- Title: Oakland church puts faith in God to get through coronavirus
- Date: 22nd March 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) SHANNON MCCLAIN, FIRST LADY AND SECRETARY OF THE RISING STAR BAPTIST CHURCH OAKLAND, SAYING: "Well we wanted to make sure we had all the necessary items in place for everyone to make sure that their hands are sanitized, make sure that they're six feet apart at all times because we don't want to prohibit the worship experience but we want to make sure we have everything in place for those who do want to come and to participate safely." VARIOUS OF EMPTY PEWS HEAD PASTOR OF THE CHURCH JAMILIO MCCLAIN ONSTAGE SAYING: "We here at Rising Star have decided to modify our services to present to you a 30-minute experience. We want to make sure to our members, especially our elderly community at Rising Star and those who are not able to go out and worship in the traditional fashion that God still has a worship and a word for you." VARIOUS OF SERVICE TAKING PLACE (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAMILIO MCCLAIN, HEAD PASTOR OF THE RISING STAR BAPTIST CHURCH OAKLAND, SAYING: "We all need each other during this season to make it through this epidemic. It's interesting how this virus is invisible yet it spreads through group contact, so it's a shared experience to teach us that we have to work together to allow this season to pass."
- Keywords: Oakland Oakland church continues despite coronavirus church church service during coronavirus coronavirus covid-19
- Reuters ID: LVA004C64WE9Z
- Location: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- City: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:33
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Despite a statewide shelter-in-place order across California in the face of the deadly coronavirus, Bishop Jamilio McClain of the Rising Star Baptist Church Oakland felt compelled to make sure Sunday (March 22) service would go on.
"I see God as providing a breath of fresh air and encouragement in these times of fear affecting our communities and our world. We need an outlet of faith and an outlet of encouragement. We need an outlet where we can look for joy, where we can look for positivity, so we find through faith and through God, there is hope. And through the word of God, specifically the Bible, over and over again, you see where I gave the example of the children of Israel, they went through several plagues and God has seen them through, so I think the Bible and faith lets us know, as the saying goes, this too shall pass," McClain told Reuters on Sunday after service.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have topped 33,000 with more than 400 dead, according to a Reuters tally, prompting seven states to join California in enacting broad lockdowns to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The pandemic has already upended life in much of the country, shuttering schools and businesses, prompting millions to work from home, forcing many out of jobs and sharply curtailing travel.
To best prepare the church and protects its congregants, Jamilio and his wife Shannon purchased hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and enacted a social distancing policy for those attending service.
They also went out and purchased a tripod and used an iPhone to stream Sunday's service via Facebook Live. The McClains said about 200 people were watching with a couple dozen listening in on a conference call.
In addition to the McClains, about six others came to service, including a pair of musicians.
(Production: Nathan Frandino, Shannon Stapleton)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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- Embargoed:5th April 2020 22:54
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