COLORADO SPRINGS — Churches across Colorado made history on Sunday by temporarily suspending services to limit contact in large groups because of the spread of the novel coronavirus. Still, many faithful people have found creative ways to continue to worship and stay connected with their congregation.
One of the options comes out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where families are authorized to lead their own services at home. News5 met with the Troncoso family, who said this was certainly a first. "It is a time of a lot of stress for people, and so just having that peace, and be able to continue on, almost as normal," said Erin Troncoso.
The President of the Colorado Springs East Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, David McConkie, said he is happy to hear his congregation is still actively worshiping, despite their services being suspended until further notice. McConkie also said they are doing this to make sure they protect those people who could be more vulnerable when it comes to COVID-19, like the elderly. "We can go to the grocery store for them, where we can pick up medication, where we can help them procure the toilet paper that's going scarce, we want to do that, so that they don't have to feel the need to go to the grocery store... We can experience joy even through difficult times, and this is a time to band together, to exercise our faith, to put it into practice, and to care for one another," said McConkie.
Meanwhile, Woodmen Valley Chapel, a non-denominational Christian Church, will be posting their services online until the beginning of April. The church is also acting as a food donation site on Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. "Try to help others during this time, is what we're encouraging people to do... But it will be really nice when we can get back together again," said Lead Pastor Josh Lindstrom.
Not all churches canceled services on Sunday. For instance, Trace Church decided to hold a service. Here is their full statement explaining the decision:
"First, we support 100% that churches in our city, state, and around the nation decided not to gather together at their church, but rather in their homes. After assessing the situation, we decided that the chances of spreading the coronavirus at our church is lower right now than it will be in the coming weeks and potentially months. Right now, there's only *one confirmed case in El Paso County. With that said, we wanted to gather together to talk in person about the potential obstacles and opportunities for us as a church. We understand that the necessity to not have Sunday morning services in the coming weeks will only increase. It was a hard decision because we want to play our part in decreasing the spread of this virus so that our families, communities, and this nation can get back to a sense of normal. But we also understand it's going to be a while. In the next few weeks, we will likely need to cancel our Sunday morning gatherings but will encourage our people to be the church, to serve in every way they can. We are in the process of equipping a trailer to carry supplies to different families and homes around the city who need the most help."
* - On Sunday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced one new positive case in El Paso County, bringing us up to two cases.