Why We're Staying Open
Our leadership has stayed abreast of the State's and the County's various directives for places of worship in response to the coronavirus over the past year. While we have had periods of closure, the Elders of Pacific Hope Church remain united in our decision to keep our church open for regular Sunday worship.
Our reasons are firmly rooted in the Scriptural context of the church’s obligations to obey governing authorities. In Romans 13, Paul points out that the responsibility of government is to punish evildoers, thus protecting the rights of citizens. Throughout Scripture we see that doing evil consists of violating the commands of God (1 John 3:4). In other words, governing authorities are also under the commands of God. Our obedience to governing authorities is therefore subordinate to God’s commands for, and to the church that allow it to function as His church.
When we originally closed a year ago, we acted in good faith to comply with orders based on the limited information available at the time. Over the months since then, it was apparent that the edicts of the governor of California are not constitutional. In fact, the Superior Court of Sutter County upheld a ruling that the governor overstepped his authority, changing state laws in violation of California’s constitution and trying to re-impose lockdown measures last winter.
Therefore, we continue to gather for Sunday worship and to function as a church under the headship of Jesus Christ, obeying God rather than man.
For an in-depth discussion of the Biblical principles touched on above, please read the article by Robb Brunansky from the blog by Alpha & Omega Ministries: It’s Too Risky to Close the Church, July 30, 2020.
What to Expect
We have reconfigured our sanctuary seating to its normal configuration. However, we will continue to offer generously spaced seating on our shaded patio with live-feed video for those who wish to worship outdoors.
We understand that for some vulnerable people, staying away from large gatherings may be a wise and prudent decision, done with a desire to be pleasing to the Lord. In these cases, we encourage you to participate remotely if you are uncomfortable or unable to join us in person. Please watch online via YouTube or through our link on the Pacific Hope Church web site (click here).
As a reminder, please stay home if you have any of the following:
Cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, headache, fever, chills, muscle or body aches, fatigue, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, recent exposure to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Soli Deo Gloria
John Leeder, for the Elders of Pacific Hope Church