JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Church congregations aren’t able to worship in the same place due to the governor’s social distancing guidelines, but that isn’t stopping them from worshiping together.
The Sabbath is on Sunday for some and Saturday for others.
Jim Durham is a Worship Associate Pastor at Gracepoint Fellowship in Medford and leads some of their services.
No matter what day the Sabbath is recognized, the goal for everyone is to meet together and share testimony.
“All of the newness of trying to run a church when you’re not able to open the doors, it’s been pretty difficult. Through all that, though, the profound thing is how unified we have become as a staff,” Durham said.
Durham said the church has streamed services for over a year already, but services are now offered online by many other organizations, usually live on Facebook.
He said the platform can help the church reach more people than ever before.
“Every weekend we have over 100 people online with us. That’s another whole church if you think about it. Now, with nobody else being allowed to be in the building, we have hundreds and hundred of people joining us at 7:30, 9 and 11 am and it’s truly amazing,” he said.
Ceci Robe and her husband live in Central Point and moved from her homeland in Brazil in the late eighties.
They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who some refer to as “Mormon.”
Their church leaders instructed them to have in-home Sacrament services, like Communion, every Sunday.
“It’s an ordinance and requires some reverence to it so we are not in our pajamas. We dress in our Sunday best and then we have that sacrament and that little gathering,” Robe said.
Robe said, even though she doesn’t see people often, like their daughter’s family in Georgia, ultimately this might help church members become even more connected with one another.
“Because we can’t see each other and because we don’t know if we’re going to see them on Sunday to check on them, there is definitely more conscientiousness around it. God loves all His children. He loves all of us and He is mindful of us,” she said.
For anyone looking for Catholic services in Oregon, Archbishop Alexander Sample in Portland posts on Facebook for members to stay connected to their faith and each other.
Links for websites and live worship services:
NBC5 News reporter/weather forecaster Aaron Nilsson is a Southern California native, but most recently lived in Seattle. He’s also lived in Sweden and Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Scandinavian Studies. While at BYU, he covered sports for BYUtv.
Aaron is not new to the Medford/Klamath Falls market. He was a local TV journalist from 2013-2017.
Outside the station, Aaron enjoys music, traveling, sports, movies, and cooking. His favorite sport is soccer.