For updated information, please go to the "Sunday In Person" page.
After 15 weeks of not being able to meet together at the recommendation of our government officials and for the health and safety of our members, we are now planning to start gathering again as a church for Sunday services and will begin on August 9th at Ashbrook Independent School (4045 SW Research Way) through an RSVP system. On May 22nd, the federal government included churches as "essential services" and encouraged states to allow churches to resume meeting for worship. As a precaution, we have also waited for the state of Oregon to introduce guidelines that include churches as well. As of June 5th, the governor of Oregon and her team specified the following guidelines for Phase 2 venue & event reopening, which includes faith-based organizations:
health protocols for individuals:
1. Keep at least two empty seats (or six feet separation) between parties in any row, except as follows:
- Two or more members of the same household can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
- Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
2. Self-screen before going into a church, congregation, or place of worship for any of the following. new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
- Wash or disinfect hands upon entering a church, congregation, or place of worship and after any interaction with employees, volunteers, other customers, or items in the church, congregation, or place of worship.
- Consistent with the actions taken by many individuals across the state, consider wearing cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) when entering a church, congregation, or place of worship, or when within 6 feet of another person who is not a member of the individual's household. If available, individuals should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.
- Individuals aged 65 or older are at a higher risk of COVID-19. To the extent possible, avoid contact within 6 feet with individuals aged 65 and older. Individuals aged 65 and older should stay home as much as possible.
- Carry hand sanitizer, and use it regularly, while at the church, congregation, or place of worship, especially after contact with individuals outside the household.
The Board of Overseers at Valley Springs Church decided that it is time for us to begin meeting again and we will do so with the guidelines that follow. PLEASE READ VERY CAREFULLY to make this the best experience possible.
1. For July: We will offer our 10:30 worship time (arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before the service starts). We can seat approximately 76 people with social distancing and chairs spaced out in clusters of 1, 2, 3, or 4 seats. We will not yet be advertising the services on our website; they are for those who have been at Valley Springs Church services or groups in the past and have been listening online. We need to make this transition back slowly and wisely. We will invite our friends as soon as possible. We are continuing to look at alternative options to include as many as possible.
2. We cannot yet offer Kids Program and will continue monitoring when we will be able to start. And, until we see how full the auditorium will be and learn how to do this well, we are asking that no parents bring their elementary age and younger children to the service. Our best recommendation is that parents would exercise the option of swapping Sundays with each other where one participates in the service, and the other watches the kids and participates online. You may bring nursing babies. Use your best judgement. Children who are in middle and high school may attend the service as usual.
3. If you feel that you are at high risk because of age or health, or if you simply feel you are not ready to gather again, we encourage you to continue to listen from home. While we know this is not ideal, as a valued part of the Valley Springs Church family, we are concerned for your well-being and want to be sure that you are safe and ready.
4. If you have recently had or currently have any of the new or worsening signs or symptoms of COVID-19 listed in the state guidelines above, or if you know you have had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have the virus in the past 14 days, please stay home and listen online. Everyone being diligent to do a good self-evaluation will help keep everyone else in our church family healthy. If all of us are careful in our daily lives to minimize situations where we might be exposed to the virus, we can much more safely meet as a church family. Please use wisdom so we can continue to meet together without spreading sickness to one another and, thus, to others we interact with during the week.
5. Everyone will be required to be wearing a face mask to enter the building and please go directly to a seat. It is up to you whether or not you would like to remove your face mask while at your seat. But please put it back on when away from your seat and when leaving at the end of the service.
6. For now, please avoid physical contact on Sundays in the building. While no hugging, shaking hands, or fist bumps is inconsistent with our relational culture, for the time being, with many people in the auditorium, it would be wise and respectful of others for us to use some caution. Waves and kind words expressed will have to do for a while.
7. Hand sanitizer will be available as you enter the building, or you may bring your own.
8. As per the guidelines above, you may sit with those who are from your own household. Please sit in a cluster of chairs that you can best fill. If you are coming alone, choose a single chair if possible. It will not be perfect, but do your best so that we can safely accommodate as many people as possible.
9. Restrooms will be open and cleaned frequently but, as they are small, please try to minimize use if at all possible.
10. We will not yet be serving coffee or donuts. So please bring your own coffee or water to drink if you want them. And please dispose of all of your own trash. There will also not be Bibles under the seats to use, or offering envelopes and pens. Remember to bring your own Bible.
11. Offerings will continue on-line (your own bank’s on-line bill pay or the Tithe.ly app) or by mail to the Valley Springs Church Office address (968 NW Circle Blvd. Corvallis, OR 97330). The drop box will be available on the back wall of the auditorium if you prefer to bring your tithe/offering, but we will not be passing offering baskets.
12. We will not, at this time, be able to begin praying for people at the end of the service. We will start again when it seems wise to do so.
13. After the service, please wait until an usher prompts you to do so, so as to leave the room in an orderly manner. The process will feel very similar to being excused after a wedding ceremony. The doors will all be open. We ask that you don’t stand and socialize in the building. Also, we need to sanitize the building and chairs after the service.
14. We will not yet be doing Team Valley Springs, Series, or other trainings or events. We hope to start in August, but we will continue to evaluate the situation as everything progresses, and we’ll announce updates that are relevant on our website and during our weekend services.
We know that this has been a difficult and costly time for many and we will do our best to meet together in such a way that everyone remains healthy. The bottom line is that we must continue to trust Jesus and, while using wisdom and following the guidelines of our government, we believe it’s time for Valley Springs Church to start gathering together again for those who can attend. Each of you will have to make your own decisions about whether or not it is the right time for you. We trust your decision and the staff and board will continue to pray for you and support you as best we know how. Things are at least moving in the right direction and that is exciting!
Mike Luczkiw and the Valley Springs Board of Overseers