‘It weighs on our hearts’

Chaplains face challenges ministering to the sick in pandemic

The Rev. Kate Lewis will never forget the stoic face of a man pressed against the dark glass walls of St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital. He cupped his hands against the glass, his burly shoulders hunched, as he tried to see past his own reflection to his wife, who had contracted COVID-19 and lay unconscious in an ICU hospital bed […]

Messianic synagogue hosts High Holiday services

Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue will host what it calls “a unique and inspiring combination” of outdoor and virtual-only services for the Jewish High Holidays, with special musical guests and children’s activities. All services are free and membership is not required. Attendees may consider a donation in lieu of tickets. Masks are required and social distancing will be enforced at in-person […]

Chabad welcomes High Holidays with online, in-person events

With the High Holidays approaching and COVID-19 creating difficulties for many in joining a traditional synagogue service, Chabad of Agoura Hills will provide a variety of holiday services designed to meet the needs of the Jewish community. Chabad services are open to all Jews regardless of affiliation. To provide services while keeping everyone safe and respecting individual circumstances and preferences, […]

Agents of healing to bridge the divide

Spending time in prayer, Bible study is important in fighting hate, racism

Small acts of kindness and love, the Rev. Reggie Mercado of Fountain Foursquare Church said, can make the greatest difference in fighting hate, racism and injustice. “There’s this call from God for us to just love people,” said Mercado, the senior leader of the Moorpark church. “When we talk about the racism that happens before us, Jesus gave the solution […]

Parents are always teaching their children

COMMENTARY /// Faith in life

Late last month I listened to a concerned parent as they bemoaned the challenges of navigating virtual school. This new reality has left parents and students alike feeling like fish out of water, wondering if they will survive. While none of us think this way of doing school is ideal, I believe that we have been given an incredible opportunity […]

Mattress store brings ministry

The message in the store window facing the 101 Freeway at the Wendy Drive exit in Newbury Park changes every few months. Since the COVID-19 pandemic slowed life—and the economy— in Ventura County, the painted signs at American Mattress Man have assured passing motorists on the 101 Freeway that “This too shall pass” and “We stand united in love.” Over […]

High Holy Days preparation

In 2009, the husband and wife team of Rabbi Ira Rosenfeld and Cantor Beth Wasserman Rosenfeld started HomeShul, a home-based religious school experience, with three students including their son. Before long there were several HomeShul groups throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The team realized a need existed to provide a community to the families of their students and friends […]

‘Here I am’: challenged but emboldened for High Holy Days

COMMENTARY /// This year’s High Holidays

We’re all being tested this year, and I’m not referring to the swab invasions up our nostrils. We’re being tested for our sense of priorities, our core principles and attitudes, and our underlying faith. These “tests” are being manifested in virtually every area of our lives. A few weeks from now they will take on yet another dimension for members […]

Drive-in worship

Community members can attend a safe drive-in church service at 9:30 a.m. Sun., Aug. 31 in the parking lot of King of Glory Lutheran Church, 2500 Borchard Road, Newbury Park. Attendees can hear music and an uplifting sermon through their car radio. For more information, go to or Facebook@ KOGLutheranChurch.

Believers adapt to new rules, continue to move services outdoors

Parks, parking lots, patios become places of worship

Birds aren’t the only ones singing outside in Thousand Oaks on Sunday mornings. Since Ventura County’s health order prohibits indoor worship services but permits outdoor ones, houses of worship across the Conejo Valley have been meeting in parking lots, patios and parks in compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures. Journey Church in Thousand Oaks is one of a half-dozen religious groups […]

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