Guest Opinion: Clergy Response to Commissioners' Plea to Governor | Guest Commentary | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Guest Opinion: Clergy Response to Commissioners' Plea to Governor

Central Oregon clergy set the record straight: Churches have not closed during the pandemic

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We appreciate the Deschutes County Commissioners’ acknowledgment of the essential function of churches and passionate plea to the Governor to open church doors
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However, we want to affirm that we have never closed our churches. We have simply adapted how we are expressing our spiritual missions. We are thriving, connecting with our communities through live streaming, Zoom rooms, and phone calls. We are continuing our work to help those most in need in our community while maintaining the guidelines set up by health professionals and Governor Brown’s task force. 
As a coalition of clergy, we affirm that loving care for our individual members, as well as our collective Central Oregon community, is the primary guiding force of our decisions. None of us foresee the physical reopening of our church buildings in the near future. We feel a tremendous responsibility to make decisions that are in service to the health and safety of the greater whole. We will continue to strive to embody love for our neighbor and we recognize this does not come without sacrifice for the ways in which we historically have met together.


Rev. Jen Stuart
Lead Pastor
Bend Church (United Methodist)

Rev. Nicole Berry
Associate Pastor
Bend Church (United Methodist)

Rev. Steven Koski
Lead Pastor
First Presbyterian Church

Pastor Andrew Bansemer
Lead Pastor
Grace Lutheran Church

Pastor Chris Kramer
Lead Pastor
Nativity Lutheran Church

Johanna M Hershenson
Rabbi Temple Beth Tikvah

Jedediah D. Holdorph
Trinity Episcopal Church

Rev. Jane Hiatt
Senior Minister
Unity Community of Central Oregon

Rev. Scott Rudolph
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship


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