Stay in Touch
Join us on Zoom & Receive Email Updates
Please see our weekly E-notes for links to our Zoom meetings. Please contact the office at email@example.com if you would like to be added to our email list.
Emails are monitored during the M-Th work week.
August 12, 2021: Masks Required for All Inside the Church Building
In response to the latest state and diocesan guidelines, masks are now required for everyone ages 5+ while inside the church building, regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for your care and understanding.
August 5, 2021: Mask Guidelines and Bulletin Updates
A Message from the Rev'd Marlene Mutchler, Vicar
In light of new evidence about the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, Bishop Akiyama -- in concert with scientific research, the CDC, OHA, and Washington County -- is now strongly recommending that all who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 wear masks indoors. Those who are not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask. While this may be disappointing news, we follow her direction in the awareness of Bishop Akiyama’s own vow of obedience to uphold and care for the church as “chief priest and pastor,” to “encourage and support all baptized people in their gifts and ministries, nourish them from the riches of God’s grace, pray for them without ceasing, and celebrate with them the sacraments of our redemption.” To be an Episcopalian is by definition to have a bishop whom we follow. While obedience might seem to have gone largely out of style, and blind obedience is problematic, obedience itself is not the problem but obedience to what. Whether we like it or not we are always obedient to something. Often we follow ideological dictates perhaps unwittingly. The point is to be obedient to the law of love and not politics or even personal convenience. In this we trust that our bishop has our backs.
The bottom line is that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to mask inside of our building, though at this point wearing a mask indoors is not a requirement, but a strong encouragement for those fully vaccinated. One piece of good news is that our opening plan is to worship outdoors as long as the weather cooperates and plan to move inside for our 10:00 service around the beginning of October. So our main worship plan will not change significantly because of this new advice.
Another piece of good news is that we have alternate Sunday worship opportunities. If you would prefer to worship indoors even with the encouragement to mask, we invite you to join us at 8:00 a.m. in the chapel where we will be celebrating Rite One said Eucharists on the first Sunday of the month and Morning Prayer on the remaining Sundays. These services will be hybrid Zoom services, so if your preference is for a distance worship experience, we invite you to join us Sundays at 8:00 a.m. via Zoom. By having a number of alternatives, we will better be able to continue offering prayers and in our Eucharist offer the whole of creation to God in Christ. (The links are available in this newsletter.)
I also wanted to let you know that Kari and I have been discussing how best to make use of her limited part-time hours with us each week. We have come to the conclusion that, especially as we move to in-person worship, we can save a lot of her time by not having to create such a detailed bulletin. As you might remember Kari has been including copious amounts of worship material and music for sharing via zoom which we will no longer need at the 10:00 a.m. service. Expect to see a simplified bulletin. We will treat this as an experiment and hope we can all adjust. It will be an opportunity for folks to pitch in and help newer people find their way through the service. We may look at it as a more incarnational approach to encourage us to reach out to one another as we learn how to navigate our beautiful liturgy.
Finally, perhaps one lesson that we might keep in mind with all of our COVID travails is to hold the great stories of scripture against the backdrop of our lives. How is this like that? How is God working through and redeeming our life together in the way that God has always done? Like the wise saints before us, we hold all of this loosely. We offer our “plans” to God knowing that they may need to change. In love we remain flexible to the dictates of love as the days unfold.
As always, I am honored to serve with you.
Yours in Christ,
June 24, 2021: Upcoming Service Changes & Building Use Updates
Please see below for information on upcoming service schedule changes, updated building use guidelines, and COVID-19 vaccination information among our congregation.
A Message from the Rev'd Marlene Mutchler, Vicar
Thank you for participating in the recent worship and program questionnaire. Christ’s incarnation itself relates the value of worshipping with one another in-person. Your answers helped very much to gauge our plan for reopening more fully to in-person worship. The staff and BAC have prayerfully developed the following format for worship going forward according to our instructions from Bishop Akiyama and the comfort and safety of our congregation. We have held the value of free access to the gospel in tension with loving our neighbors by reducing in person engagement for over a year. Thanks be to God, virtually all of the individuals and families who responded to the questionnaire reported to be fully vaccinated! Therefore, and with the support of Bishop Akiyama, we will not be checking vaccination records at the door. However at this point when worshiping in the building, we will request that unvaccinated people 5 years and over mask. No one need mask when we worship outside. Because our younger Bedians between 5 and 12 still do not have access to vaccinations and for the general comfort level of the congregation, we will try to worship outside as long as possible, likely until October. Below is an outline of our service plan going forward. Attached are our most recent Sunday in-person service guidelines. More information about classes and prayer services will come sometime in August. Stay tuned for that information. Now go enjoy creation, the summer, friends, and families. Do something you love that glorifies God! Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Sunday Service Changes Beginning August 15
Click here to read our guidelines for in-person services.
8am Holy Eucharist, Rite I - First Sundays of the month beginning 9/5
Hybrid: Chapel & Zoom
A hybrid service, which takes place in the chapel and on Zoom. This will be a quiet service with traditional language and without music.
8am Morning Prayer - Second, third, fourth, & fifth Sundays beginning 8/15
Hybrid: Chapel & Zoom
A hybrid service, which takes place in the chapel and on Zoom. This will be a quiet service without music.
