ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — Angela Adams gets a physical workout with a stroll, and a spiritual workout while watching Sunday service live from the First AME Church of Los Angeles on her phone.
Under normal circumstances, Adams would be ushering at the church, but because of the pandemic, she has to watch virtually, and decided to it every week on a beach.
“The church is not the only place God is. He’s where ever you are,” Adams said. “I got the sun out. I get my day started early. I get my praise on.”
Meanwhile, in Orange County, a church group called Saturate OC is fresh off a four-day tent revival that saw hundreds of worshipers conducting services without masks or social distance. Co-director, Jessi Green says she believes this is what she must do, despite the warning of health officials.
“There’s something that happens when Christians gather together, and they worship together, and they prioritize the gospel in person,” said Green.
“The constitution protects what we’re doing. We’re already kinda in a legal battle with the state right now.”
Having online services would not work for her mission she says, which is to evangelize. She wants to bring others to faith, not just worship with those who already believe.
“A non-Christian is not going to tune into a church’s live stream to watch a three-point sermon,” Green added. “Honestly, it just won’t ever happen online.”
Back in Santa Monica, Adams takes in her weekly sermon by herself. She says she wouldn’t be comfortable going to a normal church gathering right now.
“I live alone and I have pre-existing conditions, so I need to make sure that I’m kinda spaced out,” she said.
It’s one faith, but two vastly different approaches.