May 21, 2021
Dear Harvest Family,
Late last week Governor Brown announced a change to the facemask guidelines for fully vaccinated Oregonians, though state officials didn’t clarify how that would be implemented. That created some confusion at church last Sunday, and we want to thank you for the grace and patience that the vast majority of you demonstrated, especially during a season that can be frustrating for all of us. We appreciate how you’re living out Hebrews 13:17, and making leadership a joy for your elders!
Now that clearer guidance has been issued, we have reason to celebrate: this weekend Washington County enters the lowest risk category of the state’s metric, and the Governor has detailed a clear target for when the risk-level system will go away completely – a target the state anticipates hitting by early summer. These are all signs that the pandemic is coming under control and that gathering as a church is getting safer all the time.
So, what about those masks? Consistent with public health guidance, beginning this Sunday (May 24) fully vaccinated people may attend worship services and all Harvest activities without wearing face coverings. Proof of vaccination will not be required: we’re calling all who attend a Harvest worship service or event to follow our policy, which is that masks and distancing are required unless you’re fully vaccinated (14 days after your final dose).
And our congregation has done a great job of that! We’ve had people attending worship services in person for 9 months now, and we don’t know of a single case of COVID-19 that’s even suspected (much less demonstrated) to have come from our facility or any Harvest event. This is because our congregation as a whole has done a great job of distancing, face covering, and staying home when you’re ill. Let’s continue to demonstrate that responsibility.
And finally, let’s remember who we are: our identity and connection to one another comes from our redemption in Christ, not from all of us having the same views on masks, vaccines, etc. You will start to see some people at church with masks on and some without. Both are fine; let’s give one another the grace of not assuming anything about people’s beliefs or motives. Instead, let’s gather together and consider how we can build one another up in Christ, so that we might better know him and make him known.
That Jesus’ fame would spread,
Harvest’s Elder Team Matt Guerino, Dave Armentrout, Jim Barclay, Mark Brewer, Brent Lince, Chad Peterson
As always, we welcome any questions or input. You can reach us by weekend Communication Card, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by phone during office hours (503.629.8300).