Pastors’ Update 07-24-2020
Hi Everyone and Happy Sabbath!
Linda and I hope and pray you are all doing well, especially during this pandemic.
I know all of you are aware that reported cases of the COVID-19 virus have grown exponentially in the United States. It was reported yesterday that the number of cases exceeded the four million mark! At least 152 new coronavirus deaths and 10,647 new cases were reported in California on July 23. Over the past week, there have been an average of 9,773 cases per day, an increase of 24 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
As of this morning morning, there have been at least 433,100 cases and 8,190 deaths in California since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a New York Times. California has now surpassed New York in reported cases!
In Nevada, 40,088 cases have been reported, with 709 deaths.
Most of the states have now rolled back openings and ordered additional restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Please continue to pray for one another and that this virus will be contained soon!
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.
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 30 of 58 counties. Additionally, we are unable to use city-owned and managed rental halls in both Citrus Heights and Lodi. They 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 or Reno, 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.