Subject: California Ban on Singing in Church

Dear Calvary Ventura Family,

I wish the subject line heading were a joke. It certainly sounds like one. However, last week the State of California announced a ban on singing in houses of worship. Some experts theorize that both droplet and aerosol laden transmissions of COVID-19 can be projected in the air more than six feet and remain airborne for a short while when singing, therefore increasing the potential for airborne transmission. However, other renowned experts disagree and say such claims are inconclusive.* 

We at Calvary Ventura agree with taking the appropriate safety measures to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. We are concerned for everyone’s safety and welfare, and have implemented plans to continue to operate in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the same time, we also hold firm to the position that singing is an essential aspect of Christian worship (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). In fact, the Book of Psalms tells us to “sing” to the Lord, some seventy-three times. 

So, how do we balance our need to obey the governing authorities (Romans 13:1), and also obey God’s commands (Acts 4:18-20; Acts 5:29)? We will leave that question to be answered individually, by each of you! However, Calvary Ventura will continue to include singing as part of our church worship services, as is permitted for a YouTube broadcast. Additionally, we will minimize any singing exposure by scheduling no more than four songs per service with only two singers on stage. The choice to join us for live in-service church, or to watch our services via our YouTube web broadcast will continue to be yours. If you choose to join us for live in-service church, then the choice to sing will also be yours. Calvary Ventura cannot and will not monitor who sings and who does not sing, behind the required wearing of masks, or cloth face coverings. 

May we remain united in heart and spirit in the Lord regardless of the choices we make here. And wherever and however you choose to sing to Him, may we follow the psalmist in Psalms 98:4, who tells us to: “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” 

In His Love,
Pastor Don Modglin

* Article by New York Times, Apoorva Mandavilli, July 4, 2020: “Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the W.H.O.’s technical lead on infection control, said the evidence for the virus spreading by air was unconvincing. ‘Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence.’” 

* National Center for Biotechnology Information, Published study, “Transmission of COVID-19 virus by droplets and aerosols: A critical review on the unresolved dichotomy,” by Jayaweera, Gunawardana, and Manatungea, June 13, 2020: “Taking all case studies mentioned…into consideration, one cannot simply ignore that both droplet and aerosol laden transmissions of COVID-19 are uncertain…”