September 29, 2020
  • 3:52 pm BREAKING NEWS: Classes for Spring to be Online, CSU Chancellor Announces
  • 9:39 am “Strikes” and Solidarity
  • 8:30 am March Into History: Just 5 in 1970, CSUDH Growth Shaped by Historic Event
  • 8:30 am Will the Bulletin Make Today Tomorrow?
  • 9:04 am Different Neighborhoods Warrant Rubber Bullets or Traffic Control For Protesters
  • 5:07 pm STAFF EDITORIAL: Even Socially Distant, We All Have to Work Together
  • 5:47 pm Transcript of CSUDH President Parham’s Coronavirus Announcement
  • 10:46 am Cal State Long Beach Suspends Face-to-Face Classes; CSUDH Discussing Contingency Plans
  • 5:26 pm Things Black People Should be Able to Get Away with This Month
  • 10:25 am Latinx Students Need a Place to Call Home
  • 2:35 pm Will Time Run Out Before Funds for PEGS? [UPDATED]
  • 5:18 pm Greatness Personified: Remembering Kobe Bryant
  • 8:41 am Year of the Rat? What’s That?
  • 6:20 am Artist Who Gave Life to Death and Inspired Countless Others Gets His Due at Dominguez Hills
  • 5:16 pm Why I’m Rooting for Dr. Cornel West
  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 8:00 am Get on the Horn: Rams Week 3 Preview vs Buffalo Bills
  • 8:00 am The Lightning Rod: Chargers-Panthers Preview
  • 8:00 am Disney’s “Mulan:” A Woeful Warrior Adaptation
  • 8:00 am Hey There COVID-19, You Still Out There?
  • 8:00 am Pros and Cons to Virtual Instruction
Story tips, concerns, questions?

Food Drive volunteers that helped prepare 52 crates of food to feed 52 families that were impacted by COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Miriam Ruiz, Elder in the Church.

By Melany J. Ruiz, Staff Reporter

For the past six months, I missed going to church. I’ve always loved the early 9 a.m. mornings that consisted of family breakfast and worship music blaring through the living room TV speakers.

Church has changed in the past months since the global outbreak of COVID-19. It has pushed services and bible studies onto a virtual landscape that I find unrecognizable. To be honest, I’m going through, what I would call, a “dry spiritual season” with God.  

Despite the COVID-19 cases, several things have happened in the world, leaving room for a whole lot of emotions. The National Christian Foundation found that during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, 1 in 3 practicing Christians stopped attending church. 

As for why there is a dip in attendance, Adelaida Ruiz, Lead Deacon of Bethesda Presbyterian Church (Bethesda), has a theory. 

“It feels cold because you can’t see people’s faces,” Ruiz said.  “And you can’t see the person’s face when you are talking to them.”

In addition to leading Bethesda, Ruiz hosts a weekly Bible Study every Wednesday through Zoom. I can totally agree that people don’t turn on their cameras during the bible study. When you call on them to talk there is often no response, insinuating that they just logged on and possibly walked away. 

Volunteer (right) Adelaida Ruiz, helps load Truck after a Costco run. The food in the image is only part of what will be distributed in each food bag. Photo by Melany J. Ruiz.

Luis Nava, Youth Leader of  Trinidad, Bethesda’s youth group admits, “I think I have fallen asleep while in a virtual bible study.” I can also say it doesn’t help that our bible study is towards the end of the day, I mean 8 p.m.? It is expected. I’ll admit I have too. 

Not seeing my congregation, or our “brothers” and “sisters” as we say in Bethesda hurts, I used to see them every week, talk to them, eat with them, I even befriended some of them. My brothers and sisters have been affected by COVID-19. Some have lost their jobs, lost loved ones from COVID-19, some even got COVID-19. All I want is to give them a hug or lay hands on them and pray with them in unity, but the pandemic keeps us apart. 

In order to keep up the sense of community, Nava started a monthly food drive that encourages our brothers and sisters to support those who cannot afford groceries during this time of uncertainty.

“I think, if it wasn’t for the food bag giveaway, there would be a lot of people we wouldn’t have seen in the last few months,” Nava said. “Or they wouldn’t have seen us, so the food bag has kept people working. At least once a month getting that spark back on.” 

A couple of crates with products such as milk, eggs, and potatoes that volunteers distributed during the food drive. Photo by Melany J. Ruiz.

I am also aware of the orders Governor Newsom gave, no indoor worship, no in-person bible studies, no services order that some churches are even being sued for failing to oblige. In no way am I encouraging this behavior. I think there are some alternatives that can help us connect to receiving Christ in the midst of this pandemic. 

Coral Taluban, CSUDH Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Ministry Team Leader, shared what her home church and intervarsity has done to keep their members engaged. Outdoor worship, drive-in sermons where you can tune your radio to listen to the service from your car, and justice orientated bible studies that are relevant to what’s going on seem to help. 

Taluban illustrates a concept depicting a “dry season” in your walk with Christ called “The Dark Night of the Soul.” 

“It feels like you’re in a desert place, if you look in the bible the desert place is where the most change happens the most for people. The desert place is the place where they find God the most clearly, cause there’s no distractions.”  Taluban said. “ The desert place is where they have opportunities to hear from God and see miracles happens because they have nothing else but God in the desert place.”

The Desert place reminds me of the time Jesus was in the desert for 40 days and was tempted by the Devil.  I think it’s important to realize that in the midst of the storm you can always find that light and that light is God. The need for a physical place of worship is not necessary, it is how you demonstrate your faith with others and how you keep the spirit of God alive in times where you, or in this case, the world is in the desert place. “Demonstrate that you have faith and [are] waiting for God.” Ruiz said. “ I think if you react the same way people do, you are showing your faith isn’t firm. So stay calm and have faith in him and wait for him, for his time.” 

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”- Ephesians 4:3



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