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May 1, 2021

At last!

Spring is here, and it feels as if the new life and warmth we are experiencing is even more welcome as we see the Pandemic begin to lift. It has been a very long year since we last gathered in person. I’m excited to announce that we are going to gather again in our beloved building on Sunday, May 23, at 9:30 AM. If you are planning to attend worship in person, we need to know. Call or email the church to tell us. If you want to worship online, there will still be a service for you. Again, if you are planning to attend worship on May 23 at 9:30 AM, call 815-625-0452 or email firstpresbyteriansterling@live.com

  Click here for a full letter from Pastor Christina.

Welcome

We’re glad you found our home on the web! We’re “First on Second” – our building is at 410 Second Avenue, right at the corner of Second Avenue and Fifth Street.

We are a congregation of about 150 people, saints and sinners (all of us are both!) of all ages. We welcome everyone – old and young, of every race and culture, every stage and place in life, every orientation, LGBTQ+, new believers, searchers, and lifelong Christians. Our leadership is representative of lots of “categories” but they all share a commitment to being the body of Christ, loving God and loving neighbor, and seeking justice for all people.

Right now worship, Bible Study, and all meetings are entirely online, and will be so for the foreseeable future. You can get Zoom links to Bible Study by emailing us at the church, and you can find our worship service right here every week.

Our worship service is unique – we use an order of worship, but we are not formal; we use new songs and old hymns; we share and laugh, but we take our faith seriously. In a given service you may hear guitar and drums, violin, pipe organ, flute, handbells, keyboard and piano, and a choir — our music is inspiring, beautiful, and energizing! The service is posted every Saturday by about 5:00 and is available as a playlist for you to view in its entirety, or as individual videos. The order of worship can be downloaded as a PDF if you choose. Communion is on the first Sunday of each month and on Christmas Eve and Easter. You are always welcome to join in with whatever you have for bread and juice.

In-Person Worship:

We will be meeting for worship again starting May 23! We meet for worship every Sunday at 9:30 AM. When we gather, some people dress up for Sunday worship, some dress down. Most of us are somewhere in between. You’ll see blue jeans and suits and ties, but mostly khakis, slacks, and people looking pretty comfortable. While we are excited to be back in person, there are a few rules and protocols we have put in place to keep everyone safe.

  1. If you are planning to attend worship in person, we need to know. Call or email the church to tell us. If you want to worship online, there will still be a service for you. Again, if you are planning to attend worship on May 23 at 9:30, call 815-625-0452 or email firstpresbyteriansterling@live.com
  2. When you enter the building, you can use one of three entrances: the main front doors, the handicap ramp door by the elevator, or the northwest door under the awning. There will be someone to greet you at the door and check you in.
  3. When you enter, the greeter will take your name, invite you to sanitize your hands, and remind you that a mask is needed. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you.
  4. You will need to be wearing a mask to enter, over your nose and mouth, and you will need to continue to wear your mask throughout the entire service.
  5. When you come into the narthex, there will not be any tables set up and we will encourage you to be seated in the sanctuary.
  6. Sanctuary seating will be distanced and areas will be blocked off. Households may sit together.
  7. There will not be any passing of the peace or any other activity that involves physical contact – no handshaking or hugging, please!
  8. We will have music, but we will not have any congregational singing or choir.
  9. We will not have coffee or fellowship after worship and will encourage you not to mingle after the service.

 

Recently, we did away with our bulletins – but everything that used to be printed in the bulletin will be displayed on slides, projected on both sides at the front of the church, so you will know what is going on even if this is your first time to worship with us. We stand up and sit down pretty often, but the leader will usually tell you when to sit or stand. Or you can just watch everybody else and do what they do. 

Our staff is currently working from home. Send an email or leave us a voicemail and we will respond as soon as we can.

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