Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church is thrilled to resume regular Sunday Services at Fifth & 55th Street. As has been the case throughout this pandemic, our goal is to keep people safe as they engage in the life of faith through this church.
In light of the Delta variant and rising virus rates in the country and in our city, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church encourages all of its members, friends and staff to follow Christ’s command: “Love Your Neighbor!” Manifest your love by: Wearing a mask at church, distancing, and getting your jab (if you can)!
After careful deliberation and in assessing the most up-to-date guidance on in-person gatherings, the Reopen Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Task Force has determined that this church will make its way toward full reopening (Phase 3) in two stages: Phase 3A and Phase 3B.
Phase 3a: September 12, 2021 – Homecoming Sunday
In-person worship resumes on Homecoming Sunday at the 11 am worship service. Sunday School classes for children and youth will be held in-person at 9:30 am in the LaDane Williamson Christian Education Center. At this time, Officer meetings, retreats and trainings will remain on Zoom.
Protocols for Phase 3A
Wear a Mask in Worship and When Inside the Church Building
- To keep the community safe, all worship attendees and all who visit the Fifth Avenue building will be asked to wear a mask at all times. At this time, masks are also required on The Weber Terrace except (similar to the airlines) when removing them to take a quick sip of coffee.
- Seating in the Sanctuary will marked so as to provide 6 feet of distance between individuals, pods, and families who are sitting together.
- The Fifth Avenue Chamber Choir will sing in worship with masks on.
- Fifth Avenue Clergy will wear masks and remove masks before speaking in worship.
- All Clergy and on-site Church Staff are fully vaccinated.
- All members of the Fifth Avenue Chamber Choir are fully vaccinated.
- All ushers, greeters, worship volunteers, Sunday School teachers and volunteers, childcare workers and outreach volunteers (including A Place at the Table and Meals on Heels) are fully vaccinated.
Committee Meetings and Officer Gatherings
- At this time, Church committee meetings, Officer trainings and retreats will be on Zoom.
Worship, Church Events and Programming
There are many ways to worship with Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church during Phase 3A:
- In-person worship for the 11 am Sunday service in the Sanctuary.
- Livestreaming worship of the 11 am Sanctuary worship service at fapc.org/live.
- Light, Leaven & Salt, our weekly worship video is available Sundays at 5 pm on fapc.org/worship.
- ‘Fifth Avenue by Phone,’ is a recording of the entire 11 am worship service on a phone line which is made available each Monday morning at 1-212-685-4934.
- When weather permits, Sunday Coffee Hour will be held on the 7th floor Weber Terrace. Volunteers will be stationed at elevators in the Lobby and on the 7th Floor to keep the flow of people safe and manage elevator capacity.
- We will not be passing the plates in worship during offering in this time. Plates will be available at the exits to worship. A QR code to fapc.org/give is available in each pew and on screen during the Livestream offering. Paper offering envelopes are also in each pew. Thank you for your continued generosity to this church and its critical ministries.
- The 9:30 am Kirkland Chapel worship service will resume in Phase 3B. Programming for Parents including the Positive Parents Group will happen in person at 9:30 am.
- The Youth Group will meet weekly in the Youth Room with masks and proper social distancing. Elementary school age will also be masked and socially distant. The music time with Eugenia will not involve singing, but rather instruments and beat patterns. Both Youth Group and Sunday School begin at 9:30 am.
- The Sacrament of Communion, which involves taking off masks, will be on pause until Phase 3B.
- The Fifth Avenue Community Choir will be on pause until Phase 3B.
- The Fifth Avenue Concert events, including the October organ recital and December Carols by Candlelight, are being planned as in-person events at this time. Please know that we will carefully monitor local protocols and changes brought about by the pandemic in regard to these services. Our hope is that they can happen as scheduled, but we will pivot to alternatives if circumstances require.
- Most Adult Education classes will be online.
- The 10th Anniversary of the Jones Award Dinner, currently scheduled for October 15, will be rescheduled to an evening in 2022.
- The Anita and Antonio Gotto Lecture (scheduled for the evening of November 3, 2021) is currently being planned as in-person event. Please know that we will carefully monitor local protocols and changes brought about by the pandemic in regard to this lecture. Our hope is that it can happen as scheduled, but we will pivot to alternatives if circumstances require. In any case, it will be a Livestreamed event, available at fapc.org/live.
- The Women’s Association weekly luncheons are canceled for the 2021 season. The Women’s Association Bazaar will not be held inside the Fifth Avenue building. We are looking into the possibility of holding a Bazaar outside on 55th Street.
Phase 3B: Date to be determined by the Reopening Taskforce
- The 9:30 am Kirkland Chapel worship service will resume.
- The Sacrament of Communion, which involves taking off masks, will resume.
- Committee meetings, Board meetings and Officer gatherings return to in-person.
- The Fifth Avenue Community Choir will resume.
- Adult Education classes will be offered as a mix of in-person at Fifth Avenue and online.
The Fifth Avenue Reopen Task Force will continue to evaluate all of these protocols as new information becomes available. The health and safety of the congregation and the staff remains paramount to all decision making.