Oxnard Church to Restart Indoor Services

By George Miller

… Calvary Chapel Oxnard to restart indoor services

Several high-visibility churches statewide are publicly resisting the state’s re-instituted ban on indoor live services. Newbury Park’s Calvary Chapel Godspeak very publicly restarted its indoor services in May, then later dropped the social distancing. Ventura County warned them twice, sued them last week, and was granted a temporary restraining order to halt the services. Church elders voted unanimously to continue anyway and did today, surrounded by TV news crews and a few protesters. Even an atheist attended to show solidarity, he told one of our reporters (see our separate story).

Calvary Chapel Oxnard began socially distanced indoor services after the ban was lifted in May, stopped them when banned again, but will restart them next Sunday. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us

Meanwhile, another Calvary Chapel, in Oxnard, has taken a more nuanced and much quieter approach. The church saw attendance plunge when the state banned services completely. They have had a strong online presence for years, so that continued and some of the former churchgoers joined in. When Calvary Oxnard restarted after the ban was lifted, it was with socially distanced indoor services, with about 200 attending. When indoor services were again banned, it moved them outdoors, with an attendance of nearly 300.

Calvary Chapel Oxnard has been getting about 300 attendees at its Sunday morning services started in July and a smaller number at Wednesday evening ones. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us.

After great thought and discussion, the church developed its own, unique approach, which Senior Pastor Lance Ralston announced today at their outdoor service. They are continuing the successful online services as always. They will continue the outdoor services as weather and attendance permit. But they will restart their socially distanced indoor service at 11 am next Sunday, August 16

It was interesting to hear Ralston’s well thought-out rationale behind it, based upon both temporal and spiritual considerations, briefly summarized:

-The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t live up to its billing as another Spanish flu situation. Its actual severity and death rate are far, far lower than the millions forecast, but the reaction hasn’t really been dialed down to the lower threat level. Death rate in the county has been 1/100 of a percent. Among young people, it is nearly nonexistent and among non-senior adults, the risk of death is remote.

-The county and state have persisted with inappropriate restrictions which have severely harmed the economy, society, liberty and of course, worship. It is the most at risk who need protection.

-Government id=s now interfering in mankind’s relationship with God and that is unacceptable to this church. Pastor Ralston sees a satanic influence when you peel away the layers of what they are doing. Much of the state/county are open because certain things are deemed essential: food, utilities, construction, health care, most government, transportation, pot shops,  liquor stores (he said to keep The People numbed) , abortion mills and nationwide protests. The last one was very telling and was the last straw, since officialdom raised no real objections to millions protesting and far worse all over, with little social distancing, etc.

– Officials, media and others say churches should just stick to outside services. Ralston responded that the state has constantly changing restrictions, more severe, less severe, ban this or that. They may lock it down again or just ban it outright. This is not their decision to make, especially as the threat rationale is greatly exaggerated. The Bible in Romans 13:1 says that people should obey the government laws. But they must be Godly laws/enforcement. Peter in Acts 5:29 says “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” when in conflict. The county and state have crossed the line and that God should take priority.

-People need the fellowship of in person services and other activities. Online just doesn’t do it, although it’s better than nothing. Outdoor services are OK as long as the weather permits, but some people are not up to it. The people are the church, but we have a church building which is designed for services.

-Different churches and people have different needs. For example a church comprised mostly of seniors, should stay away from densely packed indoor services.. However, one comprised of mostly younger people will not have the same problems.

-Since Calvary Chapel Oxnard has a wide range of ages and health states in the congregation, it is making several options available- online, outdoor and socially distanced indoor services.

-He prayed for churches to do right as guided by the Lord, and  for government officials to be do the Lord’s will. Ralston stated that this is NOT about defiance, but complying with God’s laws. He was obviously strained by dealing with this conflict.

-He observed that some congregants might have objections and asked that that they respect the  decision and have faith in them. But he said that if they don’t, he respects their decisions, suggests they may consider leaving if it isn’t acceptable to them and that they have his prayers.  But the applause for the decisions made it clear that he has strong support.

Watch Pastor Lance’s video: Obey Who?

Local Church Adapts to Renewed CA COVID-19 Lockdown: “The Church Has Left the Building!”

Local Church Adapts to Renewed CA COVID-19 Lockdown: “The Church Has Left the Building!”

    By George Miller Calvary Chapel Oxnard (Web, Facebook) has operated locally for over 40 years, in increasingly larger buildings. Last year, the large and diverse congregation of 1200+ moved into a much bigger industrial building adapted for church requirements. They were running three church services on Sundays, one on Wednesdays and other events, […]

 


George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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Bruce Boyer Candidate for VC sheriff

If you examine the facts ( VCounty 8560,000 people one hundred deaths attributed to C-19, statistically about the same as any other flu strain) Any argument as to the ‘deaths”/ Compare to Swine Flu Spanish Influenza: those had serious real death rates not the 1/ 100,00 for an otherwise healthy adult: Go ahead and argue as to death rates here vs. there and look at say Sweden; however the following are facts:
Fact: I and many others do NOT wear masks or SD and we attend church services with the same. I attend Grace Community; we had 8,000 people again on Sunday, and that was the second service! 95% of the people are mask free and little SD. Lots of hugging and hand shaking! That’s every Sunday plus Sunday night extras! That be fact.
Fact: We are not getting sick or dying. Not happening.
Therefore ONE or ALL of the following must be then true: IF people are ‘safe’ by wearing masks and sheltering place yet we church attenders are ‘safe”; then either the panic-demic is just that A LIE: and, OR masks make no difference ( again we are not sick or dying; OR that church attendance gives us immunity!
If the C-19 is real and deadly we church people should be dropping like flies! Oh, but we are not. So it can’t be a ‘mask” or SD cause we dont’ so that means that either the C-19 is a lie or God gives us immunity! I’ll go with whichever one you choose! Just applying logic….

Sue

Covid19 is now the third most popular way to die in ths United States right behind heart disease and cancer. This is with a chaotic public health approach to containing the disease. We need to slow the spread until there is a vaccine, improved treatment and a way to correctly identify those at risk.
A person running for Sheriff should have a better grasp of public health issues.

Claude Todoroff

Herr Miller, why is there no FB link so I can share this on FB sites?

Ellen

It’s a pretty weak God that can only be found in certain buildings. What happened to omnipresent?

Rick

God should take priority?

Really?

Actually, I think public health and safety takes priority.

… and isn’t god “everywhere?” Because if that’s true, you can miss a couple of months of going to church and still be a good practicing Christian, Muslim, Jew etc.?

Public health trumps EVERYTHING.

We need to stop being so selfish and inconsiderate of others and care for our fellow man. You know, like it says in the bible, Koran and Torah. If that means closing churches until we get this thing under control, I’m pretty sure your god will be okay with that.

VCsurfer

What Ralston is doing is safer than going to Costco, Walmart or Ralph’s and also offers choices. Using your own “logic,” you will now have to stop going to the store, you selfish #*&^!

C. Collier

Public health trumps EVERYTHING? Seriously? What about civil and constitutional rights? In the United States of America, the Constitution trumps everything. I’m not willing to give up ANY of my rights so little snowflakes don’t melt. And, just BTW, I’m in the “vulnerable” class, yet I don’t let that have any effect on my life. I go where I want, when I want.

Paul Caron

As a Roman Catholic, it’s a little different. We have a hierarchy, as opposed to non-denominationals. So the whole Church falls in line based on the Archbishop. A church is about life. And protecting the most vulnerable is a Christ-like act. If outdoor services do that, then so be it. But I do concur. The protests were a complete hypocrisy on all this. God bless.