EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Religious services can now happen again throughout Indiana inside places of worship under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s orders.
On Sunday, Abundant Faith Church welcomed back church members for the first time in nearly two months.
“I am so glad to be back at church," Abundant Faith UPC Pastor James Maroney said. "I am just elated. After having spent nine weeks teaching and communicating into a camera lens.”
Under the Governor’s rules, when providing services in person, places of worship are encouraged to follow certain health protocols.
Some of those protocols include ensuring six feet between people or family units of the same households during services.
Meanwhile, those who are 65-years-old and above or have an underlying at-risk health condition are being requested to stay home and watch services online.
Other protocols include cleaning between each service, disinfect high-contact surfaces regularly, placing hand sanitizers in high-contact locations and recommending they put on a face covering before entering the building.
“We are deep sanitizing between every service," Maroney said. "Everything from the microphones, door handles, surfaces.”
For a full list of Indiana’s in-person worship guidelines, click here.
Maroney says they took people’s temperature, asked a series of questions about if they may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, and also gave them hand sanitizer before they entered the church. They did have masks for people to take if they wanted too.
“I was not surprised at all that people would not want face masks,” Maroney said. “You’ll see that a lot out in the public, but people are coming in here by families and surprisingly there were a lot less face masks than I thought there would be.”
Maroney says they’re abiding by Gov. Holcomb’s protocols given for in-person worship.
Lots of churchgoers stood pretty close together during the service, but Maroney says he believes the church handled social distancing guidelines pretty well.
“I thought we did a good job of social distancing, with the exception of families sitting together, but then again they’re sitting by family," Maroney said.
Maroney made sure to dismiss people Sunday in a way that’s supporting social distancing. He also asked that people not congregate afterward and socialize.
“I think we’re going to keep everything in place as is right now," Maroney said. "We’re going to continue to listen to Gov. Holcomb’s recommendations. As those guidelines and restrictions begin to loosen, we will obviously jump on board with that.”