Jeremy McGarity
·
July 15, 2020

Close Down Again?

You've probably heard the news from the Governor of California. He has issued an order to close businesses and places of worship again. The County of San Diego has a right to not adhere to this order as San Diego has proven week after week to be one of the safest counties in the United States.  However, it appears our County is deciding to follow the Governor's order.

I want you to know that we take this very seriously as we take into consideration all factors in conjunction with public health. There are various aspects to public health. There is of course the one that has been focused on since March, the medical side of public health. However, there is also the emotional, economical, psychological, and spiritual health among others that MUST be considered when talking about public health. There is never to be a ONE SIZE FITS ALL program. What has been happening is an all out focus on one aspect of public health to the detriment of the other aspects of public health. 

While we understand the pressures our governmental leaders are under to stop the spread, we must not lose sight of the other health issues that have resulted from the various shut downs and quarantines. Indeed, the intended cure has become a massive public health problem itself.

While we must continue to protect the most vulnerable in our society, we have proven we can do that. As we have helped those who are most vulnerable throughout this pandemic, it is now time to help those who are most vulnerable economically, spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. I believe this is a both/and proposition, not an either/or. We can continue to protect the most vulnerable while opening our businesses, communities and churches. 

At Skyline Church, our goal is to strike a balance between the reality of a virus like Covid existing and the reality of the need for people to have the freedom to worship in church. We have followed all the guidelines and even gone above and beyond to make sure we are safe when we have had services. When many churches and businesses were ordered closed back in March, we knew very well our right to meet and indeed our 1st Amendment right of freedom to express our religion, but, we decided to follow our government’s recommendations to not gather, even when we had the right to. 

As restrictions were loosened we began to gather as permitted by our government. While we recognize the separation of church and state, we were being honoring of our governmental officials as required in Romans 13. While Romans 13 helps guide our consciousness during an uncertain time, we also are to be guided by Acts 5 where Peter and the other apostles were reprimanded by the government for disobeying their governmental officials and stated very clearly, “We are to obey God, rather than human beings.” 

So, this is the importance of understanding context. There are times when we most certainly should obey our governmental leaders. But, there are times when (as God leads the spiritual leaders of the church) we must pause and listen more closely for the voice of God in the midst of uncertain times. I have no doubt that Peter and the Apostles did that and came to the conclusion they came to. 

Therefore, after the Governor gave his update yesterday, we met as an Executive Team, then we met as a staff at Skyline, then we met as a Board at Skyline and I met with leaders of other churches and it is with much prayer and lots of hours of meetings that our leadership team at Skyline Church has decided that WE WILL REMAIN OPEN AS A CHURCH this weekend. 

We have gone above and beyond to make sure we have a safe and clean environment and we will continue to be safe and clean. This is the same for your kiddos. We will remain open for your kids. We are not the only ones remaining open this weekend, there is a tremendous unity among churches in San Diego and while some will close and some remain open, each church has its own good reasons for its particular decision.

I want to emphasize, if you have any concerns about this please stay home. I also want to emphasize, if you’re feeling any symptoms please stay home. Watch our online services which are the same services as we have in person. We believe those who have concerns will stay home and take part in church online and those who feel they need to be at church for their own spiritual health and well-being will be here. We trust YOU and your FREEDOM to decide what is best for you and your family.

We also believe we are contributing positively to the public health, especially the spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical health side by being out of the house and worshipping our Lord. 

Please RSVP this week at skylinechurch.org. We will also have the outside venue available under the umbrellas but it would probably be a good idea to bring your own chairs. Even going farther than that, you can stay in your car and tune your radio to 89.3 FM to take part in the service that way.
This is such an interesting time folks, but we know and have seen that God is moving and working in the midst of all that is going on. We LOVE you, we are praying for you, and we will see you SUNDAY! 

15 comments

15 thoughts on “Close Down Again?”

  1. dimchee said:

    Just saw you guys on the news. So awesome that you are remaining open!! Churches ARE essential! Wish more churches had the courage to fear God and not man. God bless!

  2. Richard said:

    Not sure what you are doing is the best thing, but, not sure there is actually any big risks (health) about doing this either. So proceed with this. But please, please do it to the best of your ability to utilize all that is known to stay healthy.

    Keep detailed notes so if something goes wrong, you can figure out what it was and learn from it..If a FEW attendees do end up positive, No big deal, just go thru the contact tracing honestly…. Bet you probably were not the cause. . And if nothing goes wrong ((this is probably going to be the case) please do not play the “I told you so” card.

    No only will you be doing God’s work, you can help the health officials understand what is and is not happening in Church settings. I think all of us can support that kind of effort.. Even Newsom supporters can understand.

  3. Joshua Cramlett said:

    Amen! 🙏🙏🙏🌍🌏🌎

  4. Peter Lupo said:

    It is nice to see a Leader confidently and respectfully lead – Thank You!

  5. Eddie Allegrezza said:

    If being closer to God is wrong….I don’t want to be wright…Fast Eddie

  6. Peggy Kauffman said:

    Jeremy I wish more churches all over California would do this. I was just telling my husband that our teenage grandkids need to be at church. Thank you for your stand and thank you for listening to the voice of God. From Apple valley California

  7. JEANNE m MAIDEN said:

    While I understand the bibilical references and people feeling as if their rights are being infringed, I also appreciate that this is not an either or proposition. I am glad you are not making it so. I also understnad the statistics and agree there is more than physicial health to be concerned with and I consider church essential. I love my church home and the people that are there. I have enjoyed gathering for the last few weeks however, as a person involved in healthcare for almost half a century, I also understand the theory of contagion and aerosolizing via droplets which does occur with coughing sneezing and singing as well as speaking- so masks in my estimation are essential even when singing. Additonally I understand statistics enough to understand which numbers to pay attention to and unfortunately when 2 of our major healthcare systems in San Diego have an increase in hospitalizations and an increase ICU patients due to covid I find that noteworthy. I think this is a risky step the church is taking. Have you considered outdoor services as other churches are doing?

    • Thank you Jeanne, I appreciate what you are saying and we have taken all into consideration. The healthcare experts we have consulted have shown us numbers as well. While it is hard to know who is having “fun with numbers” and making them say what they want them to say we believe we have real data from real healthcare experts in San Diego. We would NEVER risk our people’s health. We are taking all the precautions and considering all aspects of public health. Again thank you for taking time to comment.

      • JEANNE m MAIDEN said:

        Thank you for your assurance and taking the precautions you have. I am praying that will continue to be the case as this will be a huge aspect regarding my physical attendance. Thank you for your response and a forum to air concerns.

  8. Amy Halmaghi said:

    Thank you! I look forward to attending!

  9. Wiam Paulus said:

    I do not normally come to this church but when I heard you had the courage to stay open and actually be a true shepherd to all the sheep that feel lost and alone in a physical way I said this is my new church!!
    Shepherds are to lead their sheep and do whatever they have to when the enemy comes to kill steal and destroy
    I am so proud of the stand this church and it’s pastor and leadership team is taking
    Praying for you to have all the more wisdom and boldness to keep leading
    I spoke to the Pastor earlier today
    We came to America seeking relief from Islamic countries to come to this over a virus ……
    Thank You for your courage keep fighting I fight with you let me know how I can help

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