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Churches congregate once again: Here's how they are keeping members safe

This Sunday morning many NC churches opened their doors for the first time since stay-at-home orders began. Congregations are happy to come together once again--but they are taking some safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Mikaya Thurmond
, WRAL anchor/reporter
ANGIER, N.C. — This morning many North Carolina churches opened their doors for the first time since stay-at-home orders began.

Under Phase 2 all restrictions are lifted for places of worship. Now, churches face a new challenge: How to keep their congregations safe during a pandemic.

It’s a first for many churches.

Pastor Chris Turner, of Neill’s Creek Baptist Church in Angier was happy to welcome his members back inside.

"There’s just something special about being here in this sacred space together with our family of faith," he said.

The members were eager, too.

"It’s just wonderful," said Carolyn Broadwell, a member at the church. "It’s hard to find words to really express that feeling that we have."

How church looked different this Sunday

While worship service today was just like it used to be, leaders did implement some changes.

There are hand sanitizing stations when you walk in the door, and masks will be made available.

"We are not passing the offering plate," said Turner.

Doors are kept open, so people don’t have to touch a common surface.

They are spacing out seating and limiting the seating in the sanctuary.

They're also offering an extra service, allowing for staggered visits.

With these safety measures in place, members said they’ll continue to fellowship in-person--with no reservations.


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