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Churches to begin holding outdoor services amid coronavirus restrictions

Posted at 4:32 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 20:49:29-04

EL CAJON (KGTV) - Amid the new COVID-19 restrictions, some local churches are expected to begin holding services outdoors.

At Shadow Mountain Church in El Cajon, the sounds of the gospel have been a bit more crisp.

"Sound is incredible. No echoes, feels intimate ... like church," said Pastor David Jeremiah.

Jeremiah says last month, when it became clear COVID-19 capacity restrictions would be too limiting indoors, they decided to move their services outside.

"Turned out to be a perfect amphitheater," said Jeremiah.

A stage has been set up in one of their parking lots. The seating is sectioned off by families, each grouping set 6 feet apart. Services have been moved to the evening to escape the heat. Masks and bottled water are handed out to those who need them. Any singing is mostly limited to musicians on stage to minimize the coronavirus risk.

"It's our way of doing church. It's the only thing we can do so that's what we do," said Jeremiah.

It's also going to be what other churches will do after recent coronavirus restrictions banned indoor church services. At the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Mira Mesa, an email was sent out announcing weekend outdoor masses.

In Poway, officials approved a plan to share park space with places of worship and fitness centers. The city of El Cajon is also weighing a similar plan. Jeremiah says those actions are much needed, because there is no substitute to gathering in person.

"Church is when God's people come together, and we want to make it possible for people to come together as much as possible, as much as we can, within the context of what we're experiencing with this pandemic," said Jeremiah.