Pastors’ Update 07-17-2020
Hi Everyone and Happy Sabbath!
Linda and I hope and pray you are all doing well.
I know all of you are aware that reported cases of the COVID-19 virus have grown exponentially in several of the southern and western states, including California, Nevada and Arizona, over the past three to four weeks. Arizona has been especially hard-hit and their ICU beds are now at capacity.
Several governors have rolled back business and event openings, including state parks, bars, and inside dining at restaurants for the near future. Most states now require wearing face coverings in public. Additionally, The governor of California ordered that all “houses of worship” not meet for in-person services, in 30 of California’s 58 counties. This includes nearly 90% of the state’s population. Shasta County is one of those counties that are exempt from the order. So, we will continue to have in-person Sabbath services in Anderson. However, our congregations in LA and Bakersfield will no longer be permitted to hold in-person services. Also, we will not hold in-person services in Reno this Sabbath, since several members will be out of town this week.
Again, we will not have in-person Sabbath services in Sacramento or Stockton. The governor’s latest order regarding “houses of worship” not meeting in-person applies to all churches in the 30 counties mentioned above. Additionally, we are unable to use rental halls in both Citrus Heights and Lodi. They are city owned properties that are currently closed to the public.
We will continue to abide by the restrictions and guidelines of the State, Counties and Cities where we hold services. The Governors of California and Nevada issued an order requiring everyone to wear masks when in public or in an enclosed building with others. This order applies to those planning to attend Sabbath services.
The CDC has also reported one of the ways the virus is spread more rapidly is by being in a group where there is loud speaking (like bars and restaurants), shouting (like protests and sporting events), and singing (like churches), especially without wearing a mask. The spreading of the virus is increased when attendees breath in the “aerosol” of others in the air over a longer period of time, especially in a confined space. Based on this research, and in an attempt to be very cautious to prevent the spread of the virus, we will not be singing hymns in Sabbath services. We will play an opening hymn to remind everyone to sit down and prepare for the service. But, we will not sing along with the hymn in our meeting hall during services. The Governor of California has issued an order that churches should suspend singing in worship services. Again, we will comply with this temporary order. (Romans 13:1-2)
If any of us are concerned about the restrictions, guidelines, or our personal/family health issues (including age and/or pre-existing conditions), we should not feel we have to physically attend. That is a personal choice. We will continue to make a webcast of Sabbath services available for anyone wishing to stay at home.
If you decide to attend in Redding, we ask that you wear a mask and maintain social distancing requirements. Please bring your own water bottle or beverage container since we will not be serving beverages or snacks.