invited to journey to Bethlehem with this famous promise from Isaiah tucked deep in our hearts: “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31) The devotional booklets will be available on Sunday morning, November 28. Or you may stop by the church office during the week (Tuesday through Friday, 9 am – 4 pm), or call the church office and request that a copy be mailed to you.
For families with children in their household, we have a devotional booklet and an advent chain called “How Do They Celebrate Christmas?” which focuses on advent traditions around the world. For our teens and young adults, there is a booklet of reflections called “Wait and See for Advent.” These will be available on Sunday morning, November 28, at WOW/Peak on Wednesday, December 1, and at the Advent Celebration on Saturday, December 4.
Our worship during Advent will focus on our preparation for the birth of Jesus. We will continue to gather for in-person worship at 9:30 am on Sundays, as well as post the worship recording on our church webpage (www.firstpresbyterianchurchsl.org) by Sunday evening.
There will be a Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary. Please be sure to call ahead of time to reserve a place, as space is limited. Guests are welcome, but must be fully vaccinated and bring proof of vaccination when they come to worship.
You may have noticed that the cross on top of our church Bell Tower is standing straight and tall these days! Yes, it had been leaning at times, and then would get straightened back up by one of our church members (!), but alas, it would begin to lean again a few months later.
We are so grateful to Alma Drown’s children, who generously funded the repairs needed to secure the cross once and for all! Years ago, Alma’s first husband, Donald Lenters (who was an elder and deacon at our church) worked for the Ditzler Paint Company. Sometime in the 1960’s, Alma and Donald’s children remember the cross from the church steeple sitting in their driveway, on some newspapers, as their dad painted it and got it ready to be placed up on the steeple. Upon noticing that the cross was leaning during these past couple of years, the children recently reached out to the church to fund whatever repairs necessary so that it could be safely secured.
Our Building and Grounds Committee contacted our roof contractor (Kevin Reed), and he was able to come up with a plan for considerable reconstruction up in the bell tower, removing a portion of the roof, replacing rotten wood as well as refabricating the base on the metal cross, so that it could be secure and remain that way, hopefully forever!
The work has been completed, and if you would like to see photographs of the work in progress, just stop by the church office and we’ll be happy to share the notebook that chronicles the project. Again, our sincere thanks to the Lenters’ children (Derk, John, Susan and Jim)!!