Some churches in the U.S. are making plans to reopen after weeks of online-only worship services.
According to The Christian Post, many states are working to slowly reopen after being shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A pastor panel survey from earlier this month found that nearly half of pastors hope to be back in their buildings by May. The other half thought that they wouldn’t return to churches until June or later.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced last week that the state will reopen slowly starting May 4.
In an Indiana city, Pastor Dave Sumrall of I-Town Church said they would reopen for church services this week despite a stay-at-home order. The church will only allow 10 people at a time for services and will hold multiple services.
“We are officially in a situation where your religious freedoms have been removed in the interest of public health,” Sumrall said in a message posted on the church’s Instagram page. “So on one hand, the church has been deemed essential. But on the other, we’re not allowed to gather. I personally believe this is an attack on what the definition of a church is.”
In New York, the Syracuse Diocese is looking at holding outdoor services for a while and then moving to small masses.
“I feel we must err on the side of caution in order to eradicate this deadly virus from our communities and will continue to follow the directives of local authorities,” said Bishop Douglas Lucia in a letter to local churches. “I am looking to see if an outdoor mass with participants staying in their cars is feasible as an interim measure if not permitted to gather in our church buildings.
“One of the thoughts that has (sic) come forward is to possibly having a mass specifically designated for those who are most vulnerable. That maybe people 65 years and older, those who are most vulnerable, and at this point in my life I am among them. We could keep them as safe as possible.”
Photo courtesy: Debby Hudson/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.