Traverse City Churches Make Adjustments During COVID-19 Pandemic
All Michigan churches are exempt from the stay-at-home order, but many chose to temporarily end in-person services to protect their congregations.
St. Francis Catholic Church in Traverse City is now resuming regular worship, but things will look different at mass.
“We’re maintaining that social distance of six feet apart for people who are not in the same household. We’re strongly encouraging face masks,” said Father Don Geyman. “Even when we give communion to the people we wear face masks.”
St. Francis has set up sanitizing stations and volunteers are helping to clean the church.
The church will be operating under at reduced capacity, but they are making up for it with more services.
Geyman says, “We’re only using 25% of our seating capacity. And so people have been spreading out and going different days of the week to allow others to have that social distancing.”
Even though some churches have decided to open up, the Presbyterian Church of Traverse City says for now it is safer to stay closed.
“Our church is heavily used by the community,” said Pastor William Myers. “So we need to be prepared for outside groups wanting to come back.”
He says in June, they will only allow a small group of staff to attend in person.
“Our session members and our safety committee will be coming to worship together. So that the safety committee can practice their protocols. And then we will kind of re-evaluate about mid-June about opening up further.”
They say starting June they hope to be able to live stream their Sunday services.