Previous COVID-19 Updates

Detail of a caduceus in the 1968 bronze bas-relief by Virgil Cantini at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Dedicated to Shadyside physician W.D. Richards, the artwork depicts the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment and was healed (Luke 8:43-48).As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know your health and well-being is of utmost concern.

We are doing all we can to stay current with public health guidelines, to follow best practices for hygiene, and to exercise an abundance of caution in responding to this situation.

Find the latest COVID-19 announcements by clicking here.

Update: Services of worship at Shadyside Presbyterian Church continue to be held on-site and online. All individuals are asked to wear masks while in the building. Most church-related activities will continue to occur online, and the church office is open during weekday business hours. The COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our path forward.

The following information was shared previously on June 2, 2021:

The COVID-19 Task Force recently reviewed the newest study from the American Choral Directors Association, indicating that it is now safe for fully vaccinated singers in choirs to sing unmasked. The Shadyside choir members, clergy, and music staff all have been fully vaccinated. Beginning Sunday, June 13, the choir ensemble will begin singing unmasked. This practice will continue as long as the infection rate continues to decrease; the COVID-19 Task Force will review this and all other procedures on a regular basis.

The following information was shared previously on May 23, 2021:

In response to the changes in government guidance regarding capacity restrictions which take effect next month, the COVID-19 Task Force will increase our on-site worship attendance beginning Sunday, June 6. We expect to double the number of pews which may be occupied during worship, and we look forward to welcoming more pre-registered individuals and families in the Sanctuary as a result. (Pre-registration is required; learn more.)

The following information was shared previously on April 19, 2021:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices are open to members and visitors on a limited basis by appointment only. Pre-registration is required for limited on-site worship. Most activities remain online only.

On-site worship has resumed, with safety precautions and attendance limitations in effect. Pre-registration is required, either via the church website at www.shadysidepres.org/register, or by calling the church office. To learn more, read the full announcement.

We are committed to continuing to offer a virtual worship option so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

The following information was shared previously on April 14, 2021:

The Care Team of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has the availability to aid congregation members with navigating the many websites to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. These folks are vaccinated and can bring a laptop computer to your home to assist in this process. We also have vaccinated members that are available to transport congregants to vaccine appointments. Please let us know if you, or anyone you know, is in need of assistance. You may contact Linda Leach, Care Team leader, through the church office.

The following information was shared previously on March 21, 2021:

The Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church approved the recommendation of the COVID-19 Task Force that on-site worship may resume on Sunday, April 18, with safety precautions and attendance limitations in effect. If you decide to attend Sunday worship, you must pre-register, either through the church website at www.shadysidepres.org/register or by calling the church office. For those who are not yet comfortable returning, our live worship webcast will continue to be viewable online at www.shadysidepres.org/live. To learn more, read the full announcement.

The following information was shared previously on March 1, 2021:

We know that our church and, indeed, our whole world continues to navigate a challenging time of transition. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we give thanks for Christ’s peace and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Please know that the COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern best plans moving forward.

Presently, the church building is open to visitors by appointment. The staff is working in the office. With the exception of small weddings, funerals, and memorial services, all other church activities, including Sunday services of worship, will not meet on-site until further notice. We anticipate worship restrictions will continue at least throughout Lent and Holy Week.

While it is disappointing to accept that we will need to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection remotely again this Easter, we are convinced that we are making the most responsible choice for the health and safety of our congregation and our community. When we are able to return to our sanctuary for limited on-site worship, we will follow the protocols and pre-registration process previously established.

Recently, the Nursery School Board of Trustees approved a plan to open on March 1 for limited on-site instruction, with reduced attendance for different age levels on designated days of the week. Generally, classrooms will be limited to ten students and two to three teachers. If conditions allow, the nursery school will operate for three months before its summer break. Director Mary Lang expects that the nursery school will continue to follow important guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to mitigate the spread of the virus in the fall.

We thank you for your prayers and your patience as we endure the public health crisis. We will communicate further with you as plans emerge for the gradual re-opening of the church building and offices; meanwhile, you are welcome to contact any member of the task force through the church office. Along with the Reverend Lynn Portz, the task force is comprised of Trustee Alex Dick and Elders Don Coffelt, Brigetta Del Re, Rob Ferguson, Carla Gedman, Jim Gockley, Bob Luthultz, and Alex Viehman. Read previous updates from the task force by visiting www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19.

The following information was shared previously on November 13, 2020:

CANCELLATION NOTICE: The on-site service of worship originally scheduled to occur on Sunday, November 15, has been cancelled. Due to a significant increase of COVID-19 cases in our area, our church leadership has determined that in-person worship is not safe at this time.

