November 16, 2020

Our Response to the Latest COVID-19 Guidance from the State of Oregon

Bill Wilson

Regarding the Network Office

On Friday the governor announced a two-week ‘freeze’ across Oregon taking effect from Wednesday, November 18 through Wednesday, December 2 in every county in the state. The two-week freeze includes “requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.” In complying with this two-week freeze the Oregon Ministry Network office will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday.

Boyd Powers

An open letter from our Lead Pastor, Bill Wilson, regarding the latest restrictions on worship gatherings.


Good morning!

Thank you for keeping the faith community updated.  It is helpful to have a clear and direct line to your office and to know that you are an advocate for the faith community to Governor Brown. 

Please allow me to again express my concern about what seems to be an overreaction directed at the faith community. 

As you know it is understood that church services and faith gatherings are essential to the emotional, mental, and spiritual well being of Oregonians.  The increase of distressed and depressed Oregonians is one of the serious outcomes of people being restricted from faith gathering and social interaction.   Many pastors have alerted me to the increased numbers of calls they are receiving from people seeking help and hope in these troubled times.  I am sure you are aware that the lack of worshiping together with others in-person has had serious consequences to the well-being of people.    

I am requesting that Governor Brown and her team reconsider the current announced restrictions to 25 in-person gatherings and work with percentages of sanctuary seating capacity. This would make more sense in light that most of OMN church buildings can accommodate 300 to 1500 people under normal circumstances. To restrict them to 25 people seems excessive and unnecessary.  

I am proposing that Governor Brown move to a percentage of at least 25% to 50% of capacity of the sanctuary size like many other states are doing. This would win favor with more Oregonians and help avoid legal responses and still honor the efforts of the governor to keep Oregonians safe during the current pandemic as she has often stated. 

Over the last several months I have traveled the state, working with our nearly 200 churches in the Oregon Ministry Network and have witnessed the extra measures taken to insure that every sanctuary is sanitized and safe for our nearly 40,000 attendees.  Our OMN pastors have made major adjustments in their gathering formats and service schedules to keep people safe – with sanitation procedures, limited seating, and physical distancing policies.  Although uncomfortable, attendees understand the concerns and are working hard to cooperate.     

I will anticipate the governor’s response and will be happy to discuss any of these recommendations and actions.

Again, thank you for your service and be blessed.  

Oregon Ministry Network

5745 Inland Shores Way N
Keizer, OR 97303