GFLC COVID-19 Principles                               Updated and posted: January 17, 2021

For Grace First Lutheran, we will be following guidance from the Centers for Disease

Control & Prevention (CDC), ELCA, Oregon Synod, our GFLC healthcare professionals, as well as coordinating our plans with other churches in Bend.

Here are the guiding principles we used as we prayerfully considered this process:

  1. We will always follow any guidelines put forth by the Governor, the Oregon Health Authority, the CDC and the ELCA Oregon Synod.

  2. We may choose to be more restrictive than what is currently allowed by these guidelines if we have reason to believe it would be in the best interest of our members, friends, and visitors, as well as our larger community.

  3. We will revisit these guidelines based on updated information and any changes to external guidelines.

  4. We will strive to remain as inclusive as possible by considering all those who could be affected by our decisions.

We have a transition team that is responsible for developing our plans for worship and other activities in the church building and communicating those plans to the entire congregation. Our future plans are a work in progress, and here’s what is currently in place at GFLC.

  1. We will follow current physical distancing protocols of maintaining 6-foot separation and wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth. Employees may remove their masks while in their offices.

  2. All persons visiting the building must sign in to facilitate contact tracing if needed.

  3. At this time, we have online worship services with only the worship team in the building on Sunday mornings.  Other church gatherings which may take place by advance scheduling with the church office:

    1. Approved funerals that comply with group size, distancing and sanitation requirements.

    2. HOPE Christian Academy which is operation under Oregon rules for Emergency Childcare Providers.

    3. Walk-thru events or other essential meetings or events led by church staff.

    4. Outdoor events led by church staff.

We are hopeful that in the coming months small meetings or Bible studies at the church will be possible while following all the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

  1. Secretary Lynn is keeping limited office hours (currently on Tuesdays & Thursdays), however people are discouraged from going into the church building other than for essential items.  If you do go, wear a mask, sign in, and maintain physical distancing from any other people in the building.

  2. Pastor Andrew will continue to livestream services on Facebook at 9:30 on Sunday mornings for the near future. Everyone is invited to participate by sharing videos of music or readings to add diversity to the services:

     Please let Pastor Andrew know if you’d like to participate.

           pastorandrew@bendbroadband.com

           mobile:  541.771.0889

  1. We will continue to stay connected with each other through the calling teams, Zoom youth and children’s activities, youth meetings in the outdoor alcove or the park for small, masked groups, Zoom committee meetings, email, mailings to those without electronic connectivity, and other creative ideas we may discover as we learn new ways of remaining a strong worshiping community.

We realize that many people are anxious to return to our physical worship space. Our number one consideration is the health and safety of all persons.  We are hopeful and excited to be moving forward.

With God’s blessings to all,

Grace First Lutheran Church Council

Rev. Andrew Bansemer

Copyright © 2017 Grace First Lutheran Church, All rights reserved

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