We remain Open

HOSANNA'S OFFICIAL STATEMENT

 

 

Hosanna Christian Fellowship, Inc has been ministering to the spiritual, physical and mental/behavioral needs of our community since our founding over 44 years ago. In that time we have created ministries that provide specific services for those around us.


We maintain that our church, Hosanna Christian Fellowship Inc, Lifeguard Humanitarian Relief Agency and our Los Angeles County approved Hosanna Counseling Center (which provides family, individual, and court mandated drug, alcohol and domestic violence counseling), all provide essential, critical services that are constitutionally protected for the total spiritual, physical, mental and behavioral health of everyone involved.

Specifically, the behavioral mental health and food distribution services provided by Hosanna Christian Fellowship, Inc, Hosanna Counseling Center and Lifeguard Humanitarian Relief Agency are permitted according the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers list posted at the State of California’s Covid resource website. These services are provided both during our bible study gatherings, and throughout the week. Not only are these services listed as essential by the state, but the workers who perform the services and workers who support those that perform the services are considered essential and allowed to remain at work.

Therefore, Hosanna Christian Fellowship, Inc, Hosanna Counseling Center, and Lifeguard Humanitarian Relief Agency will remain open in order to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical services to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.

Our original Statement of opening in may 2020:

What we are doing:

 

In response to the leading of the Lord that began in late April in the heart of our Senior Pastor, and encouraged by the subsequent recent discovery that Our Lord has been leading many other Pastors and church leaders in the same direction; Hosanna Christian Fellowship will be opening the physical doors of our church for worship, bible study, communion, and prayer starting on Pentecost Sunday, May 31st.

 

From that Sunday forward, we will be resuming our corporate gathering in praising Almighty God, hearing from Him, and praying for the leadership of the nations, our country, states, and cities as they continue to address the reopening of our communities.

 

We will slowly phase in full operations of all midweek gatherings, small groups and auxiliary ministries as we move forward.


Why we are doing it:

 

It cannot be denied that in our nation, states, and communities Covid-19 has resulted in loss; the loss of life, the loss of financial stability, the loss of security, and the loss of community. Our hearts go out to all of those of have suffered in various ways during this time.

 

At the beginning of the Covid situation, the unknowns of the virus caused our government to go to extraordinary lengths to contain the spread of the virus. On March 18th, our own Gov. Gavin Newsom projected that within 8 weeks, over 56% of our state would be infected.

 

Shortly thereafter, stay at home orders were instituted and businesses deemed non-essential were forced to close their doors. Churches were included in this non-essential category. In an effort to be safe, wise, and sensitive toward all parts of the body, including the most vulnerable among us, we complied with the orders, closed our doors and shifted to a workable, but ultimately less effective, online-only method of ministry. At the time, we questioned why some business were considered essential vs non-essential, but regardless, in an effort to be good witnesses we complied, knowing and understanding that the orders were temporary. We very much appreciate the efforts of our various national, state, and local leaders.

 

We carefully evaluated Romans 13, Titus 3, and other scriptures that encourage the church to respect and obey the rulers and authorities over us. We agree that a proper understanding of these verses teach that the governmental rulers and authorities have a genuine authority, especially during times of emergency, to institute limited control measures, such as a quarantine during a time of plague. When the church complies, it is obedience, not just coincidental agreement. However, because any human government can be corrupt, we also believe that the Church also has the authority to identify when the authority of the government is being abused or mishandled to the point where it is legitimate to disregard what they are saying and thus put obedience to God over obedience to unlawful governance (Heb 10).

 

Thus, we reasoned that while the orders were largely being forced upon the majority of the population, we would do our part to slow the spread of coronavirus and temporarily close our doors.

 

Thankfully, many of the early, dire projections were wrong and we are seeing the number of cases resulting in death drastically decreasing. But we cannot ignore the other negative effects this virus has had on our communities. The Shelter in Place and Stay at Home orders have caused, and are continuing to cause, great economic disaster on families and businesses. The emotional damage is also growing rapidly. Depression, fear, despair, and doubt are leading to a growing number of suicides and rising cases of deteriorating mental health. The church is called to minister to people in such times.  It is apparent that the need for the church to open its doors is great and growing exponentially.

 

We are grateful that the state and local authorities have begun to relax restrictions on businesses and other venues, and have allowed them to open following CDC social distancing guidelines. However, there is a greater concern involved, and that is with respect to our constitutionally protected religious freedom. We believe now that as places like Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes can be open for business, have their parking lots full of cars, and have their retail spaces full of people who are practicing social distancing guidelines; the church should be able to, as well. With the opening of some businesses and not others, we believe the Shelter in Place and Stay at Home orders have passed from being protective of all to being discriminatory to some, and violate the church’s right of assembly and the free expression of religion. We believe the church can open its doors and abide by the same CDC social distancing guidelines that are expected of retail businesses and the people who frequent those businesses. The economic need to reopen businesses is great, but even more so is the spiritual and emotional need to reopen the church for its worshipers and those in need. The church is essential for the spiritual health and well being of the people of our communities, and its services are just as essential as any grocery store, hardware store, clothing store, or large box store.


How we are doing it:

 

In accordance with CDC guidelines, we ask that all people in the at-risk groups as defined by the CDC and those with any underlying medical conditions that make one susceptible to COVID-19 stay home and continue to fellowship with the body by watching and participating during the live stream of our services at live.hosannachapel.org

 

All Hosanna services will be held in compliance with CDC guidelines for social distancing as required for all other businesses.

 

Seating in our Sanctuary will be such as to maintain 6ft between individuals or family units.

 

Masks or face coverings will be expected of all in attendance.

 

Upon entry, each congregant’s temperature will be taken via contactless forehead thermometer.

 

Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances and exits.

 

The entire Sanctuary will be fully cleaned and sanitized before and after each service.

 

We are discouraging physical contact between individuals that are not part of a co-habitating family.

 

People will not be allowed to gather in groups to socialize in any area of our premises.

 

These guidelines are stricter than some of the big box stores where hundreds are gathering to shop everyday.

 

Other group gatherings will be phased in over time.  There will be no Sunday Youth Ministry, Children’s Church, or Toddlers childcare at the beginning.

 

Communion will be served in prepackaged individually sealed containers

 

Our Church services are essential services that are constitutionally protected for the total health of everyone involved.


Final Statement:

 

The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights state that there are essential rights guaranteed to all people of our country. The very first right addressed and protected in the Bill of Rights is the free exercise of religion and the right to peaceably assemble together. We believe that these rights have been infringed by unlawful orders, and, therefore, declare that we will open the doors of our church.

 

We are in full agreement with the Declaration of Essentiality. If you also agree, we ask that you sign it.
https://www.tylerbursch.com/religious-petition-to-governor-gavin-newsom

 

We will continue to seek our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Word and in prayer, for wisdom and direction as we move forward in His name, to His glory.

With great love and thanks to God for the privilege of serving this body,

 

The Pastoral Leadership of Hosanna Christian Fellowship