Hello, Northwest Hills,
The worldwide effort to limit the Covid 19 outbreak continues to impact almost all areas of life. As many of you have likely heard, Benton county has been approved for Phase 1 reopening. Phase 1 allows for groups of up to 25 people to meet in-person as long as 6 feet of social distancing can still be maintained. Sadly, we still won’t be able to all meet together for church services yet but this easing of the restrictions provides the possibility for smaller groups to begin meeting in-person. There are a number of areas where this will have an immediate impact on our ministry.
Small group meetings
The group limit of up to 25 people now provides the opportunity for some community groups, Bible studies, or other small groups to resume meeting in-person. Because there are many complexities to each group’s composition and situation, we are not setting a blanket protocol for how all groups should handle this. We are not continuing the restriction of all groups from meeting in-person but neither are we saying all groups should resume meeting in-person. We ask that you prayerfully consider, with your entire group, how to best handle this for your group. Please take into consideration that it will be difficult to maintain 6 feet of social distancing in most homes even if your group size is well under 25 people. Also, consider the vulnerability of each group member based on their age and health status as well as how to handle any children that might be present.
The church office will now be open to the public for those who need/want to drop by for anything ministry or business purposes. Our goal is to have someone available in the office Monday-Thursday, 9am-3pm. Because we are operating on reduced office staff hours, there may be periods when the office is closed even during the scheduled hours. Therefore we encourage you to call the office (541-758-7688) ahead of a visit to ensure that someone will be here to assist you. We appreciate your understanding if we miss you.
This situation is constantly evolving. As a staff we are discussing how we can best leverage the opportunities and increasing allowances to do ministry closer to “normal”. Phase 1 reopening doesn’t allow for dramatic changes to what we have been doing over the last couple months and Sunday services will continue to be online only. We are considering options for small groups to meet on the NWH campus where we have rooms that may more easily accommodate adhering to the social distancing guidelines. We will communicate this potential opportunity to groups as we gather more information.
Please continue to pray along with us for our government and community leaders to make wise decisions and that the spread of Covid 19 will be held in check. Also pray for our health care workers, essential workers, and those who have been directly impacted by the effects of the virus.
We look forward to seeing more of you as time goes on!
-Your Ministry Staff