LOS ANGELES – As the coronavirus continues to spread, there are many questions, and very few answers.
But houses of worship continue to provide the community with solutions to stay hopeful during this time.
The ARC Theater building on La Brea Avenue is usually bustling with church goers looking for weekly inspiration.
But these days the seats are empty due to Mayor Garcetti's “Safer at Home” order, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Pastors Toure Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts aren’t letting the global pandemic stop their community from receiving encouragement. They are providing continual online services.
“One of the things that you don’t want to ever have to reduce, in the midst of reduction and closing things down, is hope. Because people need hope. So we are so grateful that we are able to stream to tens of thousands of people and use some of our other online resources to reach even beyond that,” Pastor Toure Roberts said.
One unique service they are providing is the sacrament of communion - from home.
Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts says the traditional church building isn’t necessary, only the faith is.
“I think this has created a unique opportunity for people to recognize they have the ability to turn their homes, their spaces, their cars into actual sanctuaries,” she explained.
And Carla Kechichian, a TPH One Church LA member, is enjoying such services from her home.
She says a virtual community is especially needed, during these times of uncertainty.
“Thank God for online access. Especially at this time," said Kechichian. "Millions of people are sitting at home but they can still go online, hear the word, get connected, be fed spiritually, and even though we are not physically in the building, it still feels like this big family that is going through this together."
That’s why every digital tool makes every difference. It’s allowing Pastors Toure and Sarah to teach countless viewers around the world how to resist giving in to fear and panic -- common emotions arising in today’s climate.
“Do you know that fear can make you sick? And you not even be sick? And so, there is no profit in that type of fear. So I try to encourage people with the promises of God, and again, looking for the silver linings,” Pastor Toure Roberts said.
Describing it as a revolution of love in society, the pastors noted a new found compassion and appreciation for the elderly, the poor, teachers, grocery clerks, and more. They say those are just some of the positives coming out of this temporary season.
“Whether you’re dealing with a pandemic or a heartbreak or any type of trauma that feels like its going to last forever and ever and ever, you have to remember that people have survived this before, which means that I have the power, the grace, the strength to survive as well,” Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts emphasized.
A message of peaceful survival, from church to home.