Practicing faith at home: What church leaders are recommending amid closed doors

Church closings due to virus

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Places of worship are adapting to closing doors for the first time.

A recent Twitter poll by News 8 reveals out of nearly 180 responses, 26% of people said they went to a church or place of worship. Around 38% said they didn’t go at all, while
36% said they participated in a virtual service.

Experts say churches could see a shift in more people moving to online platforms as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends banning gatherings of 50 or more people.

Senior pastor Reverend Christopher Henry at Second Presbyterian Church said he’s prepared for the online move. The church made the switch to live streaming services Sunday, based on recommendations from Governor Holcomb.

Rev. Henry says the church would make the call for this weekend’s service on Wednesday.

Some churches made the decision to continue services as planned, but with extra precautions. St. Mary’s Catholic Church downtown had around 45 people show up for their 8 a.m. Sunday mass. The church had signs alerting members of changes they were taking, like not holding hands during prayer.

Still, Rev. Henry says even if you’re not at church, you can still practice faith at home.

“Remember that family is the primary unit of spiritual development. If there are ways you can gather simply light a candle, spend time in silence, reflect together,” said Rev. Henry.

He also says a sense of community is still important.

“Reach out to your neighbors either by proving food or just calling or checking in with someone. Reaching out to the people closest to you. We also see people reaching out to strangers,” the reverend added.

Other community faith leaders have also made the switch to online practices including the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and Hindu Temple of Central Indiana.

The Center for Interfaith Cooperation has a resource page for faith leaders and communities.

You can also find a listing of church closures, here.