Amidst the craziness of drive-thru strip clubs and people being forced off the beaches, communities are fighting for a semblance of normalcy. Some just want to get together in a place for worship and go to church.
Apropos, California Church United announced they’ll be reopening for in-person services. This is a network of 3,000 houses of worship choosing May 31st to reopen because it’s Pentecost Sunday, marking the birth of the Christian church. This is in spite of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders, planning to reopen rather than waiting for the governor’s “Stage 3” which will at some point include churches, salons, and gyms.
On Fox News, the Water of Life Community Church Pastor Danny Carrol explained that churches are part of the answer, not part of the problem. They are an essential part of this whole journey and have been bypassed; kicked to the curb and deemed nonessential.
Pastor Mark Brown of Riverside’s Sandals Church also slammed Gavin for declaring churches nonessential in the first place. It puts Christians in a spot between choosing the governor’s orders or following their faith. “We are torn between caring for and loving our people and his order. He didn’t ask us. He overstepped and he’s overreached, And he needs to step back and he needs to declare that the church is an essential part of what we do as Americans, as what we do as Californians.” Brown said.
Church United founder Pastor Jim Doman also pointed out that we have a pastor in the south, in Chula Vista, feeding hungry people a mile long in cars, socially distancing. How can churches not be essential? “We are not the…NBA. We are not a gathering of strangers. As pastors, we bury these people. We bleed with these people. We are a family, not a group of strangers.” Fresno’s Family Christian Assembly Pastor Eli Loera said.
For unable to meet for so long, it’s been particularly strange for most. If a plague is set to kill us, prayer requests are on the top of many’s lists. Christians believe in the power of praying together, and being told that churches can’t meet doesn’t seem perfectly right.
There is, particularly, a bit of hope in California. Government officials and Gavin might be too busy kicking people off the beaches and distracted by Lifeguard duty to notice churches having services again.