COVID19 - Concerning Our Local Congregation / Services
As we are all aware, there is presently an emergency mandate from Governor Jay Inslee restricting gatherings to 49 or less. The "CDC" recommends the number be limited to 25. I suspect there will be further restrictions on gathering that will be announced by Governor Jay Inslee in the near future.
At this time, I am still planning on having our scheduled Wed 7:30 PM Service and our Sun 11:30 AM Service. Our Sun Pm service will be suspended for the time being. We will start that as soon as the limitation is lifted re: “social gatherings”.
However, there is an additional requirement for gatherings of less than 49 people involving a “previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing”.
have not been able to locate any "official" published statement in the news or from other online sources, including the Governor’s Office, that provide a definition or guidelines for this.
Subsequently, the following guideline is a compilation of what I have been able glean and hopefully complies with “previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing”.
If you are sick / have any flu like symptoms to please stay home and “self isolate” as per the Center for disease Control’s requests
Please wash your hands with warm soap and water when you arrive. This is deemed to be more effective than using hand sanitizer.
Avoid “hand shakes” / hand contact or skin contact
If you need to cough or sneeze, please do so in a tissue or using your arm / elbow
It is suggested that we keep “Social Distance”, the information regarding that varies. Some articles suggest 3 feet others 6 feet. The latter figure probably is not feasible. Nevertheless we will spread out the seating to accommodate the best we can.
Please feel free to call me with further questions (206) 459-7554. All of this is subject to change.
Thank you for you continued faithfulness. / Pastor Drout
FROM PASTOR FOLEY
Due to the COVID-19 virus situation, the governor of Oregon has banned all gatherings over 25 people for at least 4 weeks. Unfortunately, that means the NW Conference will not be allowed. Therefore, we have cancelled this year’s conference. Since there is no projected end to this situation, it is impossible to try and re-schedule. It seems unlikely that we will be having a conference this year, but, please, pray.
FROM PASTOR GREG MITCHELL
We live in interesting times! As you all are more than aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing our lives and churches in many ways. The CDC has recommended there be no public gatherings of 50+ people (and the limits could be changed by the time you get this). This has been enforced in differing numbers and interpretations in each state, and even each city. There is no uniformity, probably because there has never been an event like this in our lifetime. In some places there are exemptions, in others there are not – with threats of fines and jail time for violations.
In Arizona, the Governor has announced a ban on gatherings of 50+ - apparently with no exemptions. Our church lawyer recommends we abide by this:
1. Because it makes common sense to help stem the spread of the virus.
2. Because our churches can be held legally liable if someone got sick and they traced it back to them attending our service.
If you are able to meet due to local exemptions, or the size of your church – do so.
If you can split the congregation to keep under the limit – do so.
I have been asked many questions by Pastors who feel that complying with CDC guidelines is somehow not ‘making a stand.’ To give perspective: Historically, when faced with persecution, or laws that attempt to limit or stop our ability to witness or have church, we refuse to comply, or fight such regulations legally (making a stand). But health issues are not something to ‘make a stand’ on. It is clear that the regulations are absolutely worldwide, and apply to everyone; They are not aimed specifically to harm churches. Even if there is an element of overreaction and fear - they still make common sense in dealing with an epidemic. In this case, my advice is to comply, in order to hasten the lessening of the virus threat, so we can get back to our regular schedule.
Above all else, we need to cry out to God for a miraculous intervention in the stop of this pandemic. I feel in the aftermath, God will use this to shake people’s complacency and make them open to the Gospel.
Believing in God’s Providence,
Pastor Greg Mitchell