IMPORTANT COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT FROM OUR ELDERS


June 20, 2020


Hello Church, 


It is with great excitement that we get to share our plans to reopen TCC for public services! 


Here is the quick snapshot:

  1. ONLINE service will only be offered once a week starting in July at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday’s.
  2. LIVE services will be SUNDAY’S at 8:30 & 10:30 a.m. 
  3. NO NURSERY OR KID CLASSES will be offered at any of our services (we will slowly reengage these classes in time).
  4. The 8:30 a.m. service is for ADULTS ONLY.
  5. Pre-registration is required for all services, as only 60 people are allowed per service.
  6. Face masks are to be worn coming and going, as well as during the the service. 
  7. No coffee/tea/water will be served, so please bring your own! 


Here are the details: 

  1. Knowing that many people are still not ready to come back to a live service, we are continuing our online service; however, it is being moved to 10:30 a.m. to coincide with the new live service times. Pastor’s Scott and Elliot will not be hosting this anymore. We have a great team of volunteers who will still be engaging with you in the chat room. 
  1. Why an 8:30 a.m. service? With limitations of space and following the recommendations for social distancing, we needed another service to accommodate our church family. Knowing that we are in this for the long haul, we made the shift in times so that our volunteers don’t have to be here super early, and also to make sure our second service is over by noon.
  1. One of the significant challenges for churches is how to provide a safe environment for kids when social distancing and wearing masks is a challenge. In light of this, our Kids Ministry Director has decided to wait on offering classes and will slowly restart them in time. We would invite you to bring your kids to service as we will provide supplies for each family unit that will have activity pages, crayons, and a special individually wrapped treat for each kid.
      
  2. Why an ADULT ONLY service? We know that many people in our church are in the high-risk category; they might be more comfortable in an environment with no kids. This service is a way for us to honor them in this season.  
  1. Yes, you read #5 above correctly. Per the Phase 2 reopening guidance document, it is required that people pre-register for public events, which a church service is. Here is why we need this pre-registration process. First, we are limited to 60 people in the auditorium, with pre-registration this will help you know if there is room at the service before you arrive. What happens if someone comes that hasn’t pre-registered? We have allowed for a small number in our number for this very reason. If people show up and we don’t have room, we will have to turn them away.

    Second, as we practice social distancing in our services, we will know how to arrange the seating in the auditorium for each service based on how many people will come. It is important for you to know that you will only be able to sit with those in your household.

    Third, each week when you pre-register for the service you want to attend, there will be two questions that require a yes or no answer*. These questions come from the advisement of our insurance company and have been reviewed by our attorney. If someone shows up without pre-registering, they will be required to fill out a paper copy.

    Fourth, pre-registration will also help our Kids Ministry Director know how to prepare for each family who is coming to that particular service.

    So how do you pre-register? It is as simple as going to this website and clicking on the service you want to attend and follow the prompts (https://thurstonchurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events). If you have the Church Center App on your phone, you can pre-register that way. Each service will be open about one week in advance, typically right after the service that someone just attended is finished. For example, if you want the 8:30 a.m. service on Sunday, July 5, it will open on June 28th @ 10:00 a.m.

  2. Why Masks? As of June 29, the Governor of the State of Oregon set out a directive that those who go to a public gathering place, which includes churches, are to wear masks. Once the Governor relaxes this directive, we will too. The directive does however, give our worship team and preaching team the freedom to not wear a mask while they are "performing." At all other times these team members will have their masks on.
  1. Again, out of an abundance of caution, not out of fear, we have decided not to offer coffee, tea, or water at any of our services. If you desire to have one of these items, please support one of our local coffee shops and bring it with you. 


In time we hope to be able to relax on some of these things, but for now, this is what it will take for us to come back together. We are excited to worship with you in person once again, and we want to thank you in advance for helping us do so in a way that honors our government and shows our love for one another! 


If you have any questions, please let us know,


The Elders & Staff of TCC


*SAMPLE REQUIRED QUESTIONNAIRE 

Please Mark "YES" or "NO" to each question — If you answer NO, you and your family will not be admitted into the service.


I certify that I have not exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, dizziness, loss of taste and smell) in the last 2 weeks.


