California city councilman, a pastor, resigns government post before giving Palm Sunday communion

Pastor McCoy's church offered people communion on Palm Sunday, taking special precautions amid the coronavirus crisis

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Juice packets for communion at City On A Hill Church in Texas on April 5, 2020
Juice packets for communion at City On A Hill Church in Texas on April 5, 2020
(MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images)
Last Updated:
April 5, 2020 - 8:31pm

Godspeak Calvary Chapel Senior Pastor Rob McCoy resigned his position on the Thousand Oaks, California city council as his church planned to offer communion on Palm Sunday despite orders designed to contain the coronavirus.

“As an elected official I am in conflict and thus must tender my resignation from the council,” McCoy explained in the letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “I have no desire to put our community at risk and will not. … However this is portrayed, please know I am obligated to do this.”

Godspeak Calvary Chapel planned a variety of methods to offer communion on Palm Sunday. The church said people could come get in a line, and that arrows on the floor would help them maintain six feet of separation. People could then leave the church or take communion in a seat six feet apart from others. 

The church also said it would offer a drive-through where people could pick up communion elements, such as bread and grape juice. The church gave an email address for people who wanted the elements to be delivered to their houses.

"And to, to deny this segment of society that already has this right, inalienable, granted in the Bill of Rights, to not allow us to have access to communion is, is not proper," Pastor McCoy said in a video. "And to consider it nonessential is not acceptable," he said, noting that they would "not violate a single CDC ordinance." 

At the conclusion of a livestream broadcast on Sunday that showed people filing through to pick up communion elements, McCoy remarked  that "the church is essential. Christ is essential. And if we're to rule that liquor stores and cannabis stores are essential, and, and I don't argue with that, but the church is essential."

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