A men's conference due to be held at the church of prominent US pastor, John MacArthur, has been postponed "ongoing litigation" and threats of further legal action from the authorities.
Pastor MacArthur has been in the headlines a lot over the past year for his refusal to stop holding in-person services during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite enforced rules to the contrary. Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, has roughly 7,000 members.
On the conference website, the church said that the annual 'Shepherd's Conference' would have to be pushed back due to the current legal situation with the county.
"In light of our ongoing litigation and recent threats from the County of Los Angeles and the State of California, we have decided that the most prudent course of action at this time is to postpone the Shepherds' Conference,” they wrote.
"We will be deposing the key health officers and county officials and requiring them to answer for their oppressive actions under oath, and requesting all documents and information supporting their arbitrary attempts to restrict our religious liberty as a church. Our church leadership remains firmly committed to the truth that Christ is the head of the Church, and we will not yield to government's infringement upon the biblical command to worship and gather together."
The church added: “We intend to steadfastly defend this truth and obtain appropriate constitutional and legal protections and further relief from the Court."
The announcement comes shortly after California's governor Gavin Newsom suggested that guidelines related to indoor worship services may change after the Supreme Court blocked a blanket ban on indoor services but kept in place restrictions on singing and chanting. The Supreme Court injunction also placed a 25 per cent limit on congregation size.
Newsom's press secretary, Daniel Lopez, said in a statement: '"We will continue to enforce the restrictions the Supreme Court left in place and, after reviewing the decision, we will issue revised guidelines for worship services to continue to protect the lives of Californians."