SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota, according to the state department of health, is nine. As people consider social distancing during this outbreak, churches in South Dakota reevaluated the way their weekend services look.
From preaching to a camera to worshiping with only half of the congregation, churches in KELOLAND have changed the way their weekend services look in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We needed to focus on two areas, and it was precaution and due diligence. In those areas, it was about the elderly, the vulnerable and the common good,” Alan Bixler, Pastor of the Community Crosswalk Church said.
The Crosswalk Community Church of Sioux Falls made the decision to close their doors for the weekend and livestream each service online for the faithful to watch at home.
“Not out of fear. Not out of something, that you know, just this huge reaction. But just something that making sure that we just protect what we need to protect. This was just something that we felt was important,” Bixler said.
The Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls has sent out a statement saying the bishop was releasing members of their obligation to go to mass.
“We don’t know for how long that will go and whether churches will continue to do so. I imagine they will evaluate it depending on how the virus continues and how it spreads and what people will want to do and what the Bishop will want to say week by week, I’m sure,” Father Charles Cimpl, pastor of the Holy Spirit Parish, said.
Both churches want to continue to spread prayers and hope during a time of uncertainty.
“We always believe in the power of prayer and intercessory prayer, meaning praying for others that not only are sick, but also praying for those that are going to work on this virus so that it can put an end to it. So we pray for the medical community and doctors and all those people that are in the scientific field,” Cimpl said.
Both of these churches said they will continue to update their members on a week by week basis about how future services will look.