Thousand Oaks Pastor Resigns Council Seat Over In-Person Church Communion, Makes National News

 

 

By George Miller and Debra Tash

Calvary Chapel Godspeak Thousand Oaks (GCCTO) Pastor Rob McCoy resigned his position on the Thousand Oaks Council last night. He had a conflict with the City over its order to ban nearly all public gatherings, which resulted in his resignation.

“Is the church going to sit back and say, ‘Well we’ll be relegated to non-essential?’” McCoy said. “Though we feed people, and that is essential physical food. …. Truth of the matter is we have the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment declares that Congress shall make no law restricting or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.” –  Pastor Rob McCoy

Although the Newbury Park church has been holding online services, McCoy decided that Palm Sunday communion should be done live and set up sessions, taking pains to ensure that it was safe. It incorporated “social distancing” policies, sanitizing, masks, gloves, six feet of separation, packaged supplies and only ten people at a time allowed in briefly, in rotation, in the cavernous 400 seat church.

When the announcement  (see below) got out, there was both immediate support and opposition. Vociferous critics said it was unsafe and would result in a rash of new infections. Supporters said it was safer than going to the store and that faith is in fact “essential.”

After reading about his procedures, it sounds safer than going to Costco or other stores. Congregant Amy Chen likened it to a “restaurant takeout.”

The crux of the matter is that unlike several other states’ policies, church services are not included in the exceptions list, because they are not considered “essential” here.  The session is in compliance with all of the social distancing/sanitizing points otherwise.

People are wondering why pot shops, liquor stores and abortion mills are open, but not churches, even when they follow rigorous sanitizing and social distancing procedures. This made it a First Amendment issue for Pastor McCoy. In his sermon Sunday morning on April 5th, McCoy emphasized that categorizing the church as nonessential makes Christ nonessential.  And has much as he cherished his position on the city council, he cherishes God above all.  

This has quickly attracted nationwide attention, for good reason.

 

Read communion announcement

 http://godspeak.com/what-about-communion
Please read his website and watch the whole video. His church is open for 2 hours for people who want to go take communion. They stand in line 6 ft apart outside and wait to go in separately into the completely sanitized church, they take their communion, then they leave. They are also passing out food. They are abiding by all CDC regulations. It’s safer than going to the markets where everyone is touching your items. It’s like going to a restaurant for take out.*
– Amy Chen
Read our upcoming news article on this by Michael Hernandez in Citizens Journal and keep the faith!
This is an opinion article.
*Ms. Chen modified her statement after she atteded today

Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of Citizensjournal.us, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis.

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

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J Martinez

Faith is good to have but it doesn’t need a crowd? Be safe and protect one another and practice your religion at home for now before this invisible killer takes more of us and our love ones and neighbors. If the church wants to help the community by giving food I think they should be able to aswell,as long as their practicing safe distancing and wearing facemasks to protect one another..just my opinion peace and be safe out there!

Kevin Harris

Response to Citizen Reporter:

1. Local and state have deemed pot, booze, abortion sand other things more important. Do you buy that too?
(Again, those things can not be acquired online, but the services can. Is booze essential? No, I do not think so, but if you’re a single parent stuck home with 3 kids having to educate them etc., maybe it is. Seriously. We’re all in unchartered waters here and I’m not going to judge people based on what might be “Biblical” sins. As for abortion, that’s a hot potato, but I am pro choice for the 1st trimester and as such it’s a medical procedure. It’s also legal, currently.)

2. Assembly is guaranteed by the constitution, not livestreaming as a substitute. The precautions taken negate any health objections.
(Yes, it it. And so is freedom to bear arms; the right of privacy; right to face our accuser in court; freedom of speech… and look at us, even before this virus hit. The fact is that we are living in a post-Constitutional America. No one hates that fact more than me, and you and I work to change that. But right now we are in the middle of a serious pandemic that I really would like to survive, George. And that requires smart and responsible behavior so long as it’s reasonable. Doing a church communion online instead of in person IS REASONABLE if it saves lives!)

3. McCoy is not a medical professional, but he followed CDC guidelines to the letter.
(That might be true, but there are other people working with him and people and situations are not fail-safe. Examples are everywhere. Hell, they accidentally admitted covid-19 cases onto the hospital ship in NY! Him doing this live is an accident waiting to happen.

4. Multiple states, none of them secular progresive havens, have deemed religious services essential.
(Then he should be doing this in one of those states.)

5. I’m glad Rob took a stand. He just told me he had to do it and that he will live with the consequences, one of which was relinquishing his Council seat.
(Another will be him facing criminal charges. If not, the police chief will have serious questions to answer.)

mike dunn

When the STATE arrests a surfer at Malibu using a armed coast guard cutter, a county patrol boat and sheriffs deputies………then the STATE has crossed over the line. Google malibu surfer.

mike dunn

The CDC is predicting 68,000 common flu deaths this season.
Meanwhile 4 people died yesterday in California from Covid. The biased media is libel for the panic they have created which has caused trillions of dollars in stock market losses. Where was the hysteria when swine flue killed over 15,000 people during the Obama/Biden administration?

Charleen Schuss

This is a long article but worth it. It compares Covid 19 to other outbreaks
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-deadly-is-the-coronavirus-compared-to-past-outbreaks

Kevin Harris

Regardless of whether you believe his communion services are essential or not, the facts are that
1) Local and state govt has deemed them non essential.
2) No one is denying religion to anyone, as the services and communion can still be done online or televised, as most other churches are now doing.
3) Despite the safety precautions that McCoy is taking, he is NOT a medical professional, and with how this virus so easily attaches to human cells (much different than SARS or flu), his gathering still puts individuals and the community at unnecessary risk.

Is Rob McCoy grand standing or is he just really earnest and marches to his own drum? I don’t know. I will not accuse him of bad intentions without knowing that answer. But he IS breaking local and state ordinances and he IS increasing bio risk during a pandemic. He and those who attend must be held accountable, otherwise it opens the door for anyone and everyone to ignore the quarantine. Like Spring Breakers on Miami Beach.

Ivonne

Thank you Pastor I agree 100% God is essential por places and abortion are essential? Are you kidding me ‍♀️ the world is seeing this pandemic and still don’t get in their knees ‍♀️ We need God and his compassion and recibe his body is essential God forgive them they don’t know what they doing ‍♀️

Dave Peterson

GOD is always relevant.To say otherwise is total blasphemy!Authorities in Florida arrested a man of GOD for violating the edict.Shame to all of you for this heresy!Judgment Day is coming may GOD forgive you!

H Wells

Thank you, Pastor Rob, for taking a stand for all churches! The practice of religion IS ESSENTIAL!

I hope to see a lawsuit that results in cities across America backing down from their attempt to delegitimize and “de-essentialize” religion and church. It’s an outright attack by nonbelievers to remove First Amendment rights from believers.