Bethel and Fellow Believers Beneath the Bridge: Thousands Flock to Sundial Bridge to Worship During a Pandemic –

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Participants and believers surrounded Sean Feucht and musicians. Photography by Steve DuBois.

When approaching the Sundial Bridge in Redding last night, the first sign was that something big was happening. Hundreds and hundreds. Parked cars, trucks, vans, bicycles and electric scooters cover all the available asphalt, parking lots and dirt areas around the Reading Municipal Auditorium, Sund Bridge/Turtle Bay, Sheraton Hotel and even Reading Rodeo Arena.

Those who couldn't find a parking space on Auditorium Avenue stopped by the park's Esplanade, and walked over the highway overpass, carrying folding chairs and children, as if to attend Redding's annual Freedom Festival fireworks display.

Of course, this year, due to the pandemic, the venue of the Civic Auditorium is forbidden to watch the annual fireworks display. However, it is strange that the pandemic in Reading last night did not interfere with the incident related to Bethel Church, which attracted thousands of people from Bethel, but from other churches, not only from the northern state , And attracted thousands of people from beyond the boundaries of Shasta County.

Next came the sound that was amplified for miles. A sound of musical instruments and harmonious voices rose from the singing in the sky, accompanied by roars of cheers, shouts, shouts and applause. These sounds echoed across the Sacramento River from under the Rid Bridge. This is a place for musicians to practice, not only because it is close to the beautiful Sacramento River, but also because of the reverberating acoustics of the wide curved walls of the famous pedestrian bridge, covering thousands of white imports from Italy Mosaic tiny tiles, each placed by hand.

From the Turtle Bay Museum side of the Rid Bridge, you can see the crowd under the bridge, on the hillside and on both sides of the bridge. Photography by Steve DuBois.

A security guard standing guard at the entrance of the Rid Bridge estimated that about 5,000 people crossed the bridge for outdoor worship on Wednesday night. Worship time started at 7:30 pm and continued until around 9 pm.

"This is my best guess," the security guard shrugged, and when asked how many people there were that night, he shrugged.

"A lot of people, that's for sure."


A group of evangelical Christians crowded the path leading to the bridge under the Ri Bridge and caught a glimpse of the area where Sean Feucht spoke and musicians played. Photography by Steve DuBois.

On Wednesday night, Mike Mangas of KRCR TV reported on his Facebook page that

The leadership said that the large gathering of Bethel church members under the Sund Bridge in Reading was not an approved church event. Mangas said Shasta County Public Health said the organizers told them that this would be a "small-scale" gathering, so no permit was required.

On Wednesday night, thousands of evangelical Christians in North State gathered under the Rid Bridge to worship. Photograph by Mike Mangas, KRCR TV station.

The event is called

A group of believers and supporters came to the Ridqiao area in droves. This is not a small gathering. The organizer of the "Let's Worship" of the Dayd Bridge is a member of the Bethel Church and voluntary worship leader Sean Feucht.

There is no way to know the percentage of "Let's Worship" participants from Bethel Church and the percentage of other faith-based organizations and churches. But because Bethel Church attracts parishioners from all over the world, a variety of accents and languages ​​can be heard in the crowd. If you want, a bridge of Tongtian Tower.

Crowds filled the concrete area under the bridge. Overflowing spectators scattered on the adjacent grassy hillside.

People squeezed together tightly along the winding path, the winding path meandering to the bottom of the bridge. In the middle of the night, people were soaked by blue light on the glass panels on the bridge.

After the event ended at 9 pm, many people stayed. Photography: Doni Chamberlain.

After the activity, some adults went out to hang out to have a conversation. When praying or worshiping, some children played, lifted the cables above the bridge, or stepped on small pedals along the tiled wall below.

