TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Local churches have transitioned to online services in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
With the current CDC guidelines limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 people, Rev. Tess Stephens, pastor at Spruce Street and Allen AME churches said it’s had a both positive and negative effect on their congregation.
“We tend to have more folk tuned in live than what we had prior to. So in that regard, it’s went well. In regards to our congregation, we have a older congregation. Not only are some of the congregants older, some are not as tech savvy,” she said.
However, Rev. Stephens said they won’t let the pandemic affect the way they celebrate Easter.
“For those that are following along, for them to get out a cracker and some juice and we could go through and anoint over the airways the communion so that they be able to take communion and break bread one to another,” Rev. Stephens said. “Also to make sure that we’re giving thorough teachings.”
Scott Gerger, an elder at New Life Community Church said they plan to celebrate the religious holiday in a unique way with a parking lot church service.
“We will have a parking lot crew to direct people to parking space that will be arranged in a sort of church in the round kind of concept,” he said. “We’ll have a live praise band just outside of the building. Our pastor will preach from out there.”
The New Life Community Church leadership has plans to continue broadcasting Sunday services and their weekly meetings such as bible study.
Gerger said the pandemic could possibly affect the way they conduct their gatherings in the future.
“We’ll still continue to do church live in the context of our facility when things open up for that opportunity again,” Gerger noted. “But in the meantime we’ve learned you can do an FM transmitter, you can do Facebook live. You can go messenger group meetings.”
He said he believes it’s important for the community to remember that church goes beyond the building.
“People think i go to church but really my ministry or my life is lived some other time than Sunday. And that’s still happening to the extent that we’re allowed to meeting and seeing each other by these other methods,” Gerger said.