A Chula Vista church resumed indoor worship Sunday after winning a legal victory from the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted a partial injunction against California’s coronavirus-related prohibition against indoor worship services.
The Rev. David McGovern’s sermon was titled “The More of Less” and referred to the pandemic several times.
“COVID is here,” McGovern said. “The more stuff you have isn’t gonna do it.”
He said the of the return to indoor services, “There should be nothing now… that hinders the praise of God’s people.”
“Hello COVID,” McGovern continued. “Not so nice to meet you. Looks like you brought some friends with you, too. Quarantine, social distancing, masks, closed businesses, economic hardship, online schools.”
He noted some children and parents in the congregation and said they’ve been doing online school for several months.
“You get a fast-pass to heaven,” McGovern said.
On a 6-3 vote late Friday, the court cited the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion and ruled that “regulations like these violate the First Amendment unless the state can show they are the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government interest.”
The ruling allowed restrictions on crowd size, singing, and chanting to remain in place.
It came in response to filings on behalf of 600-seat South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista and Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which has more than 160 churches across the state.
Both churches resumed indoor worship services Sunday.
— City News Service contributed to this article