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Some Central Indiana churches prepare for weekend services

Posted at 6:30 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 18:30:46-04

CARMEL — Some churches in Central Indiana are preparing to resume in-person religious services this weekend.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's plan to reopen the state allows for in-person religious services to resume Friday.

Most services have moved online as in-person services were banned to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

"We've done our best to try to create a worship experience at home, encourage people to get chairs out in the living room, engage with the worship, preaching and it's been good," said Pastor Matthew Ball, of Faith Apostolic Church of Carmel.

Ball says the virtual services aren't the same as being able to meet in person. Members of the church agree.

"I'm looking forward to seeing everybody," Tyrinzoe Brown said. "I know everybody is really eager to come back and we all miss everybody."

To help keep people safe, Ball says the church has spaced chairs out, will operate at 50 percent capacity, and encourage everyone to wear a mask and use hand sanitize. People will also be encouraged not to shake hands and the doors will be open so people don't have to touch the handles.

The services will still be live streamed for those who still aren't comfortable leaving home.

"There is no pressure from us," Ball said. "If people are not ready to come out yet, we don't want them to."

Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson said Friday Catholic churches in the Indianapolis Archdiocese will be allowed to open for private prayer and the sacrament of penance. Churches in Marion and Monroe counties will be allowed to reopen once its stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Weekday masses, weddings, and funerals can resume on May 19th, Thompson says. Sunday masses can resume the weekend of May 23 and 24. Those who are 65-years-old and over or in the high-risk group should stay home.