10am Holy Eucharist, Rite II - All Sundays beginning 8/15
Outside on the church grounds, weather-permitting, or inside in the nave
An in-person only service. We will begin to sing hymns with organ accompaniment. Coffee hour may resume after the 10am service.
Wednesday 10am Service Changes Beginning August 4
10am Morning Prayer, Rite I - First, third, & fifth Wed. beginning 8/4
Hybrid: Chapel & Zoom
A hybrid in-person/Zoom service of Morning Prayer.
10am Healing Holy Eucharist, Rite I - Second & Fourth Wed. beginning 8/11
Hybrid: Chapel & Zoom
A hybrid in-person/Zoom service of Holy Eucharist using traditional language, including healing prayer and anointing with oil.
New Building Use & Mask Guidelines Beginning TODAY
As of today, masks are no longer required indoors for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks or more post final dose). Masks are still required for adults and children who are not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the exception of children under 5, who are not required to wear a mask. Masks are still not required for all outdoors.
Building Use Guidelines
Additionally, you no longer need to contact Kari at the office if you are coming into the building. However, if you would like to use a room for an activity or event, we still encourage you to book space in advance by contacting the office to stake your claim. The building use schedule will be posted on the office door for you to check, in case you would like to see if a space is available that you were unable to book in advance.
COVID-19 Vaccination in our Congregation
Vaccination Status Results from Our Recent COVID-19 Transition Survey
In response to our questions asking about the COVID-19 vaccination status of our members, 39 individuals and families responded that they were fully vaccinated. Three responded that they were not yet vaccinated, but plan to be. One preferred not to say. 91% of those who responded reported full vaccination against COVID-19.
Washington County COVID-19 Vaccination Rate
As of June 24, 2021, Washington County takes the lead in Oregon with 72.2% of individuals 18+ having received at least one COVID-19 vaccine. (Source)
A Note About Our Decision to Not to Check Vaccination Cards
At our bishop’s request, we will not check vaccination cards upon entry, but rather we trust that our community members, in their compassion, will implement the most fitting safety protocol for their situation, in order to best care for themselves and our community. We highly encourage COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible individuals. As noted above, masks will still be required indoors for unvaccinated individuals until further notice. Please see the message from Marlene+ above for more information.
May 27, 2021: New Reopening Plan & Looking Ahead
Hold on to your hats. The Holy Spirit wind is blowing, and that can only mean that change is in the air. Bishop Akiyama has relaxed some of our COVID restrictions for meeting together. As I mentioned in church on Sunday, the BAC met last Wednesday, and we discussed how things might progress and approved a plan forward for opening. Linked to this announcement is our reopening plan. In it there is a lot of good news.
You may notice we are taking things gradually. This is for a couple of reasons. For one thing, a gradual approach will help people adjust to this change. For another, I will be taking vacation from June 27 until July 24 and the BAC and I agreed not to reopen everything at once with your vicar on vacation. Instead we will continue to meet first Sundays of the month in person at 8:00 a.m. outdoors for June and July Holy Eucharist. We may begin meeting in person at 10:00 outdoors as early as August or September depending on continued good news with COVID numbers. We may also continue zoom services or move to streaming our 10 a.m. Eucharist depending on interest. Look for a program survey to come out soon so that we can get a better idea of people’s worship preferences.
The good news is that even as early as June 6 we are not restricted in worship attendance and people no longer have to sign up in advance. We are allowed to sing in worship and masks are optional outdoors, although social distancing is encouraged for the unvaccinated. Please read the revised reopening plan for more details.
This development is exciting and also possibly alarming, but rest assured we plan to move forward prayerfully and safely with God’s help. As I mentioned on Sunday, it may be hard to believe the Spirit’s capacity to make dry bones come to life. It’s going to take some adjustment to come back together eventually in person, and especially in our building. With God all things are possible and having lived through what we have will bring us to an even greater level of understanding and grace.
Yours in Christ,
Highlights from our Reopening Plan
Full plan linked above. Subject to change as we learn more about the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic
Communion will be available in both kind, in bread and in wine. Please remember that if you do not feel comfortable receiving the blood of Christ at this time, you still receive the fullness of God's grace in the Sacrament by simply consuming the Body of Christ in the bread.
Masks & Distancing
Through June 24, 2021 -
Indoors: Masks are required inside the building by all.
Outdoors: Masks and social distancing are optional for all. We ask that those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (those who are not at least two weeks after final dose) distance themselves from others by 6 feet and wear a mask when singing.
Beginning June 25, 2021 -
Indoors: Masks and distancing are optional for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are required for individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Outdoors: Mask guidelines remain the same as prior to June 24.
Prayer Books & Hymnals
Prayer books and hymnals will be available to aid you in your prayer with us.
Sign-Ups & Capacity Limits
We no longer require sign-ups, and there are no longer any capacity limits for in-person gatherings.
We may sing together again!
ST. BEDE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1609 Elm St. Forest Grove, OR
See below for updates during the COVID-19 Pandemic Masks are required inside the church.
We strive to know Christ more deeply and bring others to his redeeming grace.