In the community

Malheur County churches adjust holiday services in wake of pandemic

Vale Christian Church is already decorated for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Pastor Paul Karsten said that his parishioners are ready for the pandemic to end. (Liliana Frankel/The Enterprise)

As Christmas approaches, local churches are taking measures to ensure that their celebratory gatherings will be Covid-safe, despite the pandemic-related fatigue and frustration expressed by parishioners whose main holiday wish is for all this to be over.

Since the state announced its first two-week pause on Nov. 11, church activities have been significantly restricted.

At present, places of worship can host only up to 25% of their capacity, or 100 people, inside, whichever is smaller. They are allowed to host 150 people outside. This has forced religious leaders to get creative as they plan for one of the biggest nights of the year. 

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