By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
One of the biggest church services of the year is right around the corner and local churches are taking different approaches to get ready.
Following a series of Supreme Court orders that indicated Oregon’s restrictions were unconstitutional, Oregon has lifted capacity limits on religious gatherings
The change, which advises, not requires churches to limit capacity went into effect on Dec. 18.
“The change to recommendations didn’t change a lot for us,” Pastor Rick Russell at Mountain View Fellowship in Redmond said. We’re still going to be safe, we are still going to follow those recommendations and people here have had really great attitudes about what we need to do to be safe.”
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bend is getting ready for Christmas Eve service.
“We have sanitation out there for people as they walk into the church so they can sanitize themselves,” Father Jose Thomas Mudakodiyil said. “We have pews blocked off so that they are not close. We have masks available for people to wear”
St. Francis will limit in-person capacity to 25%, multiple services, and an online reservation system.
“At midnight we will be having a celebration of our savior Jesus Christ in the downtown historic church,” Mudakodiyil said.
The midnight mass service at the downtown location will have an online reservation limit of 60 people.
Mountain View Fellowship in Redmond is taking a different route.
“We are going to be in the parking lot,” Russell said. “We are going to have an FM transmitter for people who want to stay in their cars. We are going to have fire pits for those who want to wear masks and stay distant. I think it is actually going to be a lot of fun.”