Local Churches Worship Outside During Pandemic
Calvary Reformed Church saw over 200 of its parishioners worshiping outside Sunday morning
bringing tents and umbrellas while the temperatures were bearable at the 9:30 a.m. event in the church parking lot.
Church members joined in song and listened to a sermon by their Pastor Brett Dood from a flatbed trailer stage on the south side of the parking lot.
Other church members watched the church service in their living rooms as it was being live-streamed from the church service.
Almond Valley and Zion reformed churches joined the Ripon effort to keep their Sunday holy along with the Grace Brethren located on Main Street where countless umbrellas had been erected for the morning on the lawn behind the church.
At Calvary the parking lot was filled out to Second Street with some people even sitting across the street from the church in the shade of trees. The church family was prepared for its guests with bottles of cold water. Pastor Brett Dood asked his deacons to approach him on the stage. As they kneeled in front of him he blessed them and asked the church family to extend their hands and be included in the blessing for their continued efforts.
Many of the other churches in both Ripon and Manteca live-streamed their services along with St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Manteca. St. Anthony’s Pastor Father Chad Wahl used an analogy on weeds that crush out a farmer’s potential crops. When in the seminary he recalled being selected to care for all the plants on the campus, not understanding that removing weeds were part of his duties. That first weed he pulled was nettles that hurt. He said weeds are like sins -- they start as a small seed and can grow to an unmanageable situation in both cases.
In Manteca, two churches had large Sunday outdoor services, Calvary on Lathrop Road and Crossroads on Moffat Boulevard.