When can my church facility re-open?

The ninety-six congregations of the Presbytery of the Cascades exist and serve in urban, suburban and rural communities throughout Oregon and Washington.  Our diversity is one of our strengths, but in this pandemic, our diversity also means that no two facilities or congregations are the same.  Therefore, the answer as to when each facility can re-open will necessarily be different.  The Session of each individual congregation in the Presbytery bears the responsibility for determining when in person worship and the use of their facility resumes.  The staff and leadership of the Presbytery stand ready to discuss your process and offer guidance as you work through the many challenges presented by this crisis.  The materials on this website are meant to assist you in your work.

At a minimum, churches within the Presbytery of the Cascades should adhere to federal, state and local re-opening, sanitation and physical distancing recommendations.  If there are differences between local, state or federal guidelines, churches are encouraged to follow the more restrictive set of guidelines.  If there is disagreement between public health officials and political leaders, churches should err on the side of caution and heed the more restrictive path.

Following this general guidance will enable churches to remain in compliance with civil regulations.  However, the Presbytery’s staff and Leadership Commission affirm that as communities of faith we are called to do more than comply with regulations.  We are called to embody love of neighbor, to work for the common good and to protect the most vulnerable among us.  PLC encourages each church’s leadership prayerfully to consider how we can use this experience to be the body of Christ in our communities amidst this crisis.  The right moment to open our church buildings will be the moment when opening the building is loving our neighbor.

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