Rob McCoy, a community leader and pastor in Southern California’s Conejo Valley, faced a dilemma this week. As a pastor, he felt led to offer communion to his congregants on Palm Sunday despite an order from the Ventura County Public Health Officer ruling that churches are “nonessential” services. As a sitting City Councilman for the City of Thousand Oaks, he was obligated to uphold the Public Health Officer’s order.
Eventually, and not surprisingly to those who know him, McCoy chose God over man. He resigned his position as a City Councilman after announcing that Godspeak Calvary Church would administer Palm Sunday communion services.
On Wednesday, April 3, the church released a video announcing its plans. The video’s description (partially) reads:
As a lot of you know, this Sunday, April 5th, is Palm Sunday. This marks the beginning of a very important week on our Christian calendar. Pastor Rob and the Godspeak team have been laboring over what to do in this season of isolation, that is designed to be celebrated in community. This Sunday we are going to do something different. Some people will disagree, and some people will be overjoyed.
Godspeak, as a family, is going to take communion together.
This will be a livestream only service that we encourage you to watch from home with your family as we have done for the past 3 weeks. After the 11am livestream, from 1pm – 3pm, we will be opening the building for members of The Church (all believers) to come and partake in what the Lord has declared as essential.
The description also describes in great detail all of the social distancing measures that the church would be taking during the administration of communion and requesting that members respect those measures. In addition, it says:
If you are “High Risk,” please stay home.
If you are sick, please stay home.
If you have had contact with someone who is sick, please stay home.
If you have a mask and or gloves, please wear them.
If you do not feel comfortable leaving your vehicle, but desire to participate with us, we can deliver communion elements to your car. Pull around to the back parking lot and drive up to the white tent where we will serve you elements through your window with a clean, extended, tray.
If you would like communion elements delivered to your home please email [us].
In the video message, McCoy stated:
Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday are critical. And for us to be paralyzed and to be considered non-essential though we would have liquor stores considered essential, cannabis distribution considered essential, even…abortions are considered essential. And is the church going to sit back and say, well, we’ll be relegated to non-essential…?
Sunday morning a press release appeared on the city website announcing that McCoy had resigned from the City Council “effective immediately.” Current Mayor Al Adam praised McCoy, who served as Mayor from December 2018 through November 2019:
“Rob was a voice of strength and healing as the City recovered from two simultaneous tragedies – Borderline and Woolsey Fire. I appreciate his contributions and wish him and his family well. While these circumstances are unfortunate, the remaining members of the Council and I are very much focused on moving forward.”
Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, a friend of McCoy’s, tweeted that McCoy is being threatened with arrest for offering communion.
Today Pastor Rob McCoy of GodSpeak Thousand Oaks is abiding by CDC guidelines—10 to a room—offering communion to his congregants
He is being threatened with arrest for this
California is out of control
Stand with Rob!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) April 5, 2020
Services are scheduled to begin as this post goes to press. Updates will be posted with information about any legal action taken.