COVID Update

Union County has been moved to 'Moderate Risk' level and that's great news for our communities and our church! According to Oregon Health Authority that increases our ability to safely gather in-person as a Church. Throughout this pandemic we have sought to walk with both grace and courage considering our neighbors more highly than ourselves. Here is what changes for Christ Church at 'Moderate Risk' level.

In-Person Gathering Capacity:

We partner with HQ Venue downtown as tenants in their space. This relationship has been extraordinary all along and continues to be a mutually beneficial partnership. 'Moderate Risk' level means gathering capacity for both "Faith Institutions" (Christ Church) and "Indoor Entertainment Establishments" (HQ) increases to 50% of total capacity. In our case this means 44 persons allowed in HQ for Christ Church gatherings. That's big news and we feel that is a definite move in the right direction!

  • We have worked with leadership at HQ to develop a plan for traffic flow, seating arrangement, and sanitation that holds to the "spirit of the law" for protecting one another during the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic.
  • We will space chairs and rows out to accommodate in-person church gatherings while maintaining safe distance.
  • We will aim to keep gathering duration around one hour to limit prolonged exposure.

  • We understand there are differing levels of comfort and conscience when it comes to gathering in groups. Our desire is to walk with both grace and courage to serve people at every level and stage. We would humbly ask you to extend a similar level of grace to us as we seek to wisely, conscientiously, and courageously navigate this situation. Please feel free to contact Pastor Tanner directly with any concerns or questions.

Masks and Distancing:

Leadership from both HQ and Christ Church agree on a common mask and distancing policy for gatherings in HQ. 

  • Masks are required in HQ during Christ Church gatherings unless you are at your seat. Masks may be removed while at your seat if you are comfortable with that. This policy is in line with "the spirit of the law" and similar to guidelines for restaurants in our area.
  • We recommend maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet before and after services. While we highly value personal interaction, please be considerate of different families and "pods" of people as you interact with others. Elbow bumps are the way to go!
  • We have also made significant improvements in the space in an effort to be more accommodating, comfortable while maintaining safety for all involved and eliminating blind spots in the room.

  • If these guidelines seem "too lax" for you, please join us online through the Christ Church YouTube Channel. A significant amount of time and money have been invested to create a quality online experience for you during this challenging season.

A Word on Conscience, Fear, and Mission:

We recognize there are different responses to the COVID pandemic. As a Church we have always sought to walk with integrity, charity, grace, and a missional mindset through this season. Please consider the following.
  • For those adamantly against mask and distance policies: We would ask you to consider priorities and liberties with regard to what is communicated by a particularly strong stance here. When you remove yourself from Church and community for non-biblical reasons (ie, political) you are harming yourself and your witness, and you are also harming the Church and community. Consider what this says about your highest priorities and our God who alone is your ultimate source of freedom and who has commissioned you as missionaries in His world. 
    • We would not ask you to transgress on a matter of conscience if that's truly the case. But we would ask you consider Jesus who set aside eternal glory to put on human form in order to carry out His mission to reconcile lost sinners to Himself. Jesus carried your sin as well and He wants to work through you to reach others. We believe there are also missional reasons to demonstrate care for one another and honor governing authorities so that the issue of "masks and distancing" would not hinder Gospel work. We are each being stretched and grown through this experience and we would want you to stretch and grow with us as we walk obediently and graciously in the sight of all.

  • For those adamantly in favor of mask and distance policies: We would ask you also to consider priorities as well as what "safety" really means. No one here is disputing the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. AND, there are additional aspects of human "health and safety" which are vastly important to our well-being. This includes spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, and relational health. As real as this virus is, sin is still the greatest problem for mankind and Jesus is still the only answer.
    • We would not ask you to put yourself at undue risk but we would ask that you consider Jesus who endured the cross to His very death so that He could give you eternal life in Him. Jesus put Himself directly in harm's way to His own death on your behalf and He did this with great joy for you. We believe there comes a point where gathering with the saints is a matter of faith trusting in God who always has your best in mind. For many, social distancing has morphed into unhealthy isolation and it will feel like tremendous courage when you begin to step out of isolation again. We are each being stretched and grown through this experience and we would want you to stretch and grow with us as we walk obediently and graciously in the sight of all.

  • For those on both ends of this and every place in between: Let's walk with humility in our own hearts and with grace toward each other as we seek to make Jesus famous in our city. This has been a year we will all talk about thirty years from now. Consider what kind of stories others will tell of you. Will they say you were a lot like Jesus in those days? Will they say you demonstrated tremendous gentleness and care? Will they say you spoke as one who has eternity on your heart? We would ask you all to consider these things and with both courage and grace to gather with us to worship Jesus and rebuild relationships as men and women on mission in the Kingdom of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for engaging with the content found here and for your interest in Christ Church.

Comments are moderated and will be posted when approved by the authors.