March 16, 2020
Dear Eastgate church family,
As we are all aware our national and denominational leaders are taking the growing threat of coronavirus very seriously. The potential for harm, especially among our elderly and those with compromised immune systems, is significant. Also, the potential burden on our healthcare system is large.
Because of this the CDC has stated that gatherings must be limited. No groups of more than 50 people should gather. You can read their directive here.
Since the beginning of this virus’ spread I’ve had two criteria for determining if and when to suspend in-person worship services:
1. The government agencies (CDC, Health Department, etc.) limiting the size of gatherings
2. The Upper Columbia Conference leadership directing us to suspend services.
Both have now become a reality. We are suspending corporate worship services for at least three weeks, possibly more. The length of pause will be determined by the Upper Columbia Conference leadership and the Governor of Washington State.
As we anticipated this change this past weekend our elder team discussed plans designed to maintain the Eastgate community connections and intentionally minister to our membership. Here is the plan we developed:
First: We will be starting house churches where our healthy members are welcome to worship each week. These will need to stay small for the present time, ten people max. The purpose of these gatherings will be to encourage each other, to worship together, and to keep in contact with each other. It is important that we keep in touch so we can support each other in the midst of this turmoil. More information to come.
Second: We will be implementing an online form of worship service that will be available on Facebook and YouTube. Once again, please stay tuned for more information.
Third: Remember that the elders and I are still here to minister to your needs and lift you in prayer. Please don’t hesitate to send an email, give a call, or drop a note.
Also, church office hours will continue as usual: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am-1pm.
We won’t be returning offering and tithe in person so make use of the Online Giving link on the Eastgate website, Download the Adventist Giving app for iPhone or Android, or mail your check to the church office. God’s mission continues in the midst of this uncertainty.
Finally, as the Body of Christ our purpose in life is to show love to each other and to our community. This virus isn’t only a challenge, it’s an opportunity to be who God has called us to be in this world: a light in the darkness, stability in rocky times, and comfort in uncertainty. Please be purposeful in calling each other to check in, to make sure your neighbors, friends, and fellow church members are safe and have what they need.
May God make His church flourish during this time of change.