Places of worship take differing approaches to pandemic |

Places of worship take differing approaches to pandemic

Online, in-person services available throughout Moffat County

St. Michael's Catholic Church in late November 2020.
Joshua Carney / Craig Press

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Moffat County, many churches in the area have gone to online services while others continue to offer in-person worship services.

The Journey at First Baptist Church does their sermons on Zoom before uploading them to YouTube. The Journey also has in person services as an option.

“We’ve added a service and we’re actually doing the service in two separate rooms so that we’re not sanitizing in between,” Pastor Browning said. 

Browning added that they are doing online services and that the in-person services are spread out. Browning added that there are around 50-70 devices that connect to the services each week. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, Browning said he has had to deal with more calls from people concerned about the virus and dealing with the change in society as a result. He said that people are dealing with mental and spiritual health issues. 

The Calvary Baptist Church is meeting online only. Pastor Rod Compton said that the only people in person every Sunday are, “only the worship team, and myself and the guy who runs the camera.” Compton said that the crisis has been smooth for the church, “It’s gone fairly smoothly, we have a lot of faithful people who watch online,” he said. He added that they have tried to help the community during this tough time by handing boxes of food for Thanksgiving to 100 people.

One of the most difficult things facing churches in the area is the rise in cases, corresponding with the Christmas season coming very quickly. Compton said that if the cases continue to increase like they are, the church will forgo the annual Christmas Eve service.  He did however say that it was still up for discussion.

Browning said that the church has not come to a decision yet but that there will probably be less people allowed in person for the service.

Local Latter Day Saints President Larry Elegen said that the church will continue to stream online if everything in regards to restrictions stays the same. 

The Church of Latter Day Saints released a statement saying that the leader, Russell Nelson encourages followers to be safe and follow guidelines.

“The two Craig-based congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will continue to hold small Sacrament meetings at the church building for those members who do not have the priesthood authority needed to perform this ordinance in their own homes,” the statement reads. “In response to increased infection rates throughout Colorado, local church leaders have also arranged to broadcast Sunday sermons from the Craig chapel for members worshiping from home.”

The Church has started to broadcast their weekly sermons on Webcast. Local President Elegen said that they started doing in person services back in June, for 30-35 people, in order for them to take the sacrament.

President Elegen echoed the statement of President Nelson in saying that congregants have to socially distance and wear masks while in church.

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