KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – This morning in Gov. Brown’s address concerning coronavirus, she stated that all events or gatherings of more than 250 people are canceled.
This includes churches and after speaking to multiple churches throughout Southern Oregon, NewsWatch 12 learned that many are encouraging vulnerable populations to attend services via livestream.
Klamath Christian Center is just one of many churches making adjustments this weekend. They usually have multiple Sunday services and because of the coronavirus they expect to have less attendance than usual; because of that they feel confident that they will be under the 250-person cap for their Sunday morning services.
For those that choose to come to Sunday service, bypassing the livestream option, there will be notable differences.
“We also provide a social time with snacks after the service; we’re going to be eliminating that,” said Scott Hines, the senior pastor at Klamath Christian Center.
Communion will not be offered.
“We haven’t had communion since the coronavirus. We normally offer it the first Sunday of the month and we didn’t this month because of coronavirus,” said Hines.
Hines says they are also implementing changes to encourage social distancing.
“We’re setting up more chairs in our sanctuary and we’re going to encourage people to spread out so that way they have more space,” said Hines, “we’d like people to sit every other chair, that way they have that three-foot space that’s been recommended.”
One concern that comes with less attendance is the potential financial impact.
“Of course, we’re concerned about the financial side of it, just like all the businesses are,” said Hines, “This is a huge thing for our economy and we’re concerned like everyone else.”
Hines says, despite the warnings, changes and unavoidable impacts, there’s still a lot to be optimistic about.
“I think I don’t think this is a negative thing for churches. I think this is a great opportunity for us to respond to the needs of people around us and the needs of the people in our community and we want do what we can to help,” said Hines, “The church has never been about a building, it’s always about people and relationships. People gathering together in homes was the way the church got started.”