"The task now is not
to find a new normal.'”
A poem by Victoria Safford
Nothing is normal when this many people are dying, have died, leaving how many mourners, and how many more?
Nothing is normal in this sickness and this sadness, nor can be normal, nor ever should.
Nothing is normal - even though it's the norm-when death comes first for the poor.
There is nothing normal in the miracle of budding trees and greening land - every year we're taken by surprise, a little shocked, and laughing.
Nothing normal in the gift of breath, the gift of bread, or kindness - we are saved, and saved again, every hour of the day.
The task is not to normalize,
Place your sorrow on the altar of the day,
Place wonder, joy, compassion, thanks,
all the holy scraps of hope you're hoarding, but could share.
Place your tension there, and all the terrors of the night, and new resolve to help to mend your corner of a tattered world.
But consecrate. "
When will the Church Re-Open?
Earlier this week an ad hoc committee met to discuss issues around reopening our church facilities using the Synod Guide that was shared at the last Council meeting as well as CDC and State of Oregon guidelines. We will have a summary of our discussion and recommendations at the next Council meeting. However, we would like to take an interim step that will allow for a complete discussion and decision at the meeting. One point we are recommending is a limited opening of worship services. This would be very limited and be for a small number of participants, such as those who aren’t able to access worship via Zoom or Facebook.
Council members will continue calling members and then discuss this proposal and ultimately approve any opening no matter how limited. These guidelines were developed using the Synod, CDC and State of Oregon guidelines The following are the parameters and considerations:
1. First and foremost, people attending in person would be
prioritized to include those unable to participate via Zoom,
Facebook, or telephone. We understand that everyone would
like to gather in person but the standards are such that it
needs to be limited and we feel it is important to provide this
opportunity to those that have not been able to participate in
any way up to this time.
2. This would not potentially start until after Council discussion
and approval and would start sometime after January 1.
3. No more than 25 people could attend; they would be ushered
in and out to predetermined seats at a minimum of six feet
apart. Bulletins would need to be removed by those
attending. People living together could sit together.
4. Masks will be required and will be provided if necessary
5. No singing. Singing can transmit viruses greater distances
6. Communion would be provided in individual/disposable cups
and be 'self service.' We’re still working on what that would
7. Zoom and Facebook broadcasts will continue