We are committed to continuing to offer a virtual worship option so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

Please be reassured that the Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force had prepared thoroughly and carefully for our planned return to worship this weekend, with robust health and safety precautions in place; however, the recent and dramatic change in infection rates within our community caused us to re-consider our plans out of a strong sense of responsibility to exercise the greatest possible care for one another. Once the local data is within acceptable levels again, we look forward to welcoming you back into our building as safely as possible. Though the building will remain closed for in-person worship until further notice, the SPC COVID-19 Task Force will be observing positive case numbers in addition to local and state guidelines as we pray for the well-being of our community.

When a new date for resumption of on-site worship is decided, information will be communicated promptly through this website, and pre-registration will be handled through this page. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and please feel free to contact the church office should you have any questions regarding future on-site worship services.

The following information was shared previously on November 2, 2020:

The Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force has shared an important announcement concerning the resumption of limited on-site Sunday worship on November 15. Pre-registration will be required. Please click here to read the full announcement, which also has been mailed to all members as a letter via the United States Postal Service.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support during the upcoming transition, and please feel free to contact the church office should you have any questions.

Previous updates from the COVID-19 Task Force are published on the church website at www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19. The policy and protocols document approved by Session may be accessed at www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19/guidelines.

The following information was shared previously on September 27, 2020:

Following the return of the church staff to the office on September 14, the building is now available to members and visitors on a limited basis by appointment only. The church also plans to open for in-person pastoral gatherings, including weddings, funerals, and memorial services. Attendance at these events will be constrained by the current county restrictions. All other activities, including Sunday services of worship, will not yet meet on site. Earlier this month, the Session approved the COVID-19 Task Force’s proposed plan for the phased re-opening of the church. A congregational letter from the Session has been mailed to members, and the adopted policy and protocols have been published on the church website.

Read previous updates from the task force by visiting www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19.

The following information was shared previously on September 13, 2020:

The Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force wants to share that our plan is for the church staff to return to the offices beginning Monday, September 14. While the task force is not yet ready to welcome visitors into the building, you will be able to reach the church office more readily by phone. We are excited about this development, yet we remain attuned to the statistics surrounding COVID-19 and continue to move forward with flexibility and caution.

The COVID-19 Task Force asks for your prayers and your patience as its members prayerfully consider best practices for the health and safety of our congregation. Along with the Reverend Dr. John Dalles and the Reverend Lynn Portz, the task force is comprised of Trustee Alex Dick and Elders Don Coffelt, Brigetta Del?Re, Rob Ferguson, Carla Gedman, Jim Gockley, Bob Luthultz, and Alex Viehman. We will communicate further with you as plans emerge for the gradual re-opening of the church building; meanwhile, you are welcome to contact any member of the task force through the church office. Read previous updates from the task force by visiting www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19.

The following information was shared previously on August 20, 2020:

The pastors have mailed a letter to all members in order to update the congregation for the upcoming new program year. Click here to read the letter on the church website if you did not receive your copy through the United States Postal Service.

The following information was shared previously on July 13, 2020:

The Back-to-Church Task Force has mailed a letter to all members in order to share with you some considerations and factors guiding their discernment process for the gradual re-opening of the church building and offices. Click here to read the letter on the church website if you did not receive your copy through the United States Postal Service. We ask for your prayers and your patience as the task force faces the challenging decisions ahead. We will communicate further with you as plans emerge; meanwhile, you are welcome to contact any member of the task force through the church office.

The following information was shared previously on June 24, 2020:

The Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has formed a Back-to-Church Task Force to continue the prayerful discernment process regarding how and when we might begin the gradual return to our building. With direction from the government and the medical community, this task force will develop our own guidelines specific to our conditions, in addition to a timeline for resuming certain activities on the church premises.

Along with the Reverend Dr. John Dalles and the Reverend Lynn Portz, the task force is comprised of Trustee Alex Dick and Elders Don Coffelt, Brigetta Del Re, Rob Ferguson, Carla Gedman, Jim Gockley, Bob Luthultz, and Alex Viehman. Each of these individuals has committed to meeting regularly and often in order to give these matters the careful and faithful consideration required. Other staff members and experts will serve in an advisory capacity as needed.

Please keep the task force in your prayers as they begin to make important decisions for the well-being of our congregation. We will communicate further with you as plans emerge; meanwhile, if you have concerns or thoughts to share, you are welcome to contact any member of the task force through the church office.

The following information was shared previously on June 1, 2020:

The pastors of Shadyside Presbyterian Church sent a congregational letter to all members on June 1, 2020. In case you did not receive it via the United States Postal Service, you may read the letter online by clicking here. Also enclosed in this mailing was a notice of the annual meetings of the corporation and congregation to be held electronically on Sunday, June 14, at noon. Learn more.

