SAN DIEGO — Many local churches are having to adjust their normal Sunday schedules in response to event restrictions going into place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rock Church in Point Loma held an online-only service Sunday morning, which included a panel featuring San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other community leaders.
The morning looked very different from a typical Sunday. Church staff stood outside before the service to stop anyone who hadn’t heard they’d transitioned to online services. The foyer inside, usually packed with church-goers, remained empty. Inside the sanctuary the worship team sang to empty chairs, with only a handful of staff members seated sparsely throughout the room as the church’s congregation watched online.
“There’s a ban. Obviously we can’t meet, but we’re going to have church,” Pastor Miles McPherson said. “God isn’t on vacation. As a matter of fact, we need him more now than ever.”
After worship, McPherson gave a brief 10-minute sermon before inviting the panel to introduce themselves. Those on the panel included Faulconer, Dr. Wilma Wooten with San Diego Public Health and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.
“We’re not going to lose our connection,” Faulconer said. “Even though we’re talking about social distancing and all the things that we need to do. Staying connected to San Diegans, staying connected with our families and our friends — that’s who we are.”
Throughout the panel, Wooten offered facts on the coronavirus and worked to dispel misinformation.
“Even if they’ve been exposed, if they do not have any symptoms, what we know now is that they cannot pass the infection on to another person,” Wooten said. “You have to have symptoms to infect someone else: fever, cough or acute respiratory distress.”
The panel wrapped up with each panel member calling on the community to pray. Then the pastor concluded the service with a prayer.
“I pray the world will see us as a model of how a city can come together and fight and overcome any crisis or disaster it will face,” McPherson said.