YES / NO


I recognize that there are risks involved in participating in this activity, in light of COVID-19, and hereby assume all risk of illness, harm, damage, or death in connection with participation in this activity. I understand and agree that neither Thurston Christian Church nor its trustees, officers, directors, employees, agents or representatives may be held liable in any way for any illness, harm, damage or death that may occur to me as a result of my participation in this activity and hereby release Thurston Christian Church, its trustees, officers, directors, employees, agents or representatives that may occur to me as a result of my participation in this activity. To the fullest extent permitted by law, I agree to save and hold harmless Thurston Christian Church its trustees, officers, directors, employees, agents or representatives from any claim by myself, my estate, heirs, successors, assigns or other person arising out of participation in the activity. I authorize Thurston Christian Church, its trustees, officers, directors, employees, agents or representatives to render or obtain such emergency medical care or treatment as may be necessary should any injury, harm, or accident occur to me while participating in this activity. 


YES / NO

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June 12, 2020


Hello Church, 

 

Early this week, our Elders decided on when we would be reopening our church and the requirements that would honor our State Government’s guidance. As staff, we have been busy working on getting the building ready for public gatherings and informing our ministry team leaders and asking them to gear up their teams.


Today our Elders decided to pause our plans for reopening in light of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases here in Oregon. We understand that Lane County has seen just a small percentage of those cases. However, we want to give time to see if Lane County sees an uptick in cases before opening our doors.


Some of you may be relieved by this information, others may be frustrated, and I can see both sides of the coin. Regardless of where you are on this news, I would ask for your grace and mercy for us as leaders. Reopening the church has become a much more difficult decision than any of us would have ever thought it would be. We don’t want to open too soon and end up exacerbating the situation, and we don’t want to move to slow out of fear of what could be. That is why we are hitting pause on making our public announcement of when we will reopen. 


Our Elders will revisit this topic late next week, and we will decide to either move forward with our plans to reopen or to wait another week or two to make that decision. Know that it is possible that once a decision is made, there may not be a lot of lead time as we want to resume our public gatherings as soon as possible. We will be communicating via multiple channels to get the information out when we are ready to reopen.


For now, let’s continue to worship together online on Thursday’s at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday’s at 10:00 a.m. (https://thurston.online.church). You can also watch any of our online services at any time on our website (https://thurston.church/service-videos). 

  

On Behalf of the Elders,  


Pastor Scott Lerwick



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May 15, 2020


Good Afternoon Church, 

 

On behalf of the Elders, here is an update on our plans to reopen Thurston Christian. As you are probably well aware of Lane County was approved to move to Phase 1 by Gov. Brown today. Under this phase we are allowed to gather in groups of no more than 25 people. So what can we do at this point? Here is how our Elders have decided to reopen the church in Phase 1…

  • Our Student Ministry can begin meeting again in person. We have asked them to meet outside, such as parks, and to engage in activities that can be done with social distancing and masks will be required during this phase
  • Growth Groups are welcome to begin meeting in person once again. If the home your group meets in is not suitable to practice social distancing, we will be opening up the Fireside Room for groups to use. We are asking that groups wear masks and not provide food or drinks during this phase. 
  • Weekend Services will still be held online. However, we will be increasing our volunteer force to prepare for reopening. This includes additional worship team members, tech team members, and our new video production team. Combined along with myself and Larry, we will be bumping the 25 person limit.

So when will we be able to meet in person again for worship? The Elders have put together a timeline that might be slower than some want, but it is what we feel is prudent. We will stay in the mode described above for the next four weeks. After that, assuming we will be in Phase 2, we will reopen our Thursday Night Service, no childcare will be provided, and will run that for four weeks before adding additional services. I’ll be communicating the details of what these new phases look like as we get closer. Please know, we anticipate it will take 3-4 months before we are fully operational once again. 


On Behalf of the Elders, 


Pastor Scott Lerwick


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April 16, 2020


Good Afternoon Church, 


On behalf of the Elders, I would like to give you an update on our response to COVID-19. With Gov. Brown's directive to “Stay Home, Save Lives,” being held indefinitely and with no end in sight, we have made the decision to suspend all services and activities through the end of May. We will revisit this decision towards the end of May or sooner if Gov. Brown rescinds her directive. 


In place of not being able to be together face to face, we are encouraging all of our church to attend one of our weekend services on our online platform: https://thurston.online.church. 


