FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
where all are welcomed and embraced in the inclusive Love of God
First Presbyterian Church, Marshfield, Wisconsin seeks to welcome all to join us on our journey of faith, denying no one, based upon his or her particular human condition, participation in the life of the church. We want to be a safe place, a sanctuary where people are accepted, included, and cared for as they are. We will be agents of God’s transforming power, aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit as we pray, worship, learn, share fellowship and serve together. By attending to the love of Jesus Christ in our midst, we discover a deepening faith that makes a difference in our lives. As a community based on God’s love, we strive to be of service to our neighbors and to the world.
Streaming Worship Services
Starting April 25th, 2021, our live streaming worship service will be available directly on our Facebook page and on our YouTube Channel. Live-Stream will begin approximately 9:25 with the service starting at 9:30 Sunday morning. In case you miss the live streaming, an archived version will become available to watch later in the afternoon. Our YouTube Channel also contains all past live streamed and prerecorded videos. If you use Gmail you can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel (by clicking the red Subscribe button in the YouTube Channel) and you will get real time notifications (click on the bell and choose all) in your Gmail whenever there’s a new video available. You can also access our YouTube Channel by typing: fpcmarshfield.org/livestream
For Sunday Morning Live Stream, prerecorded services and all past videos please click on our easy to remember access:
Session of FPC Marshfield Letter of June 4, 2021
Dear Members and Friends of FPC,
As you most likely already know, FPC’s Session voted on May 25 to re-open the church fully. The last year has been a challenging one for all of us, including the Session and staff of our church.
On March 15, 2020, Session made the difficult decision to suspend in person worship and church meetings. This was based on information from the Badger Bounce-back data, CDC and the Wisconsin Council of Churches’ recommendations and had its main goal of protecting each other and the larger community. Session created a Rapid Response Team which was responsible for gathering the latest information and helping to make recommendations to Session regarding the status of the church’s ongoing responsibilities including worship, support for Soup or Socks, outreach, and the safety of staff. This team met frequently, and Session used the information from their efforts to make a decision on a month-to-month basis. The Creating Connections Team was formed to brainstorm and implement ideas to maintain a sense of community for our church family. A small, but mighty group of worship leaders created a recorded service on a weekly basis reaching many members of our congregation, and even viewers across the country.
In the beginning of the year, it became clear that safe and effective vaccines would be available in stages. Session disbanded the Rapid Response Team and activated a Re-opening Work Group to make recommendations and establish protocols for returning to in person activities as safely as possible. This group met at least monthly, still using the general recommendations from the sources above and including local data on infection and vaccination rates. In April, a survey of congregation members was completed, showing very high rates of vaccination among those eligible. Nearly everyone who responded indicated that they were vaccinated, or intending to be vaccinated. Locally, vaccines are currently readily accessible for people ages 12 and older.
The Reopening Work Group met May 18, shortly after the CDC significantly changed its guidelines for vaccinated people. While this seemed abrupt after weeks of urging caution, even for people who were fully vaccinated, there were two scientific findings that drove this decision. The first was data finding that vaccinated people are highly unlikely to be able to transmit the virus, and the second is that the vaccines are proving highly effective even against the known variants. The current CDC guidelines indicate approval for vaccinated individuals to resume all activities, specifically referencing “attend a full capacity worship service” and “sing in an indoor chorus.”
Given the survey results for our congregation and the change in CDC guidelines, the recommendation from the Reopening Work Group to reopen was approved unanimously by Session. This decision was made in the context of trusting that a very high percentage of our members and friends are vaccinated or will be soon. We strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated, to do so, and if there is a way we can help this happen, please contact the church office.
We also determined that we will require anyone who is in contact with children (who are not yet vaccine eligible) to be vaccinated. The risk of serious illness and death for kids is low, however we do want to be as safe as we can be to protect the health of those still vulnerable. We are also requiring anyone who is unvaccinated to continue wearing a mask for all indoor church activities, per the CDC guidelines. We are also committed to supporting any vaccinated people who wish to continue to mask. Each person needs to determine their comfort level with discontinuing mask wearing after vaccination.
We wanted to let the members and friends of FPC know that we are, and have been, aware of a wide range of perspectives and opinions about the time that we’ve been closed, and the decision to re-open. We appreciate the trust you’ve place in us to make these decisions during this difficult and unprecedented time for the health and safety of our church family. All along the way, we have done our best to listen and consider each expressed opinion and idea as we have sought to discern God’s will for our congregation.
Together, we are all looking for the light God is providing for our way forward. From Christ, the Light of the world, “we have all received grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
With grace abounding, together let us nurture, share and reflect that light as we look with gratitude to the brighter days ahead.
Yours in Christ,
Session of FPC Marshfield
Pastor Laurie Davis
The food pantry of SOS (Soup or Socks) remains open during the pandemic.
To obtain food or to volunteer to help,
call SOS directly: 715-387-1796.