Categories: Announcements

COVID-19 Update: March 12, 2020

Dear Messiah Members and Friends,
 
Gov. Jay Inslee just announced the closure of all K-12 schools, public and private, in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. The executive order indicates that schools can hold classes until Monday, March 16 and remain closed through Friday, April 24.  With this announcement, along with prior announcements by Gov. Inslee and King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin, Messiah is finalizing plans for changes to our public gatherings here at the church.
 
There are three factors guiding the formulation of our plans. First, we put our safety and care for one another and our neighbors as our highest priority. This is especially true for those who may be most vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
Second, it is longstanding Messiah policy to follow the lead of the Auburn School District in determining whether or not our building is open for public use.  With all school districts being ordered to remain closed, this reality must now also impact our planning.
 
Third, we will abide, in all cases for public gatherings, by the King County Health officer order.  This means in our context that gatherings of under 250 are prohibited unless certain strict measures can be followed to minimize risk. Tonight the Executive Team of the Messiah Church Council is meeting to assess what gatherings can meet all public health criteria on a consistent basis.
 
Once the Executive Team meets tonight, a plan for our worship life, our building use, and our programming will be communicated to the congregation. I am anticipating that for the next six weeks or longer we will see fairly dramatic changes to all of our public activities.
 
Messiah is in communication with other churches in the Puget Sound area.  We are receiving ongoing guidance from our synod office. We are analyzing all our programs and activities. Based on all the information we can gather, a decision regarding our building use and programming will be made thoughtfully, with a priority on safety, care, historic policy, and adherence to public health orders.
 
Further communication will be forthcoming tomorrow, Friday, March 13. This communication will detail all the changes approved by the Executive Team at its meeting tonight.
 
As we move forward together through this evolving coronavirus event, let us do so with care for one another and a priority on safety.  Our God will walk with us through these next days and weeks. This is our time to draw closer together as the people of God, increase our love, support, and compassion for one another, and even experience new and creative ways to be the Body of Christ in difficult and anxious times.
 
Blessings be with us all!  Pr. Harris