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Houses of worship adjust to Covid-19 restrictions once again

Under the purple tier, places of worship must halt indoor operations once again. Action News Now reached out to churches with local worship services to see how they are adjusting.

Posted: Nov 21, 2020 10:54 AM
Updated: Nov 23, 2020 11:54 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Places of worship are once again forced to shift services after Butte County was placed in the state's purple tier.

At St. John's the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Chico, the plan is to go back to virtual services.

Reverend Yale says things were going well and the sudden shift back to the purple tier caught them off guard, but they were ready to make the transition. Even though they can host services outside, they are choosing not to. 

During the first shutdown the church hosted outdoor services, but Reverend Yale says this time that won't happen due to weather concerns.

Church member Sherry Wallmark said the most difficult part is that during these times of need it is hard not being able to gather together. She said,  however, that she understands why it needs to be done. Wallmark says even though they can not gather indoors, they can still come together "in spirit."

"Church is more than this building. "It's more than the person-to-person contact," she continued. "It doesn't stop us from still praying and hoping."

Reverend Yale said it was best to adapt with virtual services for the time being, due to the cold weather.

Reverend Yale says when they get the green light to be able to continue with indoor services they are prepared to make that switch quickly.

Action News Now also spoke with the pastor at Calvary Chapel Church in Chico.

He says they are preparing to make the shift to outdoor services.

"Everybody is rolling with the punches." said Pastor Richard Marksey, "We are taking it as it comes and doing the best we can."

The church is already familiar with hosting outdoor services, they did so back in June.

Pastor Marksey says they will continue adjusting to any changing guidelines to help protect their community.

If the weather gets too bad they will have to host services virtually, he said.

The church will take it week by week when deciding whether or not to host the services outside, Pastor Marksey explained.

Action News Now also spoke with members of Congregation Beth Israel in Chico. They say they been hosting services virtually since the pandemic began and plan to continue doing so. 

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It's just about as hot today as it was yesterday... right on track for late June. Isolated showers and thunderstorms are still possible, but probably not as numerous as yesterday up north. We're on the cusp of a big change, however.
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