TWIN FALLS — Phase one of the Governor's Plan is underway and Churches are now allowed to resume their services with enhanced safety precautions. Some churches have decided to remain closed during this time to to allow for further preparation upon their reopening.
The Lighthouse Church is one of the churches that will open it's doors to their members for Sunday services. Prior to reopening, they were offering online sessions through Youtube. There is excitement among its members to be able to have that face to face interaction, still there is some concern over how services will be conducted.
The church is doing its most to keep people safe and limit as much contact as possible. Lead Pastor Greg Fadness stated,"“There will be touchless hand sanitizer at the church when you walk in. On Sunday morning the doors will be opened, so you won’t have to touch a door handle anywhere. All who attend will be required to wear a face mask”. Pastor Greg also added that social distancing practices will be in place.
For those who still feel uneasy about large crowd gatherings, the services will be offered via Facebook live. The Church did conduct a survey to see how many members would be attending upcoming services, the numbers are not yet known. In the event of too many people attending, the church will utilize its school and their classrooms to provide the service using Facebook.
Lighthouse urged people who are in the at-risk category as well as those who feel ill to remain home.
The Episcopal Church went the other route and decided to remain closed until May 31st, which will be their first in person service. Co-rector, Robert Schoeck said, “We want to make sure that we have the proper protocols, that we have the proper equipment, that we are prepared as best as we can be to be able to still offer a way for people to come.”
This church, like Lighthouse were providing services through digital means to reach its members. Through this time they have realized the importance of how online services can impact its members. They plan on on continuing online sessions further into the future, even once quarantine ends.
It is sensible of churches to either reopen or stay closed. Churches re opening will offer some sense of normalcy into its members lives by being able to see one another again. As long as proper safety measurements are taken and participants practice hygiene all should be well. For those staying closed they will now have the time to plan out protocols to put in place once they meet again.