INDIANAPOLIS — As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, we’re taking a closer look at what churches in our area are doing to keep people safe as they work to provide worship services for the community.
“We want to stay as safe as we possibly can," said Lead Pastor Aaron Brockett of Traders Point Christian Church. "Just like there are other businesses that are still open that are trying to stay safe as they can."
TPCC resumed in-person services back in September. Masks are required at all times and social distancing is encouraged as every other row is left empty. There are also hand sanitizing stations throughout the building.
The crowd at TPCC is still larger than you might see elsewhere, as Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s current executive order does not place a limit on the size of religious worship services.
“We don't want to take advantage of the fact that he's left us exempt, we want to be mindful of it,” Brockett said.
That’s why he said they are doing everything they can to keep people safe for in-person services.
Another large church in the area is taking a much different approach.
“Even though there was an exclusion of churches, we still know when crowds get together that you are more likely to get the disease,” said Senior Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson Sr. at Eastern Star Church.
They’ve been completely virtual since March.
“We are very concerned about our congregation and their health and we know for Black people we are more likely to get COVID-19, more likely to be hospitalized, and more likely to die from it and our congregation is predominantly Black,” Johnson said.
He says their services can be found online. They’re also broadcast on television and the radio.
TPCC is streaming their services online as well, calling it a hybrid model and letting people choose if they want to attend in person or virtually from home.
They tell us currently in-person attendance is about 30 to 40 percent of what it was at this time last fall.
“Even though we can't be within six feet of each other, we can be in the same room together to sing. There's something really powerful about that and this feeling of isolation is getting to a lot of people,” Brockett said.