May 2, 2020

Dear Hillside Community Church Family,

It was troubling and disconcerting to read Governor Newsom’s “Guidelines for Reopening California” and see that churches have been categorized into stage 3 “higher risk workplaces” whose reopening is said to be “months away” according to the
San Jose Mercury News.  Meanwhile, retail giants have continued to operate using social distancing measures and other places of manufacturing are set to open in phase 2, just weeks away. This, I believe, is unacceptable given the fact that we, as a small church, are able to implement all the required practices/actions of stage 2 re-openings
for the purpose of lowering the risk of transmission of the virus including, but not limited to the following:

– Requiring PPE (Facemasks) upon entrance
– Having hand sanitizer at all entrance and exit points
– Removing rows of chairs to insure Social Distancing of 6 feet between families
– Increasing Ventilation
– Moving all “post–service fellowship” outdoors
– Serving beverages or snacks in a “single serve” / “no contact” fashion
– Serving communion also as “single serve” / “no contact”
– Sanitizing the church after service / before the next service

After reading through multiple articles and documents from various sources, I believe it is appropriate at this time to write a letter of opposition regarding the placement of churches in the phase/stage 3 category as stated in Governor Newsom’s “Guideline for Reopening of California”. I have attached my letter and encourage you to write a letter expressing your concern if you share that conviction. I have also attached an article written in March entitled “How DC Churches Responded When the Government Banned Public Gatherings During the Spanish Flu Pandemic”. The principles and wisdom are as true today as they were over 100 years ago!  I look forward to gathering in person soon. Until then, I encourage you to stay deeply
rooted in Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, worship, and witnessing (all while maintaining a social distance of 6 feet with a mask of course!). We will continue to livestream our services on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. through and post

God bless you during this unique season of life. Take heart from the apostle Paul’s words:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8: 18).

In Christ Jesus,
The elder board would also encourage you to write a letter to Governor Newsom and Supervisor Diane Jacob telling how valuable church is to you. 
Supervisor Dianne Jacob
County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 335
San Diego, CA 92101
Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-2841