It’s been over two months since our Sun Valley (and the rest of California’s) houses of worship were barred to us. Many of us have had to content ourselves with video versions of worship services on YouTube, Facebook and elsewhere, making do from the confines of our homes instead of joining together with our the other families in our local religious community.
Some, like our governor, Gavin Newsom (as well as other governors throughout the country) determined that churches did not fall under the category of essential businesses. I will leave the political debate to others in this instance but the upshot is we have not been able to worship publicly for a long time.
A Gentle Nudge From the President
The governor recently intimated that churches would remain shut down even longer until President Trump complained publicly and made it known that he deemed houses of worship essential to our lives as Americans. In the wake of the President’s comments, our governor seemed to walk things back a bit and has now allowed our California churches to start reopening while taking certain precautions.
For us church-goers we do not yet know what our worship services are going to look like and in many instances we are waiting for our priests and ministers to inform us what restrictions we’ll still have to endure. One suspects social distancing will be one, mask-wearing another, but we will see.
Jose Mier Supports the Reopening of Churches
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church which is in Burbank but right on the Sun Valley border has sent out email to its parishioners telling them that the new guidelines will be explained in a meeting at the church this coming Monday. Regular Sunday masses will begin again next Sunday, June 7.
Other Sun Valley churches following suit include Holy Rosary Church located at7800 Vineland Avenue, Sun Valley, CA.
It’s only when you lose something that you really understand its worth and that’s the case with our ability to worship. Despite some who say that belief is personal, for centuries Christian worship has been communal and we need to be in the presence of others who believe as we do. The fact that we haven’t been able to publicly worship for some time had made it clear how important it is to us and what a gift is is for us as Americans to be able to worship as we see fit.
It is a good sign that our Sun Valley churches will be reopening—if slowly and cautiously. I personally hope this is a foretaste of total reopening across the state and nation allowing us in Sun Valley and around the nation to get back to normal and bring our communities and economies back to life.