Churches encourage COVID precautions as worshippers return for Christmas Eve
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Christmas Eve service is the busiest day for churches of all kinds.
A national poll shows many people have been hesitant to attend in person as we enter our second year of the Coronavirus pandemic.
A national poll from ABC found the southern part of the country saw a 20% decline in church attendance in October of this year compared to before the pandemic in January 2020.
Although Lubbock has a robust religious community, one church in town, Oakwood United Methodist, is seeing a similar decline in attendance.
“Yes, we have seen a decrease in attendance. I would say I remember when the pandemic hit, and we all sort of shut down. And we started doing everything online. And then when it was time to go back, we probably had 40 to 50% of our regular attendance. It’s sort of creeped up a little bit, but there are folks who are still afraid to come to church,” Minister Jane Vaughn said.
Even with the pandemic, Vaughn expects Christmas Eve services to bring a larger crowd than other services throughout the year.
Vaughn encourages church goers to celebrate safely and do what makes them most comfortable.
“For folks who want to come back to church, there’s going to be more than usual folks in attendance. So if they want to come for Christmas Eve, and they’re afraid, please, please wear your mask, bring your own hand sanitizer, do all of that kind of stuff. If you don’t want to take communion, I understand that perfectly,” Vaughn said.
The CDC suggests that unvaccinated people should wear a mask in indoor public settings, especially if distancing is not possible.
Churches ask, if you have been exposed or are feeling ill in any way, please attend service virtually to avoid potentially spreading illness.
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