Some Kansas churches to maintain remote worship despite being allowed to reopen

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 10:36 PM CDT
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Kansas churches will be able to reopen to the public come May 4, as a part of Gov. Laura Kelly's plan to reopen Kansas.

Phase 1 maintains a cap on gatherings to 10 or less, but that pertains to a certain space, not a total occupancy.

Some religious leaders say they've already marked off areas of their sanctuaries to accommodate social distancing. Others say they've accepted that worship will simply look very different.

Pastor T. Lamont Holder leads Calvary Baptist Church in Wichita and serves as the president for the Missionary Baptist State Convention of Kansas. He says his congregation won't meet in-person before June.

"Certainly everyone wants to get back to worship as normal but the reality of it is that we are no longer going back to the church that we left. The church fundamentally has changed in that regard. There are going to have to be protocols in place for the foreseeable future," said Holder.

Todd Seifert is the director of communications for the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. He says the church is about fellowshipping, but he says that's just not possible right now.

"It is difficult as a church to not be able to gather people together to worship, to enjoy that time together but the reality is it's what we have to do right now and probably what we're going to have to do for quite some time," said Seifert.

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita says it has not made any decision concerning how Mass will move forward, much of which could be dependent on what county a church is located.