April 11, 2020: Church coronavirus outbreak, Easter services, Dial-a-Priest

Saturday, April 11, 2020:

Here are the latest headlines, brought to you by The Christian Post.

— Health officials praise church’s response to coronavirus outbreak

Health officials in Shasta County, California, are praising pastor Paul Tilley and his Faith Assembly Church in Redding for how they responded to a coronavirus outbreak at the church that led to the death of one 75-year-old member.

Pastor Tilly said as soon as he learned a member of his congregation tested positive for the coronavirus, he contacted Shasta County health officials “to give them a detailed account of how I handled the crisis."

The pastor said he also informed all 300 members of the church about the Covid-19 infection and closed the church to be in compliance with President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines.

— Judge bans Easter services of more than 10 people

A judge has denied a Virginia man’s request to allow church services to take place on Easter Sunday despite a state order barring large gatherings to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Larry Hughes, a retired teacher from Russell County, filed legal action against the Commonwealth for its stay-at-home order, which did not exempt religious events.

Judge Michael Moore denied the injunction request on Thursday, meaning that church gatherings of more than 10 people will not be permitted by Easter Sunday.

— Seminaries launch ‘Dial-a-Priest’ to give prayers, last rites to patients 

Two Episcopal Church seminaries have launched a hotline for clergy to give prayers and last rites to people in the hospital over the phone.

Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary launched “Dial-A-Priest” on Tuesday through their joint project called the TryTank Experimental Lab.

The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, director of TryTank, told The Christian Post that he believes the coronavirus pandemic “has brought out” many clergy who want to help. Dial-A-Priest already has 100 volunteers and 70 more are on a waiting list.

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