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San Diego churches move inside after Supreme Court ruling

'Churches can worship indoors at 25% capacity'
Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 20:29:06-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) -- Sunday morning, churches across San Diego County either moved back indoors or started the process. This comes after the Supreme Court decided California is not able to ban indoor worship in areas where the virus is surging, but it can cap indoor services at 25% of a building’s capacity.

RELATED: Supreme Court rules California can't totally ban indoor worship

South Bay United Pentecostal Church is one of the places that immediately brought services back indoors just days after the ruling.

“Americans should never be put in a place of having to choose between obeying God or obeying government,” said Arthur Hodges from South Bay United Pentecostal Church.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said effective immediately, their churches can move inside as long as capacity stays below 25%, adding that each pastor will decide which masses will be indoors.

“Although the path out of this pandemic is now clear, it remains a deadly fact of life and will be through the summer or fall of this year. All of us need to remain vigilant, wear a mask, get vaccinated when it’s our turn and do what we need to do to protect friends, family and the vulnerable among us,” said Bishop Robert McElroy in a written statement from the Catholic Diocese.

The Rock Church, which has multiple locations throughout the county, said with the news, they’re in the process of moving inside, but they are going to take their time. Pastor Travis Gibson from the Point Loma campus said at their location alone, 25% capacity means 875 people, so they plan to meet this week and figure out a way to safely bring that many people indoors.

“We’re certainly not going to rush in, we’re going to do it as soon as we can and as soon we feel safe to do it,” said Pastor Gibson.

Pastor Gibson said even when they bring people back inside, they will continue with outdoor and virtual services.

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said it will be issuing revised guidelines for indoor church services.