San Diego, California's Rock Church has announced four of its campuses will finally resume indoor worship services this Sunday at 50 percent capacity. The move comes after California churches have endured a year of some of the most extreme restrictions in the country.
"With the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing churches to meet indoors, the Rock Church leadership has been meeting to assess the feasibility of how to do it safely. This involves preparing the physical buildings, training staff and volunteers, and making the necessary safety precautions," Senior Pastor Miles McPherson said.
Worship services will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Sunday at the church's Point Loma, City Heights, San Marcos, and East County locations.
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The church also noted the Chula Vista campus and microsites will continue to meet outdoors for a 10:00 a.m. service.
Worshippers are encouraged to RSVP each week and arrive early to ensure time to find a seat. They will also be required to wear a mask upon entering the facility, with the option to remove it once seated. Seating indoors will support comfortable distancing and attendees are asked to maintain an appropriate distance from those outside their household. All staff and volunteers will be required to have temperature checks, but temperature checks will be available to everyone upon entrance.
Families will have the option to sit together in the sanctuary or have their children check-in at Rock Kids. For those planning on checking their children into Rock Kids, it is recommended to RSVP and arrive early as space will be limited. Masks will be required for children in Kindergarten and older at check-in.
In an effort to remain as touchless as possible, those attending the indoor services will be asked to leave bags and purses at home, so that baggage checking needs are kept to a minimum. Food or drink will be prohibited inside the church building with the exception of water.
McPherson explained why the Rock Church waited until after Easter to resume services indoors.
"Due to being able to have only 25 percent capacity indoors, we made the decision to wait until April 18 because we didn't want to invite people back for Easter and then have to turn them away. We wanted to have it be a positive experience after over a year of meeting online and outdoors for church," he said.
While transitioning back to worshipping indoors, the church's leadership team noted the many challenges of the past year. Even though the church's buildings were closed, the congregation demonstrated the importance of serving the community and exemplifying the love of God outside the four physical walls of the church building. While the church looks forward to re-launching indoor services, it will continue to serve the San Diego community through its volunteer efforts.
For those who choose to stay at home, worship services are also streamed on Rock Church Facebook, Pastor Miles Facebook, YouTube, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Sundays.
For more information, visit: https://www.sdrock.com/sunday
As CBN News has reported, Gov. Gavin Newsom's office issued revised guidelines for indoor church services after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed the state's ban on indoor worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, but left in place restrictions on singing and chanting.
California had put the ban in place arguing that the virus is more easily transmitted indoors and that singing releases tiny droplets that can carry the disease.
Newsom's office said those measures were imposed to protect worshippers from getting infected.
The governor has been accused of religious discrimination because he hasn't applied the same standards and capacity limits to warehouses, big-box centers, shopping malls, liquor stores, fitness centers, and museums.
In another blow to the governor's COVID restrictions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Friday night to lift California's restrictions on in-home religious gatherings to include Bible studies and prayer meetings.