By Heather Janssen

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — As some counties move into the most restrictive ‘purple tier,’ worshipping indoors becomes prohibited as part of state and county orders. But some area churches are opting to continue hosting their congregations inside.

In Stanislaus County, a pastor with Big Valley Church can be seen in a video announcing for this upcoming weekend, the church in Modesto and Ceres would still host indoor services.

Some Sacramento County churches are following suit despite tier restrictions barring them from worshipping inside. The purple tier allows places of worship to host outdoor gatherings or online services.

In Fair Oaks, Grace Bible Church sent a letter to their members and called assembly an ‘essential duty’ for those without health risks. In the note, Grace Bible’s pastor says, “the spiritual health of the Body of Christ is greater priority than the concerns over the health of the physical body.”

It’s also noted that the church would cooperate with the county “if reasonable,” but “where those things conflict, we will be choosing our spiritual priorities.”

Grace Bible Church plans to have outdoor accommodations or online options for those who don’t want to risk attending in person.

More from CBS Sacramento:

But this ‘leap of faith,’ as some would call it, has drawn mixed reactions.

“I think it’s kind of careless,” said Danny Stokes. But Lori Peterson felt differently, “The churches have a right to stay open.”

Sacramento County Public Health is urging churches to rethink this move. Dr. Olivia Kasirye said, “My plea to those churches is to think of their congregations and as leaders in their communities – think of what they can do to protect.”

Dr. Kasirye called out past church outbreaks and said it can be a high-risk environment, especially as community transmission trends upward.

Though other churches, like Capital Christian Center, is opting to stay online for now and follow county protocols.

“If we can help bring health to our community, the quicker our whole community gets back to health,” said Pastor Rick Cole at Capital Christian.

Though Cole said he can understand why churches may be making the decision to stay open in person, as mental health and financial hardships take their toll on the community.

According to their websites, both Big Valley Church in Stanislaus County and the Grace Bible Church of Fair Oaks do plan on following social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines, while also limiting the number of people who can attend.

Heather Janssen

Comments (23)
  1. James Wagner says:

    I just feel bad for the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who risk their lives to care for the sick, not for the foolish.

    1. Paul Brown says:

      yes, that is for those forced to treat AntiFa protestors, Sports players, and Government Officials!

    2. E Saronsen says:

      I very much agree with you and those same foolish people are also putting us all at risk, in addition to the health care workers. Inconsiderate!

  2. Betty Britt says:

    Everyone in this world has been aware of the seriousness of this pandemic now since February. Knowledgable people (doctors, scientist,etc – except politicians) have told everyone what they need to do to control the spread of the virus and to save lives. Here is how I feel. There are thousands of churches who have held online church and it was worked out just fine. I mysef and my family have sat down every Sunday morning and watched a service from the church that was empty except for the minister and some choir who were by the way – wearing MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING. If there are people out their that think the Lord says its ok to not take precausions to presevent themselves from getting ill, they they need to be allowed to do whatever they want and die from this virus and I am sure that then and ONLY THEN WILL THE LORD TAKE CARE OF THEIR SELFISH, STUBBORN SOULS. In the meantime all responsible members of congregation can do just fine staying at home and loving the Lord the from there.

  3. A J says:

    They’ll soon learn, God really is no respecter of persons! They were warned, yet ignored the dangers of C19, “they’ll cry out, why god, why me”??? …Can’t fix stupid folks or save em from themselves!

    1. Reverend is His name says:

      See, in a free country people have a choice. Only in dystopia, oppressive, murderous regimes does the populace have to live under mandate from strangers. “Almighty God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a SANE mind.” 2Timothy. You go ahead and be scared of a hoax cold virus gussied up as a devil. We will praise THE ALMIGHTY, and that is what separates us from faithless. We live our lives fearless and they cower under brainwashing like scared rabbits, running from a spook that does not exist. “The wicked flee when none pursue.” Covid danger is fake, its just a cold virus.

      1. E Saronsen says:

        Wow you sound less than smart and that’s an understatement! Your illogical thinking wasn’t in God’s plan, it’s just you being willfully ignorant! Pathetic. P r a y for yourself.

  4. Really Woke says:

    What the naive, afraid, uneducated about microbiology, simple minded folk dont realize is the when THE MOST HIGH wants your soul he will get it no matter if you wear a mask, social distance or soak in a full bath of sanitizer. The masterminds behind the covid hoax have the people so utter capitulated mentally that if they told them to wear a covid suppository tracker they would. Never mind the damage that this hoax is doing to entire populations with poverty, unemployment, suicides, hunger and mental illness. If masks work then 7 months of mask wearing would have stopped it. Why no eye coverings, or bio suits? It is all an elaborate psy-op in order to bring about dystopian control via the “great reset.” Look it up. You cant continue to play along with this “masquerade” to your own enslavement and detriment. Praise The Lord. Psalm 91.

    1. loveandlivetheword says:

      Total Onslaught (on Jesus Christ) end-time series:
      https://amazingdiscoveries.tv/c/2/Total_Onslaught_-_English/

      “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6)

      “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

  5. p3orion says:

    It’s a good idea to avoid enclosed spaces right now, especially in large groups, The state’s RECOMMENDATION not to have indoor church services, if that’s all it were, would be quite correct. However, their “order” banning churches to hold services flies in the face of two First Amendment rights: peaceful assembly and the free exercise of religion.

