Dear Salem Evangelical Church Family,

March 12, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response:

Given the words from Governor Brown, from Vice President Pence and health officials we as a church staff met this morning to set in place what will likely be an ever-evolving cycle of procedures.

  1. If you are sick with any of the symptoms that the C.D.C. and the O.H.A. have outlined please stay home.
  2. If you are concerned for the well-being of your family please stay home.
  3. If you are a senior citizen and serve as an usher or greeter you are relieved of your service indefinitely until deemed completely safe within reason to serve again.  I deeply appreciate your dedication and devotion to the Lord.  We want to protect you from any potential unnecessary exposure to the public, therefore you will not be serving until further notice when we believe it is safe for you to serve.
  4. If you are a senior citizen and serve with children or elsewhere please do not hesitate to let your leader know you are uncomfortable in serving and we will make other arrangements.
  5. All snacks are banned in all classes until further notice.  Coffee and water are still allowed.
  6. Our bathrooms are well stocked with soap and all are encouraged to wash your hands before church and after church and of course any use of the bathrooms while on campus.
  7. We are avoiding handshakes and hugs by the public until further notice.
  8. After first hour, your group will wipe down with a sanitizer that is being provided, all surfaces used in each room.  The second hour users will be asked to do the same before leaving your room.
  9. Anti-Sceptic gels will be at both information centers.
  10.   We plan to hold live Sunday services at 9:15 and 11:00 am.  We will be recording our services for on line viewing the following Thursday.  IN ADDITION, we are adding live streaming beginning this Sunday March 15, 2020.  If you do not plan to attend or cannot attend you may live stream our services for the first time, available on our Facebook page.  I would love to hear your feedback on this new offering.
  11.   We plan to make available the East Sanctuary with a live video feed for up to 249 people to keep our numbers under 250 in the Worship Center.
  12.   Our children will be in and remain on the first and second floors of the Children’s Center both hours.
  13. The class that meets in the East Sanctuary will be assigned another room to hold class in.
  14.   We will likely follow the plan of our local schools.  They are meeting and so will we.
  15.   All regularly scheduled activities will continue as planned unless the situation changes, including quizzing this weekend, Sunday night church and ladies event on Monday night.  Apply my first two points if in doubt of any scheduled event.
  16.   The youth trip to New Mexico is still going forward unless new information is collected that would change that trips status.
  17.   If you are self-quarantined or are a senior citizen in need of anything during this crisis we as a church family want to help you with your needs.  Please contact me or the church office and we will help you with food or medicine or whatever you might need while self-quarantined.
  18.   Please do not assume your friend or family member has internet access or has received this information.  Please be aggressive in caring for one another and let’s over communicate so everyone is well taken care of.  Please pass this information on to anyone who you think possibly has not received this email.

As your pastor I love each one of you and care deeply about you.  We must not live in fear but with a great faith in our God.  I read Psalm 46 to our staff this morning and I invite you to dwell on this marvelous passage of Scripture for the days in which we are living.

Psalm 46 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

God the Refuge of His People.

46 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

If there are any questions or concerns or anything you think would be helpful for me to know concerning this crisis I invite you to contact me.

In Christ,

Pastor Randy R. Butler