After the activity, the children play and the adults play. A little girl stepped on a tiled wall of the bridge. Photography: Doni Chamberlain

In addition

  Organizer Feucht (pronounced FOYT-rhymes with e

) Has a strong connection with Bethel Church. He is also a former political candidate who suffered a crushing defeat when running for Congress. Faucht’s website describes him as a missionary, artist, speaker, writer, rights activist, and founder of multiple global movements, such as



, "A political radical movement aimed at convening churches around the world to perform their civic duties-to vote for justice and just causes on the government stage."

Sean Feucht, a former congressional candidate and current Bethel church member and head of worship services, organized a controversial event Wednesday night under the bridge under the Reading Day pandemic. Image source: Sean Feucht's website.

He may be a political loser, but he is a winner in persuading his Christian brothers and sisters to participate in special events and provide financial support for his dreams. A source said, for example, Feucht raised about $15,000 in donations to revamp his 70s vintage Airstream, or

According to Feucht’s post on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon, he has been in contact with Redding leaders who approved the event:

Although he wanted to "honor" the leaders of Reading by spreading and maintaining social distancing in "epic locations," the reality is that there is no "a lot of space." A group of obsessed people like a group of hungry ants scattered on the ground around the Rid Bridge at a picnic lunch.

What surprised me was that, in fact, if Feucht did talk to the mayor and city council members, then all of these people (not to mention one person) would approve the event without permission.

Feucht’s statement on Facebook raises a question: who

The spiritual fathers of this city, what right will they have to allow a public property religious event of this magnitude?

Thousands of North State believers, including those from Bethel Church, filled the entire space under the Rid Bridge, flooded and climbed up the hillside. Photography by Steve DuBois.

The official position of Bethel Church is that it did not approve the Sund Bridge incident on Wednesday night. However, the statement lost credibility in the face of Beni Johnson's remarks on the Facebook page promoting the event.

People sing, jump, dance, pray and hug. Three women in black tops and black shorts walked into the river. "We did it!" shouted. Some young women waved colorful clothes to the music in time. Everyone rides near the center of the event, and Feucht speaks and leads worship music accompanied by musicians from Bethel Church.

Evangelicals, including members of the Bethel Church, sit around Sean Fecht, center right. Photography by Steve DuBois.

After about 9pm, Feucht and the musicians packed up and left. Hundreds of believers stay behind, fellowship and pray to each other.

After the service, believers pray for one person.

On this night of Reading, masks are as rare as mittens and snow coats in July.

Masks are rare at the event, although Sean Feucht announced at the beginning of the night that he would provide masks for those who wanted it. No one has accepted his offer yet. Image source: Facebook video screen capture.

Feucht, famous for being Christians

Has a lot to do with the Bethel crowd, especially after he ran for Congress

The area includes Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties. Earlier this year, Feucht and other evangelicals, including many evangelicals from Bethel Church, took photos with President Trump at the White House.

. "

In this Facebook screenshot, in a group photo of evangelical Christians taken in the Oval Office, Sean Feucht can be seen with his hand on the forearm of President Trump.

For a while, he passed by some of the top Republicans in the United States.

On Feucht's Facebook page, when he talked about the upcoming event, his friends and supporters from all over the world were delighted and excited, especially when Feucht asked him whether he should live stream the event.

Therefore, he did it.

When Feucht and his staff were preparing for the event, Feucht posted an image on his Facebook page showing that people had arrived: "It was filled out 35 minutes before we set off!

In the preparation process, before the crowd actually arrives. Image source: Sean Feucht's Facebook page.

However, some criticized Feucht for organizing an event that will bring many people to Reading in a deadly pandemic.

Wrote a person

Wrote another.

Some residents of Reading heard about the upcoming incident and tried to stop the incident through official channels. Patrick Archer of the Facebook group, "Investigate Bethel Redding (CA)" posted a message on the group’s page that he said he had emailed it to the police chief Bill in Reading ·Schueller (Bill Schueller).

