Today was my shopping day so I went out and got my groceries for the next week. Penny likes grocery day because she gets a couple of runs and gets to watch people in the parking lots.

The county reported one new confirmed case of COVID-19 today, bringing the county’s total to 212 cases. Health officials report four people are hospitalized, with two of those patients in the ICU. There are 39 people recovering at home and 168 people have recovered. The county has had one death attributed to COVID-19. County health officials say 2,063 coronavirus tests have been conducted at the public health lab and more than 2,000 tests have been conducted at private labs.

Researchers have discovered a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates from the novel coronavirus, a new study reveals. A research team led by Northwestern University analyzed data from hospitals and clinics across China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Patients from countries with high COVID-19 mortality rates, such as Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, had lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients in countries that were not as severely affected, according to the study. Remember this is one study and it only shows a correlation. A correlation only means there is a relationship and not a cause and effect. For example there may be a correlation between a high income and living in an exclusive neighborhood but it does not mean living in an exclusive neighborhood will cause you to have a high income.

Leaders of several evangelical churches announced Thursday that they will reopen their sanctuary doors on May 31, defying Gov. Gavin Newsom’s schedule for reopening sectors of the state that have been shut down for several weeks because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

Under Newsom’s schedule, which falls into four stages, churches come under Stage 3, along with hair and nail salons, gyms, movie theaters, weddings and sporting events without live audiences.

But during a news conference at the Water of Life megachurch in Fontana, faith leaders representing megachurches and smaller congregations adding up to thousands of faithful in California said they are not prepared to wait much longer, and will reopen on May 31 — the Day of the Pentecost.

According to Christian tradition, this day commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. Observed 50 days after Easter, the Day of the Pentecost marks the birth of the Christian Church.

So, it’s only appropriate that churches are “reborn” on that day, and begin to welcome their flocks that have been starved for spiritual support and guidance during the pandemic, said Danny Carroll, senior pastor at Water of Life Community Church, which is 26,000-strong and typically welcomes 8,000 for weekend services.

“Our churches are part of the solution, we’re not the problem here,” he said. “But we’ve been deemed nonessential. We’ve been kicked to the curb.”

Carroll said these churches are not trying to spark rebellion or activism with their move to reopen. Evangelical faith leaders did participate in a conference with Newsom earlier Thursday, and are working with his office to ensure that churches can be opened sooner, he said.

Carroll said churches all over California have continued to serve their communities by providing masks to health-care workers and food for the needy, but are being prevented from worshiping together while following physical distancing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some churches already have begun their rebellion against state- and county-issued orders. On Sunday May 3, the 412 Church in Murrieta resumed in person services in defiance of state coronavirus-pandemic orders that permit parking-lot meetings where worshipers participate from cars, but not indoor gatherings.

A sister congregation in San Jacinto plans to follow suit on Sunday, May 10, all while following physical distancing guidelines, according to an attorney who represents both churches. A federal judge recently blocked Inland Empire churches from opening their doors to in-person services.

The pastors who gathered in Fontana questioned why churches are not considered an essential service when home improvement stores remain open?

“You have churches in Santa Ana and Los Angeles feeding people and meeting their needs,” said Pastor Jim Domen, founder of Newport Beach-based Church United, which he says represents more than 1,000 pastors in California. “How can Costco stay open but not the church?”

Pastor Matt Brown, who founded Sandals Church in Riverside, was critical of Newsom’s approach, especially when it comes to the faith community.

“My church made 10,000 masks and gowns for doctors while practicing social distancing,” he said. “We feed people and procure electronic devices for seniors who are isolated. (Newsom) has no problem with all of that. But, when we want to gather to worship, he has a problem. We want to be treated as adults and citizens. We have the freedom to gather to worship.”

The church has always led during times of need, said Diego Mesa, senior pastor of Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga.

“The church is more than an institution or a Sunday morning gathering,” he said. “We’re asking to be allowed to reach out to people in need.”

Many churches, including his, will reopen May 31, Carroll said.

“The train has already left the station,” he said. “Churches are ready to roll out, no matter what. That said, we are not trying to be rebels or be activists here. We don’t want to go to court over this.”

But, faith leaders are feeling “completely disenfranchised in this discussion,” Carroll said.

“We are not the MLB or the NBA,” he said. “We are not a gathering of strangers. As pastors, we bury these people. We bleed with these people. We are a family, not a group of strangers.”

California Conservation Corps continues to work with Cal Fire to clear brush to reduce fire risk.

A group of cattle standing on top of a dry grass field

Description automatically generated

©Copywrite MPFitch

It is full moon time.

A night sky

Description automatically generated

Published by mpfitch

I am a retired disabled veteran and am actively involved with a Baptist Church on the Central Coast of CA. I am a photographer who likes to shoot portraits and scenic photographs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: