This past Sunday morning, Heritage hosted three “outdoor in-person” services. They were glorious! It was so good to have sweet fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, although social distancing was in force. This Sunday, along with our Livestream, we will host three outdoor services again, however, with no need to register. Take the time to read the details below.
What is our governor’s response concerning church re-opening?
Unfortunately, Governor Newsom refused to meet with clergy and to reconsider his former decision. At the moment he believes churches should open at the same time sports and other stadium events should open. That is still not in the foreseeable future. However, many local, county and federal authorities are reasoning with him. Further, many are praying he changes his mind, which could happen at any time.
How are California churches responding to the governor’s lockdown?
Thousands of churches across the state are planning to open their doors on May 31. Most pastors have agonized over the question to re-open, as I have. Pastors desire to be outstanding citizens, pillars of their community and examples of humility and kindness; however, their deep love for their people and an uncompromising commitment to “feed God’s sheep” makes a decision extremely difficult. From the national webinars, statewide Zoom meetings involving hundreds of clergy, law firms and lobbyists; and conversations with local pastors, almost all want to extend respect for our governor, but feel great conviction to obey God and re-open.
What’s our plan for Sunday?
As always, for our beloved families desiring to stay home, our Livestream Service will begin at 8:30 Sunday Morning. In addition, we will host three “Outdoor In-Person” services at 10:00, 11:00 in the morning and 6:00 in the evening. No registration is required. Come one, come all. Bring your own lawn chair and umbrella to guard you from the sun. Children and youth Zoom services will be at their regularly-scheduled times (see the website). No childcare will be offered during our outdoor services.
How important is social distancing?
It’s very important for two reasons. First, our deep love for God’s people, and a desire to keep them safe is at the forefront of our motives. Secondly, we must maintain a good outward appearance to all onlookers. Churches have been instructed to follow outdoor social distancing protocols set forth by businesses, restaurants, parks and beaches. Wearing a mask is strongly encouraged; sitting at least six feet away from the nearest non-family member and refraining from handshaking, hugs and other forms of greeting is vital. Although the vast majority of people are supportive of what we do, it only takes one bad photograph to smear the whole Body of Christ.