As Archer said, Wednesday night in Redding is just one of many similar outdoor services held across the country. The most recent was a highly-watched Feucht event held in Huntington Beach, which attracted thousands of devotees.

Admirers recently gathered in Huntington Beach. "The church has left the building!" Image source: Sean Feucht's Facebook page.

Feucht claimed in his Facebook post that he has obtained permission from Reading leaders including the mayor and city council, not to mention the city’s “spiritual father” – continue to go outdoors on the Day Bridge in Reading Worship activities.

Participants sat among Sead Feucht and musicians under the Rid Bridge. Photography by Steve DuBois.

This is confusing on many levels. First of all, what power and influence does Sean Feucht have in Redding to get his reckless incident approved?

Second, rational city leaders would think that it is prudent to allow a large-scale event to attract thousands of people at any time during a pandemic. At that time, the global consensus was that large-scale gatherings were considered likely to spread the virus. local. Avoid something like the plague (or deadly coronavirus)?

I did not choose Bethel Church or other churches where members have participated in this congestion. I would like to point out that when California counties are struggling to get rid of the governor’s watch list to seek further restrictions and closures, the wreckage of the train that may carry the virus spreading COVID at a mass gathering in downtown Redding is absurd .

It is easy to see how this event attracts so many people, especially since the Bethel Church, of which Feucht became a member, has more than 11,000 members. This event has been widely promoted on social media. Of course it will be very popular. Of course this will be a mob scene.

I met deja vu again because of this

The incident reminded me of the Shamrock Rodeo on Mother’s Day, which was allowed by our incredible Sheriff Eric Magrini. I'm not the only one who incorrectly predicted that we will see an increase in coronavirus cases immediately after the incident. This prediction has caused ridicule and criticism from those who pointed out us.

See a bunch of positive cases.

At least not right away.

Source Facebook.

Guess which area of ​​Shasta County is statistically one of the biggest COVID-19 hot spots in the county? According to a map released this week by the Shasta County Department of Health and Human Services, the Cottonwood and Anderson maps show the areas with the highest number of cases per 100,000.

Guess which Shasta county supervisor represents the larger Cottonwood/Anderson area? Les Baugh of District 5 is also a pastor and a supervisor who has praised the COVID prevention guidelines from day one, and even has a haircut with the Cottonwood barber led by the militia. Guess whose church has had enough COVID panic activities recently to not be able to visit in person? Bao's.

You just cannot make up for this.

Generally speaking, leaving aside religious beliefs, some rodeo performers and Bethel believers have something in common: the governor’s contempt for administrative COVID restrictions, and the overall suspicion of the danger of the coronavirus.

As our president said, fewer COVID tests will reduce positive COVID cases. Real enough.

As Donnell Ewert, director of the Shasta County Department of Health and Human Services, so wisely observed shortly after the rodeo, we may never know what the trefoil rodeo produced Attenuation and ripple effect, because there may be no one infected with the virus, or there may be asymptomatic people there, it may take a while for the virus to spread through multiple people within weeks or even months.

If there are asymptomatic people in the rodeo, they may inadvertently spread the virus to other people in the rodeo, perhaps those who have no symptoms, or the illness is so mild that they hardly feel it. Maybe these people went home on a happy path, went to work, went to family gatherings and shopping trips. These people may have spread the virus to others and then continue to spread.

However, over time, some of these potentially infectious rodeos may eventually spread the virus to those

Symptoms were displayed and tested. Some people may have been hospitalized. Among the seven Shasta County people who died of COVID-19, some were from the Cottonwood/Anderson area. Because of HIPAA, only those who knew the deceased knew the information.

At that time, public health officials advised the enclosure population to conduct self-quarantine to avoid potentially spreading viruses they might not know they were carrying. Public health also recommends that enclosures should also be checked. come on! The test is free. It's easy!

You can try, but these requests are likely to fall on deaf ears, because many people participating in rodeos are stubborn anti-maskers and COVID non-believers. Similarly, some people expressed doubts about the test and thought it was a sneaky way for the government to collect our DNA and insert tracking devices into our bodies, for some evil reasons that I would never understand.

