FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH CONTINUES ITS MISSION TO CHANGE LIVES
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, First Presbyterian Church has never stopped being the hands and feet of Jesus. Even when its doors were closed, the church never stopped living out its mission to change lives and make disciples.
The church has continued to worship every Sunday morning through the pandemic, either in person or virtually. First Presbyterian follows health and safety protocols approved by the local governing body of the church. Masks and social distancing are required.
During services, the Rev. Dr. William Robinson and Lisa Schrott, associate pastor for pastoral care, wear masks that are specially designed for singers so a microphone can fit inside them.
“We believe that we’re loving our neighbors by wearing masks and social distancing,” Pastor Robinson said. “We’re protecting not only our members but visitors to the church as well.”
Worship services are held at 10 a.m. Sundays at the church, located at 540 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island. Prerecorded messages are available at www.fpchhi.org and on YouTube for those who would rather stay at home. The church hopes to begin live streaming in early 2021.
Another way First Presbyterian is loving their neighbors is by serving them.
“We have never stopped loving our neighbors, especially those in need, both locally and globally,” Robinson said.
In the beginning of the pandemic, when face masks were not readily available, church members made them for first responders and for communities with vulnerable populations.
They raised thousands of dollars for local organizations, donated to global partners in the ministry and collected food for people in need.
The church also runs a People In Need ministry, which assists local residents with utility bills, rent and food. The ministry is open from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Tuesdays.
In partnership with First Presbyterian Day School, the church also offered an emergency learning hub for 30 public school students during the fall 2020 semester. While there was a cost to attend the program, scholarships were available.
Throughout the pandemic, the church has stayed connected to its members and the community as a whole. About every month or so, the church hosts an outdoor event to allow people to gather without getting too close.
Members call other members to check on them and give updates on the church. The church hosted a Zoom discussion in December with a licensed counselor who spoke about coping with the holidays during a pandemic.
“We just want people to know we’re here for them,” Robinson said. “We want to connect with more people, and we want to connect them with God. COVID has not stopped us. If anything, it has allowed us to be more creative, and it has made us even more determined to do the work that God would have us do.”
For more information on First Presbyterian Church, call 843-681-3696 or visit fpchhi.org.