Updated March 23, 2020
Today our governor announced a “Stay Home Stay Healthy” policy which allows leaving home only for essential activities. This will not change the way we are currently operating as our webcasts and headquarters office work are essential to stability, comfort, and spiritual health of our viewers, not only in the United States, but all around the world.
Moving forward, we intend to continue with live Sunday morning webcasts at 11:00 a.m. (PDT), using fewer than ten ministers and musicians. As much as possible, each meeting will draw on workers who are from the same household, while practicing social distancing between those who are not family members. Soon, we expect to also webcast a live Sunday evening service at 6:00 p.m. On Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., following a live welcome and announcements, we will replay a sermon from our archives. On Fridays at 7:30 p.m. will be a Bible study from our current unit of Discovery curriculum. This week’s Discovery lesson from 2 Kings is available here, and the corresponding daily Daybreak lessons are available in the Daily Devotional.
Original Post from March 17, 2020
From the Superintendent's DESK
In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, federal, state, and local jurisdictions here in the United States have issued a variety of recommendations and requirements regarding public gatherings. These continue to change frequently.
As a result, our Portland church has cancelled all public church services and events until further notice. We recommend that our U.S. branch churches follow the guidelines for their localities. Outside of the U.S., we request that our churches meet the recommendations of their governing bodies. The Portland headquarters office is closed to visitors, though we are maintaining a staff presence, including a receptionist to take phone calls and some ministers.
Since the Portland service cancellations went into effect on March 12, we have been rebroadcasting archived services at our regularly scheduled times. This Sunday, March 22, we intend to webcast a live morning service. Two ministers will lead the meeting and a handful of musicians will provide music. There will be no sanctuary audience. We plan to continue that practice every Sunday morning, and hope to add other live evening services or Bible studies. Otherwise, we will webcast services from our archives. In any case, all services will open with a live greeting and announcements, and will conclude with a reading of current prayer requests.
Until we can open the church building to the public again, we recommend that our Portland congregation members join us in their homes in prayer before and after the webcasts, as we would if present in a church setting. We can view this as an opportunity to engage in family worship time with those in our households.
We pray to resume services at the time of God’s choosing. We do not want to resume a day sooner or a day later than that. Time and caution are our friends, so we will not attempt to hold meetings again until we believe it is prudent to do so. We continue to pray for the Lord to protect the healthy, heal those who are ill, and grant grace to those whom He chooses not to heal. We especially need to pray for all healthcare workers who are at high risk. In every case, we pray that God’s name will be glorified.