On Behalf of the Elders, 


Pastor Scott Lerwick 



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March 25, 2020


Good Afternoon Church, 


On behalf of the Elders, I would like to give you an update on our response to COVID-19. With the new directives coming from Gov. Brown this past week to “Stay Home, Save Lives,” we are suspending all in-person church activities through at least the end of April. We will revisit this decision towards the end of April or if Gov. Brown rescinds her directive. 


This suspension includes Growth Groups, Landscape Maintenance Work Days, Women’s Brunch, Men’s Ministry Activities, Senior Breakfast, GAP, Axis Student Ministry, as well as our Weekend Services.  


In place of not being able to be together face to face, we are encouraging our Growth Groups to meet via Zoom, and we desire for all of our church to attend one of our weekend services on our online platform: https://thurston.online.church. 


We also want to encourage you to be checking in on one another. Make phone calls, text each other, e-mail, or Facebook message one another. This is a difficult time for many of us, so let’s stay as connected as we can.  


You may also be wondering what we will be doing for Easter. The plan is to follow the same model we have been using for this online church experience for this special weekend as well. We will be adding an 8:00 a.m. service on Sunday, April 12, so if that works best for you, we would invite you to join us for it. 


On Behalf of the Elders, 


Pastor Scott Lerwick 



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March 14, 2020


Good Afternoon Church,



Out of an abundance of caution, our Elders this afternoon decided to suspend all Thurston Christian Church public gatherings through the end of March. We are sure this leaves you with many questions that we hope to address in this e-mail.


How will we worship, if we don’t gather on Sunday’s? Our staff is actively working on a solution for this. The plan is to produce a video service that we will post to our website each week. This video will include an acoustic worship set with Pastor Elliot, Pastor Scott will be preaching the sermon, and Larry will be leading you in a communion thought. We will be recording a service tomorrow morning and will do our best to get it posted before noon. Tomorrow’s service will have a special element in it that you won’t want to miss!  


Will the church office still be open? Yes, it will be. Our staff will not stop working during this time as we will be producing content for our digital services as well as planning for future events. We are excited to share we have received special permission from the publisher of our kids’ curriculum to give families online access to the videos our kids watch each week in their classes. Our Kids Ministry Director will be working on getting this content into the hands of parents so that they can share the truth of God’s Word with them. 


Will Axis Student Ministries still meet? We have decided that Axis will NOT be meeting through the end of March. 


Will the Senior’s Breakfast still happen this month? They will be taking the month of March off, but plan on meeting again in April. 


Can Growth Groups still meet? We are leaving that decision up to every group leader as our groups are small and meet in homes. During this time when so many people are being isolated, if you are comfortable and all are healthy, invite your friends to your home. You can do Growth Group questions with them, or hang out and build your friendship. 


What about Easter? With Easter being four weeks away, a lot can change both for the good and the worse. We are still planning on being able to gather together for this special weekend; final decisions will be made as we draw closer to that time. 


How will the church’s finances be impacted? First, let us say we are so thankful for your commitment to support the ministry of TCC; we couldn’t do what we do without you! 75% of our monthly income is given on Thursdays and Sundays. With that in mind, we would encourage you to continue giving as God enables you through this time. We understand the situation we find ourselves in could bring financial hardships, and our church is not immune from that. TCC does not operate from endowment or trust funds, but solely by the faithful individuals who give month in and month out. So we would encourage you to continue to give through this time. If you have never given online through the Church Center App, this is a great opportunity to start this convenient practice. If you have never given to our church at all, this is a great time to start. If it works better for you to give cash or check, you can send it by mail (6680 Thurston Rd, Springfield, Oregon 97478), or bring it to the church office, Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 8:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. 


We would encourage you to pray for the lives that have been and will be impacted by COVID-19. There is a lot of fear and anxiety around this virus, and many people need the peace of God during this time. Use the words of Paul in Philippians 4:6-7 as prayer template to pray for these people, or even yourself! Pray also for our local, state, and national leaders that God would guide them as they make decisions in the rapidly changing environment. 


On behalf of the Elders, 


Pastor Scott Lerwick 


 For more information regarding COVID-19, we would direct you to these websites:

https://lanecounty.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=3585881&pageId=16503774 

https://www.peacehealth.org/coronavirus 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html


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