Timeline
March 2020

 

  • On March 9, 2020, the church building was closed to the public and staff members were given permission to begin working from home as necessary.

 

  • On March 12, 2020, the first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Michigan.

 

  • On March 15, 2020, an in-person service of worship was held, at which we utilized an audio livestream to broadcast the service to Facebook.

 

  • Later on March 15, 2020, with the advice of our denominational leaders and on the direction and ordering of the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Flint, all public gatherings were suspended, including public worship. The decision to continue broadcasting worship services in one form or another was approved.

 

  • On March 16, 2020, following the order of the state government, all non-essential staff members were directed to stay at their homes and the church office was closed. This order included the Gerholz Christian Counseling Center staff as well. A limited number of staff were authorized to be in the building, in order to keep “essential business functions” running smoothly.

 

  • On March 16, 2020, some AV equipment was ordered to facilitate the video and audio streaming of Sunday worship services.

 

  • During the week of March 16-20, a temporary “studio” was created in the chapel to more easily facilitate Sunday worship.

 

  • On March 20, 2020, the first four cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Genesee County.

 

  • On March 22, 2020, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak, the Rev. Paul Ytterock, and Dr. Carl Angelo met to lead our first video livestreamed liturgy, broadcasted to our Facebook page, and a new YouTube channel we created.

 

  • On March 31, 2020, the Board of Trustees recommended that the Session authorize an application to JPMorgan to take advantage of the Payroll Protection Plan of the CARES Act.

 

April 2020

 

  • On April 1, 2020, the Session approved the application of the church to the PPP loan.

 

  • On April 10, 2020, the Executive Order to “stay-at-home” was extended through April 30.

 

  • On April 12, 2020, the church celebrated Easter through our livestream liturgy.

 

  • On April 13, 2020, our PPP loan was approved and the funds were deposited into our account.

 

  • On April 13, 2020, the Session agreed to extend the closure of the church building and the stay-at-home order for our staff in compliance with the state government’s recommendations. This closure will be revisited at our next virtual meeting on Monday, April 27, 2020

 

  • On April 16, 2020, one month after the first Stay-at-Home order was given, Genesee County reported 1,149 total cases of COVID-19 with 99 deaths.

 

  • On April 20, 2020, Genesee County reported the lowest number of daily new cases (12) with seven new deaths. The following two days the numbers surged. Some due to an audit of death certificates and ramped up testings. 

  • On April 20, 2020, work begins on TRANSITION 312.
     

  • On April 24, 2020, the Executive Order to “stay-at-home” was extended through May 15.

  • On April 27, 2020, a brief overview of TRANSITION 312 was given to the Session and members were invited to read and make suggestions to our transition guide.

May 2020

  • On May 7, the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order was extended until May 28.
     

  • On May 13, 2020, the Session was presented with a final draft of the Transition 312 guide and asked to approve it as the guide document for the next twelve months of worship and mission. It was approved unanimously, without dissent.
     

  • On May 22, 2020, the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order was extended until June 12, 2020.

June 2020
  • On June 3, 2020, the Session authorized the shift to Phase 1 of our transition plan, bringing our staff back to work beginning June 8. The transition plan calls for 30 days of "Phase 1" ministry to determine if case counts are going up, down, or plateauing. 
     

  • In early June, case counts are at an all-time low in Michigan with an average 7-day average of ~200 new cases per day. 
     

  • On June 23, 2020, with cases still low, the Session voted to revisit the topic of shifting to Phase 2 until July 20 (after the July 4 holiday), as the GCHD was concerned with holiday travel and events causing a spike in cases.
     

July 2020
  • On July 20, 2020, the Session was given an update on case count in Michigan which showed significant elevation in number of cases, with one day even showing over 1000 new cases.
     

  • On July 28, 2020, the Session voted to continue in Phase 1 ministry due to the rising case loads in our region and our State. (Seven-day averages approaching ~700 cases per day in the state).
     

August 2020
 
  • On August 25, 2020, the Session voted to transition FPCF to Phase 2 ministry for the remainder of the Fall and early Winter. The Session voted to table discussion of Phase 3 transition to January 2021. 
     

  • Beginning on October 4, FPCF will launch a brand new approach to live-streamed worship featuring off-site sermons, in-home interviews and testimonies, and opportunities for members to be involved in the readings, responses, and prayers. 
     

  • Beginning in October, FPCF will launch a "house church" ministry across the county where members will be able to connect with other members in-person to participate in the live-streamed liturgy and fellowship in smaller ways. 
     

  • Beginning in October, FPCF will be opening the sanctuary for personal prayer on a reservation system. 
     

  • Additional opportunities for in-person gatherings will be forthcoming as we navigate the next three months.

 
November 2020
  • In response to the MDHHS Epidemic Order, the church office was closed and remote work was instituted for all non-essential staff persons from November 15 through the end of the calendar year.

 
December 2020
  • On December 24, 2020, the First Presbyterian Church conducted a virtual Christmas Eve service from our chapel space.

 
January 2021
  • On January 26, 2021, following a lengthy presentation from Dr. Larry Kage and Mr. John McKellar in which observable declines in case counts, deaths, and overall virus positivity rates; the Session unanimously approved a plan written by the Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak and the Rev. Paul Ytterock to re-introduce public gatherings for worship on April 11, 2021. 
     

  • The Session organized a Transition task force to take responsibility for policy, signage, volunteer coordination, and organization of all matters pertaining to in-person gatherings. 

February 2021
  • On February 9, 2021, the Transition 312 Task Force convened for its first meeting. 
     

  • On February 17, 2020, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak received a first dose of one of the approved vaccines through a county-wide outreach to clergy. 
     

  • On February 21, 2021, volunteers and staff at FPCF contacted over 300 persons aged 65+ who were eligible to receive a vaccine dose and signed those interested up through a county Health Department program to vaccinate congregations. 
     

  • On February 23, 2021, the Transition 312 Task Force brought a motion to the Session to transition all church operations to Phase 3, which was unanimously approved. 
     

  • On February 24, 2021, the Rev. Paul Ytterock received a first dose of one of the approved vaccines. 

March 2021
  • On March 1, 2021, THE GROVE Preschool Group began gathering in-person at the church building. 
     

  • On March 1, 2021, the church staff received their first dose of one of the three approved vaccines via a Health Department initiative partnering with churches.
     

  • On March 4, 2021, a letter was mailed out to church members and posted on our social channels updating our congregation as to our efforts to open our church building to more in-person ministry events. 

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