The following information was shared previously on April 29, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 26, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 26, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 22, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

Virtual Vespers: While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

COVID-19 Relief Fund: Shadyside Presbyterian Church has established a COVID-19 relief fund to support individuals and families experiencing economic hardships due to the coronavirus countermeasures. In this video message, the Reverend Todd E. Leach explains the purpose of the fund, outlines who may benefit from it, and invites those who are able to donate. If your situation allows you to do so, you may make a financial contribution by giving online through the church website, selecting the COVID-19 Relief Fund. You may also send a check made payable to “Shadyside Presbyterian Church” with “COVID-19 Relief Fund” in the memo line to the attention of the Finance Office at the church. Thank you for your generosity and your concern for our neighbors.

eGiving Options: Shadyside Presbyterian Church is pleased to introduce new eGiving options during this especially challenging time in order to encourage faithful stewardship among our congregation. Read the full article to learn more about these new options, and then visit the giving area of the church website to select the best option for you and begin a new gift.

The Quarantined Kitchen: Through this new weekly feature on the church website blog, Chef Steven Bright shares ideas and recipes to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit The Quarantined Kitchen.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 19, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 19, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 15, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 5, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a virtual worship videos which will be made available according to the Holy Week schedule, so that you may join us remotely. At the appropriate times, you may access the videos here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 1, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 29, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 29, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 25, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

Lenten Vespers: While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, the pastors and church leaders are working diligently to bring you worship resources online. We are glad to share with you a video of the Lenten vespers homily which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

Local Mission Partner Updates: Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) has been in communication with our local mission partners regarding needs and responses to COVID-19. Many of our partners have already been impacted financially, with some having to lay off staff. In addition to concerns for their staff, they are greatly concerned for their clients. Their repeated and greatest request was for prayer, but that was soon followed by expressed need for funding. SPC will respond to financial needs as our budget allows, but Rev. Todd Leach has shared a summary of the ways you may be able to pray more specifically. Read the full update from our mission partners.

Choices You Can Make to Stay Emotionally Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: In light of the recent stay-at-home order for Allegheny County issued by the governor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church shares with you suggestions to promote emotional health as we face an extended time of physical separation from our community of faith. Read the full list of suggestions.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 22, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices are closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, the pastors and church leaders have worked diligently to bring you worship resources online for Sunday, March 22. We are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page or the worship archive to access the bulletin and the sermon text in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 20, 2020:

On Friday, March 20, 2020, Shadyside Presbyterian Church published an edition of its e-newsletter, The Mini-Mouse. Click here to read this issue.

The following information was shared previously on March 18, 2020:

Update: All activities at Shadyside Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, March 18, including Lenten vespers, have been cancelled.

Following the announcement of a local state of emergency due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has concluded that we should not conduct our Lenten vespers service on Wednesday, March 18. Out of concern for the health of our ministers, musicians, and other essential worship personnel, we unfortunately cannot offer the live audio webcast this week, either. All other on-site activities – including the Connections Dinner originally scheduled to occur before Lenten vespers – also have been cancelled for March 18.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit. The bulletin for Lenten vespers is available to access here.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we determine together the most responsible course of action for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 14, 2020:

Update: All activities at Shadyside Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 15, including the service of worship, have been cancelled.

Following the announcement of a local state of emergency to begin Monday, the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has concluded that we should not conduct our service of worship on Sunday, March 15. Out of concern for the health of our ministers, musicians, and other essential worship personnel, we unfortunately cannot offer the live audio webcast this week, either. All other activities – including Christian Education classes, the pie fellowship event, and the Music in a Great Space concert – also have been cancelled for March 15.

We regret that we cannot gather in person this Sunday, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit. The bulletin for the service of worship is available here, and the text of the sermon is available to read here.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we determine together the most responsible course of action for our congregation and our community.

Read the full statement about the cancellation of worship here.

The following information was shared previously on March 12, 2020:

  • Worshipers are always encouraged to participate, or not, according to their comfort level.
  • If you wish, instead of shaking hands or embracing, consider a verbal greeting, a nod, or a smile.
  • At Vespers Communion, the ministers use hand purifier just beforehand. If you prefer to receive a blessing rather than partake of the elements, simply cross your arms over your chest.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water, for at least 20 seconds (about as long as it takes to sing one verse of “Happy Birthday to You”). The friction is as important as the soap and water, in preventing the spread of germs. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and warm water are not available.
  • To avoid placing yourself or others at greater risk, reduce unnecessary touching of your face (especially your eyes, nose, and mouth), and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Please, stay home when you are sick.
  • Remember when you are not able to be present in worship on Sunday mornings, you can worship with the church via the live worship webcast at 11:00 a.m.
  • If you stay home from worship or other events due to illness, please find ways to be in touch through social media, emails, and phone calls.

We are constantly monitoring reports with regard to the coronavirus, and will update the information on this page as deemed appropriate. Please also remember to check the church website calendar to see if an event you had anticipated attending has been cancelled, postponed, or re-scheduled. We will make every effort to update the calendar as conditions change.

Additional Resources:

 

Architectural Photograph: Detail of a caduceus in the 1968 bronze bas-relief by Virgil Cantini at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Dedicated to Shadyside physician W.D. Richards, the artwork depicts the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment and was healed (Luke 8:43-48).