Religious groups decide on whether or not to open

Local News

Places of worship in Iowa are able to open for services this weekend.

This is part of governor Kim Reynolds’ plan to loosen restrictions on public gatherings and businesses.

Churches like Immanuel Lutheran in Davenport will open their doors this Sunday.

However, they’ll be trying to keep social distancing guidelines.

“I recognize our member’s desire to be at God’s house, and to receive his sacraments of word and holy communion,” Bradley Ferch, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church said. “We’re a small congregation. We have a weekly average attendance of 80 to 85. I do not anticipate more than 30 people here”

Ferch has already made preparations to follow social distancing guidelines as in-person services start back up.

“We’ve taped off our pews,” Ferch said. “In six foot increments so our members will be social distancing. We have different stations around the church for hand sanitizing.”

Immanuel Lutheran will also be doing “individual cup communion” as opposed to their traditional “common cup”, but is limiting the amount of people who are at the communion rail at one time.

But some churches don’t feel comfortable opening up just yet, like Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities.

“But in worship services, people sit close to one another,” Rich Hendricks, pastor at Metropolitan Community Church said. “They sing, they express themselves so there’s a much higher likelihood in a worship service environment that COVID-19 would be transmitted.”

The Muslim Community of the Quad Cities center would normally have people coming in to pray and have fast breaking feasts at night for Ramadan, however they’re worried about not being able to socially distance.

“If we opened the doors for one person, we’d have to open it for a couple of hundred people,” Lisa Killinger, president of Muslim Community of the Quad Cities said. “So, it’s just not possible to social distance with that many people so anxious to come back and return to the mosque.”

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