Many evangelical Christians also share these beliefs.

Photographer Steve DuBois (Steve DuBois) focused on counting the number of people he saw wearing masks at Bethel events. He counted six. A person wearing a mask is Swedish. Steve asked the man why he thought more people were not wearing masks.

Steve said that this man believed that more of his Christians did not wear masks because the pandemic is "an evil" and Jesus will kill this evil.

Steve said the Swedish man added that if anyone in the worship service contracted the virus, he was confident that he would "heal the miracle through Jesus."

So you go.

This is what I see. Like the consequences of the COVID-19 rodeo, we will not necessarily see an increase in positive virus cases in the coming weeks. Anti-maskers and COVID nonbelievers are not inclined to self-isolate. Unless they are sick, or unless they are so ill that they seek medical treatment or hospitalization, they are not willing to be tested. "Receiving" quarantine or testing will show a lack of faith. This means admitting that they lack the confidence of God to protect them from this evil virus.

As I reported in some fundamentalist churches during the pandemic, some Christians do believe that the blood of Jesus will protect them from the virus.

Or, as thousands of people gather for a few hours on the bridge, positive cases may increase dramatically. The leap in positive COVID-19 cases may put Shasta County under greater restrictions and lead to more business closures, and even more illnesses and deaths.

Either way, time will prove everything.

But at the same time, I was very angry. I feel angry again that our Uttar Pradesh leaders are not paying enough attention to the virus to refuse.

I am very angry. If this is the case, as reported by KRCR host Mike Mangas, the worship organizers assured public health officials that they had spread out, encouraged to wear masks, and that their activities were too large. Small and unable to obtain a license-then someone needs to pray for forgiveness. It is estimated that about one-tenth of the population of Reading is made up of Bethel church members. Organizers have held large-scale out-of-church revival activities in other cities and have achieved great success. Success means a large number of participants. They knew that in Redding, the headquarters of Bethel Church, any free event they held outside would attract a large number of believers, and they yearned for gatherings after getting along for a long time.

Obviously, the organizer's projection of the bridge on Reading Day is not true. It seems they don't care. From my seat, it seemed that they wanted what they wanted without considering the potential life and death consequences for the rest of us.

I am very angry and again put our community at increasing risk of infection, because thousands of potentially non-infectious people will now walk among us, live and shop, no matter where they are. Spread the virus.

I am very angry and think about innocent people who will suffer and may even die because of this incident. Is it this one

In a pandemic, is it really so important what it must happen? Is this really about worshiping God? Must thousands of people be included? Worship cannot happen alone, in the home or in nature? Does God really care?

Most importantly, I am very angry that this mass rally was held under the guise of "blessing" our city.

If that is their blessing idea, then they can continue.

God help Shasta County. We will need it.


The title and some parts of this column have been modified to accommodate the following corrections:

Thursday, July 23 – Sean Feucht posted the following on his Facebook page about the Wednesday party he organized on the Sund Bridge in Reading.

Sean Feucht:

"I want to thank every pastor who attended prayer last night.

I want to thank our city leaders for respecting our right to freely conduct outdoor worship (according to state and CDC regulations).

I want to reiterate that this was definitely not proposed or sponsored by Bethel Church. Many different church leaders from all over the city were present and praying.

I want to reiterate that we encourage distance from society and tell people to wear masks (we even bring other things if needed). We cannot impose on others.

I want to clarify that I shared our plan with the city council (this is something we have never done before). They asked me to contact the local health department. We did this, but never received a response. I think this is enough, and we have already obtained approval.

We try our best to commemorate the city and browse the appropriate channels. So far, we have spent more time in Redding than any other city.

We love Reading, and we love the churches in our city.

See you soon, Pasadena, Fresno, Bakersfield and San Diego. "

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