Salem

Coronavirus Update and Response

Mar 12, 2020

Outward Church family,

As Covid-19 has continued to spread worldwide, it has become increasingly clear that as a church and as individuals, we must adapt.

In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Brown has announced a ban on all gatherings in the state of Oregon of over 250 people for the next 4 weeks. Outward Church meets this criteria and therefore is affected by this ban.

Before we respond to what this means for our gatherings and programs, we want to recognize the uncertainty this outbreak is causing in our workplaces, schools, and day-to-day activities. While there is much we do not know about the coming days and weeks, we remain certain about several things: 

  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1)—whether spiritual, financial, emotional, relational, or physical. This is crucial to keep at the forefront of our hearts.
  • Our God reigns and nothing happens outside his loving, wise, and good sovereign reach—even disease and death (Dt. 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:6; Job 1:20-21; Ja. 4:13-16).
  • Any reminder of our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and brevity of life (Ja. 4:14), is good for our souls (Ps. 119:67,71). It reminds us that we are not our own (1 Cor. 6:19). It reminds us that our lives are found in Him (Phil. 3:9). It reminds us where our true and lasting treasure is found (Phil. 1:21; Mt. 13:44, 45-46) and to fervently pray for ourselves, and others, with these realities in view.

Here is how the latest developments in our state will affect Outward Church for the foreseeable future: 

SUNDAYS

Starting this Sunday, March 15, our Sunday worship gatherings will be moved to an online livestream at 10am. This means we will not be holding public worship gatherings in our building until legally allowed to do so. At this point, the governor has placed this ban in effect until April 8, so unless communicated otherwise, all Sunday services between now and then will be held online. Scripture is clear that the regular gathering of the saints is a priority (Heb. 10:24-25) - so we will still come together at the same time on Sundays for a time of singing, scripture, announcements, and a sermon - we will just be doing it online. Plan to prioritize this time just as you would our regular Sunday gatherings. We will be streaming via Facebook and YouTube, as well as hopefully through the Outward Church app. Stay tuned for further communication with details on how to join the Sunday livestream.

OUTWARD GROUPS

We are asking all Outward Groups to stop meeting for the time being, effective immediately.

OTHER EVENTS

Outward Students (Wednesdays) | canceled for the time being

Mar 13 | women’s coffee social: canceled

Apr 10 | Good Friday service: TBD

Apr 12 | Easter service: TBD

Apr 24 - 26 | Man Camp (Washington Family Ranch): TBD

Please know that we are constantly monitoring this situation, praying for the Lord’s intervention, protection and wisdom, as we seek to care for our community and adhere to the command to “be subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1). We are discussing creative ways to remain connected as a church family during this time, even if we cannot do so face to face.

If you have practical needs or are aware of needs throughout our community, please reach out to an Outward leader. We want to continue to be the hands and feet of Christ as we love each other and our neighbors. If you have any questions, please reach out by emailing info@outwardchurch.com.

Loving Jesus and Living Outward,

Outward Church elders

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