Welcome to First Presbyterian Church of Independence Iowa!  


As we, as I, consider the question of reopening our church, I find myself dealing with the notion of acceptable risk.  I offer this definition of acceptable risk:


The likelihood of an event whose probability of occurring is small, the consequences are manageable, and whose benefits are great enough to warrant the risk being taken.


Embedded in this whole discussion is the understanding that absolute safety is generally not an achievable goal.  For instance: If you go in for a surgery they have to warn you about the risks involved.  If you drive your car there is the risk of having an accident where you could be hurt or killed.  When you board an airplane there is a risk of a crash.  If you eat out there is a risk of getting food poisoning.


This is nothing to get paranoid over, it is just to suggest that in the course of your daily life you are constantly making judgments about what risks are acceptable for you.


When it comes to COVID-19 I see two acceptable risk assessments being made.  First, by the business or organization as to when it is safe to reopen.  Our local restaurants have reopened with safety measures in place.  Our local nursing homes have not.  Some of our local churches have reopened.  Other have not.  Each business or organization needs to make a decision that they are comfortable with.


The second risk assessment is made by you.  If a business or organization reopens you need to assess your comfort level going there.  Maybe you are not comfortable eating in at a restaurant, so you get it to go.  Maybe you aren’t comfortable getting it to go, so you have it delivered.  Just because a church reopens, does not mean everyone is immediately coming back.  Until the risk is acceptable for you resuming your old lifestyle is not an option.


I am aware of churches that have reopened and shut back down again because so few people came back to the church it wasn’t worth the effort to   reopen it.  I am also aware of churches that have reopened and had people attending who tested positive for COVID-19.  What’s the rush?  Is a church being irresponsible if it reopens?


I know the Session here at FPC has struggled with the reopening question.  For now we do not find the risk of reopening acceptable.  I would characterize it this way.  The greatest and most  powerful indication of God’s presence is peace.  Paul writes in Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


Our leadership team does not currently have peace about the decision to reopen.  They will continue to pray and dialogue about it and when the time is right, we will reopen.  And when we do, you will have to judge for yourself if the risk is acceptable.


Until then we will continue to do live worship on the FPC Facebook page at 10:00 am on Sunday mornings.  We will do all we can to stay connected during these disconnected times.  And we will continue to assess the risk and search for the peace only God can give.


Pastor John






COVID APPLICATION FORM 2020 is found under the Info Center tab

Virtual VBS found under Info Center tab

1st Part of Service on August 2, 2020

Church Message-August 2, 2020

Church Service-July 26, 2020

Church Service-July 19, 2020

Church Service-July 12, 2020

Church Service-July 5, 2020

Church Service-June 28, 2020

Church Service-June 21, 2020

Church Service-June 14, 2020

Church Service-June 7, 2020

Church Service-May 31, 2020

Church Service-May 24, 2020

Church Service-May 17, 2020

Church Service-Mother's Day, May 10, 2020

Church Service-May 3, 2020

Church Service-April 26, 2020

Church Service-April 19, 2020

EASTER Service-April 12, 2020

Church Service-April 5, 2020

Church Service-March 29, 2020

Church Service-March 22, 2020

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  August 2020  
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Independence, Iowa


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