We are open for worship - Sundays at 10 AM! However, recently we have had to reinstate the use of masks for the safety of all. Please read Bishop Laurie's statement below:
August 6, 2021
The Oregon Synod recommends that all churches either continue, or reinstate, indoor masking for all, regardless of vaccination status.
Here we go again. Just when we thought we knew the rules of the game and had the pandemic under control, the game changes and we are called to adjust. With the Delta variant spreading, the CDC has reversed its position on vaccinated individuals and masking. They now recommend that everyone wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of high transmission. If you are wondering if that is Oregon, it is. Currently, 35 of the 36 Oregon counties qualify.
This is hard. We have been on this pandemic journey for a year and a half, many thought the worst was behind us, instead, we are facing another round of turbulence.
Some are angry.
Some are scared.
Some are fatigued.
Some are confused.
There is much we still don’t know about vaccinated individuals and virus transmission, but here is what we do know:
The vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death. Currently, 69.1% of Oregonians have been at least partially vaccinated. (Six Oregon counties have higher vaccination rates, the rest are lower. Twelve counties are below 50%.) For those in urban areas, remember that even with higher vaccination rates, there are more unvaccinated people in total in your area than in a rural county.
The Delta variant is highly contagious and the vaccines do not stop infection or transmission of the Delta variant. On July 30, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA)—which also now recommends universal mask use for all public indoor settings—released its latest COVID-19 forecast, which projected sharply higher COVID-19 associated hospitalizations and daily cases in August. This past Tuesday, Oregon reported one of highest daily case tallies of the entire pandemic, and the numbers have remained high since. Currently, about 10% of tests are coming back positive, anything over 5% is regarded as high transmission.
Masking lowers rates of transmission. In fact, the sobering OHA report ended on a note of optimism:
“The adoption of protective measures such as wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings, would curb the projected increase in hospitalizations and daily cases.”
Our recommendations at this time are simple:
Get vaccinated. The vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death. (They are FREE and widely available to everyone over the age of 12..)
Wear a mask at indoor public spaces (this is all churches). Even if you are fully vaccinated. We now know that vaccinated people can be infected and can transmit the virus to others. Though the vaccines offer strong protection from hospitalization and death, they are not failsafe. Yes, masks can be inconvenient, but that is a small price to pay to protect yourself and your neighbor.
If you are sick, please stay home until you are recovered.
We will get through this together.
In Christ's love,
Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar
"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. "