COVID-19 Update on Church Gatherings
Good Morning Church Family,
As you are likely aware, an announcement has been made that effective today, August 13th, masks are required for all indoor public settings in Oregon for adults and children ages 5 and above. We have prayerfully decided that at this point and for now, just as we have throughout 2020, and 2021 thus far, we will proceed forward according to this guidance and request that masks be worn at all our onsite and indoor gatherings.
This includes Sunday morning services, Kids Church, our weekly middle and high school Youth Group, and all onsite groups. The Oregon Health Authority has given some exceptions for certain activities. We will navigate those exceptions in how they pertain to our gatherings as further information is provided. For most situations (such as services and/or gatherings that are indoor and onsite) we ask that you wear a mask in accordance with the latest mask-wearing mandate in Oregon. At this time there are no additional changes to overall capacity or seating proximity limits.
While this may feel like a step backward remember that we have been– and will continue to– walk together throughout this Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore I encourage all of us to remain united as we keep our eyes continually fixed on Jesus, in love, for one another. We all (myself included) have ways in which we would like to see this entire process proceed, along with varied postures, positions, and opinions surrounding the situation. Even so, we will continue to unite and look to God’s Word and will to determine the way forward.
Romans 13:1 challenges us to “be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God.” Each time a governing change is mandated, we get before the Lord to ensure our adjustments as a church are centered in Scripture– free from opinion, political leanings, or personal preferences.
As for our church, I ask we remember the powerful prayer given by Jesus in John 17. One prominent theme of that prayer as we recently studied is that His people would be united. We looked at unity in Christ being: (1) Distinction in the same direction and (2) People with differences headed toward the same goal line. Let us understand the direction of our goal line, which is to love God and honor Him, and love others with every opportunity, doing both things faithfully.
Despite the difficulties of this challenging pandemic season, let’s continue to find ways to follow the model the early church formed in Acts 2:42-47. From that text we looked at an acronym to apply to our church fellowship and personal lives: D.E.E.P.:
- D: Devoted to God’s Word.
- E: Engaged in Fellowship.
- E: Examples of Jesus in the world.
- P: Persistent in prayer.
There are many things the Lord has called us to be and many things He desires us to do. I pray that nothing would get in the way of who the Lord calls us to be!
In closing, it is likely this latest change won’t be the last. Be assured I will continue to update you as changes come. Please join me in prayer that the Lord would end the pandemic, heal our land, and lead us forward in His wisdom; that we may be witnesses in the world.
Isaiah 26:3, You will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Trust the Lord! Keep your mind stayed on Him! Stay on the path!
I am walking it with you,
Up to date information from the CDC can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html