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  • Writer's pictureNeil Allen

FOTC Board Actions: Portland Oregon Convention Rough Schedule.

The Friends of the Creche Board met on May 6, 2021 via zoom.

There was lots of ground covered, and much of it centered around the Portland Convention. Here is a brief recap of the discussion on the Portland event.

The current Oregon Health Department guidelines for meeting (using the Faith Institutions section) indicates that if we met today, May 6, 2021, we could only have about 20% capacity of the space and be required to practice physical distancing, everyone wearing a mask, and be limited to one hour. However, on May 7, 2021 (one day later) the county holding our convention will move to "High Risk". This removes the 1 hour meeting mandate and allows us to move to 25% or 150 people, which ever is smaller. This allows us approximately 50 people with physical distancing, masks and other Covid-19 safety measures in place.

The Board suggested we cap the registrations to 50 persons until the risk levels decrease to lower levels. Therefore it behooves folks to get registered soon (at least the Convention registration portion. They expect to reopen on May 21, 2021, but they have sent us the code to the registration portal. To ensure we don't overbook please call or email Marilynn Gillespie for that link.

Naturally, much discussion centered on the issues surrounding viability and transportation (no bus companies other than the city buses are operating in Portland Metro currently - they too are only operating at 20% capacity). No firm decisions were made on this issue. We are hoping the bus companies will reopen soon.

The Board will reconvene in July to determine viability of the convention moving forward. This will allow us to make a statement of "go" or "no go" by our August 1st deadline. A zoom Conference will be held Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 10 a.m Pacific to address all things Portland Related.

While the board made no formal recommendation about vaccination requirements, they strongly leaned toward encouraging people to be fully vaccinated.

As of this posting, the interest in the Sunday outing to Multnomah Falls (Oregon's #1 tourist attraction) has no definite answers about special transportation or numbers of interest parties. The Falls buses run to and from the Gateway plaza, and are showing them operational at $10 per person roundtrip. Getting to the Gateway plaza takes about 1 hour via the Max Blue or Red lines ($2.50 full day fare for persons over 65 and $5 for persons under 65). This will require about 3 hours total ride time to and from the downtown max station (4 blocks south of the church/hotel). Other options for full/half/guided tours are available via the internet. They range in places from $60 (times available through Greyline) to $400 (which includes a full day adventure in the gorge and wine tasking). The Multnomah Falls park is free, you only need to calculate how to get there.

(Our lovely niece from PA admires Multnomah Falls)

The Rough Schedule for the Pre-convention outing to Lincoln City from downtown Portland indicates a 9 a.m. departure via ????? (bus companies are still not operating). We'll get you there - no worries!

11 a.m. arrival at Lincoln City - 1/2 of the group will go to St. Peter the Fisherman church to tour nativities, have lunch and enjoy each other's company. The other half will visit the Christmas Cottage Shop, tour the beach and local shops on the bay front. After a switch, we will be back on the road at 4 pm, and arrive back in Portland at 6 pm - time enough to enjoy local eats at a variety of offerings in the Theatre District.

Friday, November 5, 2021. Convention

8:00 a.m. Registration/ Manger Mart

9:00 a.m. Convention event at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – directly across from the Radisson)

Greetings, Welcome, Presentation of the Banners, Singing (provided it is safe), Speaker – Dr Johanna Younker

10:30 a.m. Break – Manger Mart/ Auction open. (snacks available)

11:00 a.m. Speaker (Susan Balotti) and Virtual “My Nativity Story” event (we need 3 presenters)

Noon: Lunch Provided

1:30 p.m. Load Busses for “The Grotto” (20 minute trip). Note: you may need raincoats, walking shoes, or not – our weather is very unpredictable at this point in the year.

2 p.m. Arrive at the Grotto – Tour the gift shop, lower & upper grounds. (note, you will need an additional $5 token to ride the elevator if you decide to come down and go back up). FOTC will provide you with the token for one trip). This is a 62 acre campus, so give yourselves a bit of time to see everything. Wheelchairs are available on site for those with limited mobility. FYI, the upper chapel is STUNNING!

4:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Presenting the Grotto’s history and Madonna/Child collection.

5: 00 p.m. Meal at the Grotto Conference Center (we hope! They have eliminated their staff due to COVID-19 lockdown – we are working on a separate meal event if that falls through at McMinamins at Edgefield – Quirky cool hotel and grounds about 10 minutes bus ride from the Grotto)

6:30 p.m. Return to the Hotel and church (help needed for transforming the meeting center – provided the church cannot make changes to their existing schedule)

Possible event: Portland Puppet Museum presentation – for the evening around 7:30 p.m. (we are still working through the details.).

Saturday, November 6, 2021

7:30 a.m. FOTC Board meeting at First Christian Church (Board members – a light meal will be offered – I hope to include this in the budget.)

8:00 a.m. Auction/Manger mart open

9 a.m. FOTC BUSINESS SESSION (Fellowship Hall – First Christian Church)

President Sydne, Treasurer, reports from Creche Herald and website, Next Meeting location reveal, Election of officers, and additional business.

10:30 a.m. Convention display open (featured sets from the Allen, Zenger, and other collections on display)

11: OO a.m. Rocks Tell a Story – Patty Rokus


1:30 p.m.

Speaker -

Virtual “My Nativity Story Presentations” (we will need 3 persons)

3:00 p.m. Break (all displays open) – 4 p.m. all vendors may pack down

Silent Auction Closed)

4:30 p.m. Closing Program


Carol Sing (if deemed safe)

Special Entertainment – Cindy and Alan Mair

5 p.m. Evening Meal + Auction Announcements

6:00 p.m. Clearing tables and transition to public open house

7:00 p.m. Displays open to the public – local news coverage, and lots of interested folks

(Friends of the Creche booth will feature a Membership Drive with giveaways)

8:30 p.m. Close Public event. (Transferring space back to church settings – need 15 folks)

Sunday - Church directory will be available. After church optional Multnomah Falls outing (transportation is currently on your own - see notes above).

Yes, we know, there will be lots of questions - we're trying to address them all, but please contact us if you see something that needs immediate attention.

Neil Allen - Webmaster, Convention Organizer

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