LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Councilwoman Victoria Seaman said the International Church of Las Vegas will hold its drive-in Easter service after consulting with City Attorney Brad Jerbic. Attendees are directed to stay in their cars, and according to Seaman, no items will be passed out.
This comes after Seaman, along with Mayor Pro Tem and Councilwoman for Ward 6, Michele Fiore, gathered with several religious leaders to address concerns over the latest social distancing directive ordered by Governor Sisolak on Wednesday that further restricted church services and gatherings.
Several faith leaders denounced the directive saying it “crossed the line”, especially as Easter celebrations draw near. Pastor Paul Marc Goulet of International Church of Las Vegas explained that his church was planning on a drive-thru church service for Easter, with activities of worship, children games, Easter basket giveaways where parishioners would not have to leave their cars and would be required to wear their gloves and masks. According to Seaman, Las Vegas Metro Police had told here this service was not permissible under the new directive given by the Governor on Wednesday.
“Why rob families of this…we are appealing because we don’t think it’s right and we think it’s reasonable,” said Goulet.
Councilwoman Seaman agreed with the Pastor and said that if people were going to the drive-thru’s of restaurants and grocery stores, that they should be allowed to worship on Easter taking all the precautions necessary.
Another faith leader called the directive “demanding and dictating”, saying the Governor could not dictate whether people could worship or not.
In his briefing Governor Sisolak explained why he arrived at this decision:
“Finally, after a lot of thoughtful discussion & guidance from my Medical Advisory Team, my legal team and faith leaders from across our State, I have decided to place new limitations on participation in in-person worship services.
This directive makes clear that places of worship are prohibited from holding in-person services with 10 or more people, including drive-in or pop-up services, for the duration of the State of Emergency. Religious leaders are encouraged to find alternatives to in-person service.
This was not an easy ask of Nevadans. I’ve attended Catholic services my entire life. I fully appreciate the power of in-person services. Hearing a sermon. Speaking with a pastor, rabbi, imam, or other religious leader. Being surrounded by a community of spiritual followers.
But we are living in unique times, & the science tells us that putting large numbers of people close together during a pandemic for any reason—religious, cultural, economic, or recreational—is an invitation for a disease to do its worst. We must #StayHomeForNevada.”Governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak