Congregations of some local churches are starting to gather once again.
Fairbury’s First Baptist Church held its first service since March over the weekend in an outdoor setting. Pastor Daryl Evans said the Sunday service was very encouraging to those in attendance.
“We didn’t know what to expect but it ended up being kind of a perfect storm of not meeting for a long time plus having an absolutely gorgeous Sunday.”
Families sat together with room in the grass for visitors to spread out. With safety in mind, the church made a few changes from the traditional services held prior to the start of COVID-19. There were no handshakes, hugs, passing of the offering plates or children’s sermon. Many of the congregants brought their own chairs, too.
Like other pastors, Evans had to adjust to preaching in a nearly empty sanctuary for several weeks as services were held online.
“That was definitely unusual at first and it’s kind of weird after a couple of weeks, you got used to it,” Evans admits.
Pictures of First Baptist Church families were printed off and placed throughout the church in the places they usually sit to give the sanctuary a less empty feeling. The church’s last regular service was March 15.
“When we first closed down, you figured it would be for maybe a couple of weeks. I don’t think we anticipated three months,” Evans added.
Another outdoor service is planned at FBC for the second week before they hope to be back inside worshipping for Father’s Day weekend with the possibility of adding another service.
After the successful outdoor worship experience on a sunny June Sunday, Evans said people told him they would like to gather outdoors more often.