Local churches continue to hold indoor services despite returning to Purple Tier

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — After 41 counties in California moved back into the Purple Tier it forced indoor operations to close once again, including places of worship.

In Fresno County – some churches are disregarding the order.

Peoples Church in Fresno is one of many in the county that is continuing indoor services. After the state ordered places of worship and other indoor operations to close due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Community connections Pastor Larry Powell says the number of people attending Sunday is down compared to last week’s service.

“We’re not putting pressure for people to come, we’re still streaming as we have done since March, we’re going to continue to do that, and those folks who are comfortable watching us online, we’re saying praise the Lord, that’s fine too,” Powell said.

Powell says they’ve taken all precautions to keep parishioners safe.

“For example, inside the facilities we have foggers, so we simply go through and disinfect everything between every service, we make sure folks are as safe as possible, we’ve got hand sanitizers, we’re asking all of our folks to wear masks.”

Powell says they’re not trying to be defiant, they’re just doing what they believe is best.

“We feel that what we do here at church is an essential part of what needs to be happening in our communities,” Powell said.

In downtown, Cornerstone Church is also continuing indoor services, while still following the same safety protocols.

But other places of worship are keeping services outdoors like Northpointe church, near Herndon and Milburn.

Paul Carlson, minister of visual arts, says since late July they’ve only held outdoor church services.

“We’re just trying to be very sensitive to this time in our culture but also still want to be here and be a presence in our community,” Carlson said.

They’ve taken safety measures as well, folks spread out across the lawn. But as the weather is getting colder, Carlson says if they have to, they’ll go back to online services.

“We want to make sure people have a comfortable, safe worship experience with us, we’re just looking forward to doing this as long as we can,” Carlson said.

Law enforcement and city officials say they won’t be enforcing state orders.

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