    Just because something is a good idea does NOT mean that the government has the right or authority to ORDER it. Our system of government is based on the presumption that adult citizens have the right to make their own decisions, for good or ill. Freedom includes the freedom to act foolishly.

  6. Blackhawks Fan says:

    At our church here in Houston, TX we have had live services of ~100 (20% capacity) since early August following strict masking and social distancing protocols approved by our medical panel and the Session (which also has a lot of doctors on it). We have had no COVID transmissions and have recently added a second service in a different venue. Likewise, no transmissions in the elementary school that operates on our campus. As I have also found out at work (petrochemical plant), you can do a lot if you just follow a good protocol to the letter. Now, if you’re stupid enough to think COVID is fake, that’s another matter. You probably also aren’t smart enough to follow protocols or even want to.

  7. bozo says:

    Three times the Bible tells the story of Satan tempting Jesus to do a dangerous thing because God will protect him. It’s referred to as the second temptation of Christ. And three times Jesus responds “do not put the Lord your God to the test.” These churches are doing a dangerous thing, claiming God will protect them. These houses of worship are playing the part of Satan in this passion play. These houses of worship have become houses of death.

    God will not be mocked.

    1. Not Scared A Bit says:

      Exactly thats why listening to the television set and letting it create your reality is dangerous. Never wore a mask, never social distanced, hugged, kissed, went to parties, Bar B q’s, and lived our lives without any sickness….none. The Almighty runs this show, get it? What about the massive homeless population that dont wear masks, wash, or ANYTHING, they are thriving in California in bunched up tents just as grimy as ever? In America we have freedom, and that means the freedom to be irrational and frightened of nothing. Covid is a common cold virus that only effects people with other health comorbidities and not healthy people.

  8. Ed Harley says:

    Good for the churches!! Resist at all costs, the dems want to stop people from going to God but let antifa and black liars murder flood the streets with idiots and criminals and loot and riot. They wont lift a finger to stop a 10000 people from attending a gay pride parade but send their SS stormtroopers to arrest a pastor and as his 100 church attendees! Resist Biden at all costs, #resisttheidiot

  9. Pwatch says:

    Short pain for long gain!

  10. Mark Matis says:

    SMASH THE FILTHY TRIBE SWILL AND STACK THEIR CORPSES IN TIMES SQUARE. Nothing will change for the better until then. They yearn for the “good old days” of their Messiahs – Lenin and Stalin – who they helped murder FIFTY MILLION across Russia and Eastern Europe. But those do not count since they were mostly only Goyim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. ragu4u says:

    Getting folks to attend “CHURCH” of any kind on a regular basis has been an uphill battle for years. Now with Covid-19, even the sparse amount of church attendees is dwindling away to nothing. It’s almost as if evil is going to win in the long run. Won’t Bill Mahr and his ilk be just thrilled? NO THEY WON’T because IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN. People need to keep attending the church of their choice, praying that God will see us through this pandemic. But while doing so, wearing safe attire & keeping socially distant. God WILL honor these gatherings & hear these prayers.

  12. TJ says:

    Keep crowding into those churches and hosing each other down with virus. Soon there’ll be fewer superstitious fools for the rest of us to deal with.

    1. Doubting Thomas says:

      The “superstitious” you speak of could be the people going along with a hoax brought to them via television, social media, cooked books, financially compromised experts, and government lackeys creating the illusion in your mind of a covid pandemic when in reality there never was one. There is no difference in belief in an invisible God or an invisible devil (covid), both are invisible, however God is provable by this creation’s majesty and a covid pandemic isnt. It does not take 7 months for a pandemic to wipe out a population. They are still soliciting blood donations, which would not happen in a pandemic. p.s. The toilet paper you use does not come from a sterile facility, a contagious microbe would have “wiped” us all out by now. Awaken from your slumber.

  13. R. L. Hails Sr. P.E. (Ret.) says:

    I attend daily Mass in an old folks community, average age 75 – 80, lots of wheel chairs and walkers. We have used every other pew, masks, 6 ft distancing, sanitizer, for hundreds of services and many thousands of Communicants. Not one COVID case has occurred. (A young relative partied in FL, in the summer, visited his G’parents and infected them. Both stopped coming while in the hospital.)

    I offer a thought: You are allowed to die; you are not allowed to quit. And pray for our nation.

  14. Blue says:

    The headline on Drudge to this article proclaimed, “Churches Continue to Defy Restrictions”. In an country founded on liberty and freedom, it is worrisome that so many so willingly abdicate those freedoms in exchanged for a perception of security.

    Ben Franklin correctly stated, that, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    The government derives no powers not freely and willfully given by the consent of the governed. It is astounding how quickly and en masse our fellow citizens have been willing to forego fundamental liberties. Be warned, the government and those who desire to limit your liberty, have taken notice and they will continue to push those limits.

  15. phil rogers says:

    The collection basket is made for indoor use, so you have to bring the flock inside. They dig a lot deeper in their wallets when you’re watching them.

  16. fiddlestix says:

    God isn’t needed, just stay home like aunt Nancy and little Nuisance. Don’t go get haircuts, go to fancy restaurants. Oh wait…..

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