To: Oroville Free Methodist Church – Members and Attendees
From: Oroville Free Methodist Church Board of Administration
Date: March 20, 2020
Subject: Further Information – Suspension of Church Facilities Meetings and Gatherings
On the morning of Monday, March 16, 2020, it became necessary for church leadership and staff to cease all worship services, meetings, gatherings, and activities until further notice. We will continue to monitor the necessity of this action to the best of our ability going forward. We will attempt to enhance our communication methods to try and keep our congregation informed and connected as best we can. Please understand we are still in the first week of suspending activities and things are changing almost daily – we do not know how long this situation will last.
1. To minimize infection risks posed by the highly contagious 2019 Novel Coronavirus which is causing the worldwide ongoing pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, and there is still more to be learned.
2. To love others deeply by doing what we can to avoid the spread of the virus, particularly to those in higher risk groups.
3. To comply with the Emergency Proclamations of the Governor of the State of Washington on gatherings and virus-related directives.
4. To comply with the direction and leadership provided by the Board of our Pacific Northwest Conference church office and Superintendent Michael Forney.
5. To comply with the direction and leadership provided by the Board of Administration and Pastor Rod Brown per our local church By-Laws.
Ceasing all gatherings, public and ministerial, is certainly not something anyone prefers to do, but is required as a law abiding and caring church body to minimize the ongoing spread of the virus. We are still early in this effort, and it is considered critical that we take these unprecedented precautions at this time.
Further Clarifications and Information:
1. As long as these directives are in place, the church staff and board of administration cannot authorize or request that existing ministries (gatherings) be continued at the church facilities, nor at offsite locations such as member’s homes, for the same reasons listed above. This is all about person-to-person spread of the virus.
2. For very small groups the church is not currently equipped or prepared to meet the changing requirements to hold such meetings. There is a lot of detailed needs and requirements to protect the health of attendees if we were to try to accomplish that.
3. The church office will remain functional during this period – but may not be physically accessible at times since some of the office activities can be accomplished offsite.
4. We encourage members of the congregation to stay connected by other means (the church website, phone calls, prayer groups, etc.) which can be done without physical gathering. Any private physical gatherings of course is at the discretion of those meeting.
5. The PNWC Superintendent emphasized that scripture does not dictate how often we are to meet nor the method or size of gathering (Hebrews 10:25), and that current restrictions can open up new avenues of ministering and communication during this time.
6. We are enhancing our website to assist with this situation:
a. Weekly worship messages to continue to be posted. Also, a possibility to call on your phone and hear the week’s message will be operational if you cannot access through our webpage.
b. We are working on prayer requests availability without compromising the privacy of those in need as requested.
c. Giving to the church has been online for a long time now but will be better linked to the home page to assist those using that method. Of course, offerings can be mailed in as well. Stay tuned for further considerations.
d. Other ideas are being looked into for their adaptability and technical feasibility. Available Resources for Further Information or Help:
There is a staggering amount of information and growing support if you seek it out.
1. The church website, board members, and church staff.
2. Each other – as members of our congregation we need to support each other individually, communicate personally and periodically, and share needs appropriately as they are known.
3. The PNWC website and published information.
4. The Washington State Governors website and published information.
5. Local health providers public information.
Actions and Encouragement:
1. Pray. Pray for our congregation and our ongoing mission of the church. Pray for our community and those impacted by illness. Pray for those financially affected. Pray for those in leadership positions.
2. Maintain your time in the Word, and possibly enhance it.
3. Continue your engagement in ministering and assisting others.
4. Increase communication.
God’s blessing, peace, and grace to you all!



This action is for compliance to Washington State Restrictions and Church Directives currently in effect.

This action is to minimize infection risks posed by the highly contagious 2019 Novel Coronavirus which is causing the worldwide ongoing pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019.
Free Methodist Church Response

Additional Washington State information can be obtained here:

WA State Department of Health website:

WA Governor Coronavirus website:

You may also call any church board member listed below:

Calvin Greene 509-760-9510

Loni Lutz  509-476-3170

John Nissen  509-429-0408

Peg Roulet  509-429-1201

Bob Warriner 775-742-1402

Ron Wilson. 509-486-2020

Oroville Free Methodist Church 1516 Fir Street Oroville, WA 98844 509-476-2311