Damascus Community Church & Damascus Christian School update on COVID-19 emergency, May 1, 2020
It has been a very unique season for all of us. And as the extensive mandates to “stay home, stay healthy” continue, we remain steadfast in our reliance on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to see us through.
We continue to closely monitor the progression of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are prayerfully reviewing all the latest guidelines and recommendations presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education, the Governor’s office, and a multitude of other reliable sources. As executive orders, guidelines, and recommendations are presented, we continue to seek God’s wisdom to discern how best to adapt to the current situation while at the same time caring for the spiritual, emotional, and educational needs of our church and school families and staff.
Below you will find the most recent updates for the church and school. Please review and contact us if you have any questions.
- For the time being we continue to limit access to our campus. Typically, there are no more than 2-3 people on site at a time
- The church office remains open from Noon to 4pm Monday through Friday
- We continue to ask for your patience as we do our best to follow up on phone calls, emails, etc.
- If you have an urgent matter and need to speak to someone right away use our “after hours” phone number (503-489-7297).
- This Sunday May 3 we plan to partake in Communion together remotely. So please get the proper supplies to participate with your family at home.
- No in person Sunday Worship Services on campus until at least June 7. However, we invite you to join our live-stream worship service each Sunday at 10am on our YouTube Channel.
- All other in person activities, events, and meetings are cancelled or postponed until further notice. However, we are encouraging all ministry leaders to connect online through video conferencing tools.
- Please continue to support the ministry using on of these methods:
- Online at our website: Please use our Giving Portal to set up a one time or recurring gift.
- Bank Bill Pay: Most banks offer a bill pay service that can be used to set up a recurring gift.
- U.S. Postal Service: Simply drop a check in the mail.
Reopening the Church:
7 weeks have gone by and we know people are beginning to get restless. We pray for peace and calm for everyone as we each deal with this extremely inconvenient and disruptive situation. We join you in the hope of gathering again soon and we have prayerfully started initial discussions about what reopening the church may look like. With this in mind, we would like to draw your attention to a couple of items for your consideration:
- Please read this very insightful article called, “Navigating Different COVID-19 Recovery Convictions”
- Also in an effort to include our congregation in the reopening conversation we have created a survey where you can give your feedback on some of the important topics we are discussing. Click here to complete it.
- Prayer Chain & Emails
- Our weekly DCC Newsletter
- Some announcements or updates may be shared during the livestream on Sunday mornings at 10 am, so be sure to tune in.
- Throughout the week we continue to share things like:
- Articles or links we’ve discovered related to the virus that might be helpful
- Worship songs and encouragement to get you through the week
- Reminders of announcements, schedule changes, etc.
- Opportunities to serve others in this difficult time
- Ways for parents to engage with their children in family worship
- And of course “Pandemic Ponderings”
We wanted to provide an update to our school families concerning finishing the school year amidst state mandates related to COVID-19. In the mist of this difficult time, DCS has been commended by our school families, other educators, and ACSI. We will remain committed to the following:
- Damascus Christian will continue to deliver our distance and digital learning initiated on April 1st for the duration of the academic school year.
- We will continue to weekly call families for prayer requests, distribute surveys and check in on how the distance and digital learning is going.
- We will foster students' academic growth, relationships with them, and spiritual development.
- There will typically be no more than 3-4 people on site at a time.
- Office hours will be irregular.
- We will follow up with phone and email messages as we are able.
- All in-person school classes and activities on campus have been suspended for the rest of the school year. Students will continue to use our digital and distance learning platform to complete the year academically.
- Teachers are onsite in a limited, intermittent capacity to prepare lesson plans and curriculum for both take home packets and online distance learning. However, they will primarily be working remotely.
- Our secondary teachers have decided to give 7-12th graders a moratorium or break from screen time starting Friday the 8th – Sunday the 10th. Students essentially have this time off and should be encouraged by parents to not work on any schoolwork. Also, teachers will not post assignments for the following week until Monday. We want our secondary students to take a break from screens. Students have been working diligently on screens for around six hours a day, and we want to provide them with a break.
School Activities: All items on the school calendar have been cancelled beside the ones listed below, which have been modified, postponed, or still being considered.
Governor Kate Brown has mandated a limit on gatherings and group size. The state’s plan continues to change as does our plans for end of year celebrations. Unless noted below, the original event dates remain unchanged.
- Jr/Sr Dessert and Senior Superlatives will take place on Friday May 15th at 8:30 PM by invitation only. Monday, May 18th, will be our alternative date in case we encounter rain.
- Promotion Ceremonies for both Pre-K and Kindergarten are still going forward as planned, but we are exploring alternative options if we are still unable to gather in large groups.
- Promotion Ceremony for 8th grade is still going forward as planned. However, as an alternative if we are still unable to gather, students have voiced preference to postpone the 8th grade promotion ceremony until the Fall of 2020.
- Commencement Ceremony and Senior Awards for 12th grade is still going forward as planned, but we are exploring alternative options if we are still unable to gather.
- We will be sharing our secondary student’s art next week via a Virtual Art Fair.
- We will be honoring our senior’s during the month of May through a variety of platforms.
Last days for different age groups include:
- May 22nd will be the last day for our seniors and they will not be required to take finals
- May 28th will be the last day for our kindergarteners.
- May 29th will be the last day for our 1st-11th graders. High schoolers will not take finals.
- We will have a final drop-off and pick-up day for packets and books and remaining school items from student desks and lockers on Friday, May 29th and Monday, June 1st from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM both days.
- Website (Check out the distance learning page)
In closing, we apologize for the length of this update, but trust that you have found the information provided to be helpful. We want to thank you all for your patience and flexibility during this difficult season. Continue to pray with us for the health and safety of all our church and school families and staff. We look forward to the day when we will again hear the sounds of God’s people gathered together singing His praises and the hustle and bustle of school students roaming the halls.
By His Grace,
The DCC Elder Council / DCS School Board