Church family,

After dialogue with the Council, the Re-opening Committee, and the District Superintendent, in light of the request from the Spokane Regional Health District to postpone all indoor gatherings, we are announcing a temporary suspension of in-person worship for the next four (4) Sundays. We will continue to livestream the service at 9:30 am on both our Facebook and Youtube pages. We will return to in-person worship on February 13th. See more here…

As Methodists, we are committed to the highest commandments Jesus underscores to love God and love our neighbor. We have a long heritage of practicing our faith through the Three General Rules of 1) do no harm 2) do good and 3) stay in love with God.

By attending to this request by our Health District, we are both striving to do no harm and to do good by loving our medical health professionals and our neighbors who may need their care. We are doing our part to help ease the strain on the system, which is an act of radical love.

In today’s press conference from the Spokane Regional Health District, they updated us on our community’s current Covid-19 numbers and forecasted numbers with Omicron. As many of you have seen, over the past week we have had more Covid-19 cases than we have ever seen before. In the press conference, it was announced that a staggering 97.3% of regular hospital beds are full, and our ICU is at 100% capacity. While many of these patients are not Covid patients, the Health District has tracked the data and the rise in Covid hospitalizations is usually a week or two behind the cases. This means that we are potentially on the verge of a very serious next few weeks. It is for these reasons that we believe being online for worship is our most loving response to this situation.

I know this is the last thing that many of us wanted to hear (including myself). Please know that I honor your grief, and it is disheartening to make this decision.

However, there is no grief or sacrifice that goes unknown by God. Let us hold the tension that as we are physically separated, we can continue to grow together. And please allow me to also offer this blessing:

“For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
(Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV).

For those of our church family who do not have reliable internet access, we will provide the option for you to continue to worship with us. Please reach out to the church office if you are one of those people or know of someone who is.

—Yours in Christ,
Pastor Megan Madsen