How We Work: Life in California, Life in Uganda

by Loren Linquist, as told to L.R. Ames Today I work with home-schooling families in our beautiful Conejo Valley, teaching Spanish and doing what I can to help. But I used to live and work in San Jose, California, for 13 years, teaching bilingual education and training teachers for the San Jose Unified School District. All that changed in 2004, when my husband Craig and I uprooted ourselves from San Jose and went to Africa with the desire to serve the people of Uganda. There, we met a very different…

Governor Newsom shuts down churches again

Governor Newsom announced guidance prohibiting congregants from singing or chanting out loud on July 1st. This was followed by Newsom’s latest order on July 13th  that prohibits indoor gathering at houses of worship. While the initial ban did not expressly prohibit people from attending church, it did ask them to refrain from singing or chanting even while wearing the proper masks and being socially distanced.  One local church has taken a creative approach to this initial guideline. Living Oaks Community Church in Thousand Oaks has stated that although the church…

Replacing Fear with Hope

The Empty Tomb

By John Erwin, Associate Pastor, Agoura Bible Fellowship For most of us the coronavirus potentially represents the worst medical crisis we have ever experienced and has reached pandemic status. Even people of faith are gripped with fear, uncertainty and anxiety. The volatility of our emotions is only exceeded by the roller coaster of the stock market! Is there any good news? Is there any hope? I believe there is. It is wrapped around the hope of Jesus Christ this Easter Season. By the way, both optimists and pessimists have hope!…

Ventura County Relaxes Some COVID-19 Lockdown Rules

Golfer with Mask

Places of Worship Still Prohibited But Golf Courses May Now Reopen On Saturday, April 18, 2020, the Ventura County Health Department issued an update to their Stay-Well-At-Home order that relaxes some of the lockdown rules. The number of people allowed to staff online religious streaming services was updated from 7 to 10 people. Groups of less than 6 people are now allowed to meet. “It’s understandable that our community members want to get back to work and return to normal life as quickly as possible,” said Doctor Robert Levin. “The…

Is Communion an “Essential” Service?

Last Supper stained glass in Basel Cathedral

By Jim Clark Last weekend was Palm Sunday, which for Christians around the world marks the beginning of Holy Week. Controversy erupted when Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park, California provided communion to its members at their church despite the State of California “stay at home” order. This government order came with an extensive list of exceptions for individuals, services and industries engaged in activities deemed to be “essential” to public well-being.  Despite following CDC guidelines for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Godspeak was technically violating those…

Worshiping while under “Quarantine”

Pastor alone

THOUSAND OAKS, CA – Fellowship is fundamental for most religions. However, gathering together for worship services may no longer be possible with COVID-19 social isolation protocols in effect. Fortunately, many of our local churches broadcast their services on the internet so that people can participate from home during this health situation. Ken LaMont, pastor of Newbury Park First Christian Church, commented, “Over the past few months, not knowing where we would be today with the coronavirus pandemic, we started live streaming our services which prepared us for what we are…