Friday, March 27, 2020

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.”  

– Teresa of Avila

This is a central affirmation of our shared faith at First Christian Church – all who enter the sanctuary can see this statement displayed and individual members feel the connection we have to one another and to God in reading and remembering these words. 

Today the body of Christ is scrambling to respond to the crisis facing the globe in COVID-19. Many of us have felt the intense urge to help, and it has been confusing and distressing to hear that the best help we can provide right now is to slow the spread of the virus. Governor Kate Brown has said “Stay Home, Save Lives” and so the body of Christ must ask themselves How can we use our hands, feet, bodies to serve others when these very bodies can make others sick? How does the body of Christ stay well — physically, spiritually, socially in this time? These are serious questions that deserve serious attention. 

What is the FCC Board of Directors and Staff doing to respond?

The Executive Ministry Team of the Board of Directors, at the March 22, 2020 Board Meeting, appointed a “COVID-19 Rapid Response Team”(CRRT) to ensure compliance with the Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order (EO) to stay home, save lives as of 3/23/20.  

The CRRT is tasked with Interpreting the Governor’s orders regarding Covid-19 and applying them to FCC.

Who is on the CRRT?

President Amy Metzger, Vice President Tom Kozlowski, Pastor April Oristano, Community Ministry Co-Chair Nancy Hayner, and Administrative Committee member Glen Gibbons. These individuals also serve on other church committees including Personnel, Property, Pastoral Relations and Resource. 

What determinations have been made so far? 

The CRRT began by reading together the Executive Order and determining which employees were required to be in the office to complete their work and how to enable all other employees to do their work from home, as much as possible. 

Since then, they have been addressing individual requests from Community Ministries, renters, and members with regard to all programs and ministries, determining which are essential and which can be achieved through other means than a direct connection. 

1. First Christian Church is committed to all helping employees work at home as much as possible except where their physical presence in the church is required. 

Custodial work in the church will continue on a reduced schedule until further notice, but the consolidation of tasks in all departments is being worked on by Personnel and Exec in order to reduce the total number of persons in and around the building at one time. 

Employees with essential work in the building must adhere to the following protocols:

If you know you are sick, please do not come in.

Anyone with the following symptoms (within the last  ____ days) must not come into the church:
Cough
Fever of 100.4 or higher
Chills
Shortness of breath
Sore Throat or Runny Nose

2. We are temporarily suspending any community ministries activities which include the Sunday Breakfast, Good Samaritan, and Helping Hand room until amended procedures can assure volunteers and guests a safe environment in compliance with appropriate social distancing guidelines.

3. The CRRT has determined that access to food is an essential need and because steps are being taken to reduce exposure, a trial run of an amended food production and distribution plan, developed by many faith communities and community organizations, will occur this Sunday, March 29. 

Food is not being served in or around the building. First Christian will be the food preparation site only, for limited volunteers, and food will then be taken to Food For Lane County’s Dining Room for distribution on Sunday morning. Only pre-arranged volunteers should show up and no one showing any symptoms will be allowed on-premises. 

4. Worship is an essential piece of our identity. Understanding this, the CRRT has determined that worship services and other small groups can take place without being physically present. Worship teams have been developing online options and will continue to seek ways for the congregation to be connected weekly, including Easter Sunday, April 12. The Spiritual Formation Team is working on prayer pods and classes that can be offered online. 

What Can You Do?

Get connected. Stay connected. The CRRT is developing a congregational survey that will allow us to learn more about the personal and technological needs of members, and you will see that hopefully next week.  Call one another and reach out to those church friends who are not online. 

Church offices are working from home and you may reach Office Manager Yvette Diggs at 541-357-7033 during business hours of 9-4, Monday through Friday. Church emails are also working and you may reach Pastors Dan and April in this manner. 

If you would like to reach the CRRT with questions, considerations, etc. please email fcceugene@gmail.com.