A local church is taking extra measures to prevent the spread of germs and offers alternative ways to worship
Saint Paul's United Methodist Church in Joplin is prepared if worship services are no longer deemed safe
JOPLIN, Mo. – Jasen Jones has attended Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church in Joplin for more than 5 years.
It is a congregation he feels connected to and trusts, so he knew his church would take the right steps to protect them from potentially getting the coronavirus.
“They are basing their decisions on science and what’s good for the congregation and not on the hype so as a member of this congregation I’m very confident in the steps they’ve taken so far.”
Officials with the church have added a multitude of hand sanitizer, extra cleaning from the custodial staff, advised those who are vulnerable to not attend the large gatherings, no hand shaking or hugging and no passing of the offering baskets.
They are also working on a different way to have communion to avoid the spread of germs.
“Keep those safe distances but bridge the gap with more eye contact, bridge the gap with more words of connection since we can’t have that physical connect like we’re so typically used to doing” said Lead Pastor, Aaron Brown.
The church already provides online worship services and Pastor Brown says they will turn to that if need be.
“We’re prepared for whatever might happen, if the local authorities say it is not safe to gather in large groups then we’re prepared because we have online worship. We’re prepared to say worship at home, worship in your small group, worship with your family, and make sure though that you don’t get isolated or disconnected” added Pastor Brown.
One thing that Pastor Brown emphasized to his congregation was that it is now a time for the younger generation to step up and take care of those that are more vulnerable.
But he also emphasized to not be afraid…to let go of the fear of the unknown.
“God understands our fears, that’s why so many times in scriptures there’s hundred of time where God says in different voices, do not be afraid”
For Jones, he says it resonated with him the most how it is time for the younger generation to go into action.
“I am not fearful, I’m certainly cautious about steps that need to be taken, but I think that there’s hope and that we’ll learn a lot and be better on the other side of this.”
You can find a list from Lead Pastor Aaron Brown on all of the steps they are taking on their Facebook page, Saint Paul’s Church.
Many other local churches are taking similar precautions, Hope City in Joplin is working in phases of what changes to make during services and how to move forward. You can find what they are doing by clicking here.