Churches make plans heading into Phase 1 of re-opening Virginia

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 11:07 AM EDT
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Churches across our hometowns have been doing virtual or drive-in services since the middle of March. Now, religious leaders are preparing to open their chapels once again.

"We're going to take this transition slowly."

Pastor Thomas McCracken of CommUNITY Church in Salem has been preaching from the roof of the church for eight weeks. He says the pandemic hasn't stopped their message.

"I think we have been more effective with our mission and our vision without a building than we were with a building," said Pastor McCracken.

Churches will be allowed to reopen to half their capacity as early as this weekend as part of

. However, McCracken says they won't be doing that just yet.

"We're going to take this thing very cautiously, and slowly. There is still an element of anxiety especially for the senior adults and the vulnerable," he said.

CommUNITY plans to continue its drive-in services for the next two weeks. They'll move inside that first weekend in June - of course adding several precautionary measures.

"We're going to have signage out all the people working in the parking lot and greeters will wear masks and gloves, all the doors will be propped open, touch-less hand sanitizers at every entrance and exit," he said.

He said no matter what, God's message will be heard.

"God has a purpose for our suffering, might not be aware of it right now, but there is hope coming'" said Pastor McCracken.

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