Places of worship utilizing online platforms to keep services going

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In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many places of religion are being forced to come up with new strategies and creative ways of giving their congregation a medium for worship.

CDC guidelines suggest a distance of six feet between individuals, and an order from Governor Ralph Northam mandated restaurants, businesses and fitness centers close if they couldn't limit their capacity to 10 or less. Many churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship around the state are therefore making the decision to shutter their doors as a precaution.

In an effort to find a way for everyone to be together while they're apart, many places are taking their services online, through platforms such as Facebook and Zoom.

This is by no means a conclusive list; it's but an example of what some churches are doing, so stay in touch with your place of worship. Make sure to check in to see if services have been canceled temporarily in response to the virus, and whether they have been moved online.

Church of the Holy Spirit is just one place in Roanoke that is taking things online. They streamed their past Sunday service on Facebook for everyone to watch in the comfort of their own homes. On March 13, Roanoke Valley Church announced they would be canceling services for two weeks, and on Saturday, they urged their congregation to watch live on Facebook.

The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church announced that their public services were all canceled in light of the virus. A note on their website read: “Notice: Per direction from the Metropolitan all services will be held only with the priest and cantors, no congregation, until further notice due to Coronovirus restrictions at least through March 29.”
“The Faithful are urged to pray at home or tune into an online Liturgy broadcast. Please check back from time to time at our website for updates on resumption of public services.”

Rabbi Kathy Cohen, of Temple Emanuel, announced the cancellation of the temple’s services on its website. In much the same fashion as other places of worship, she wrote that classes and tutoring would be conducted onZoom, a platform that enables discussion in a meeting-type format. In addition, she said the temple had made small purchases which would allow them to stream in higher quality.

Meanwhile, the Dharmapala Kadampa Buddhist Center on Peters Creek Road is still looking at options. In a Facebook post to their members they wrote, “We're also getting help to find possible ways we can still be together—virtually—during this time and will let you know when we have resources in place for this.”

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