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One Rochester church says it is happy to finally be considered essential

Jaclyn Harold
Updated: May 25, 2020 08:35 AM
Created: May 24, 2020 11:03 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Not even a day after Governor Tim Walz announced that places of worship were allowed to reopen, one local church had its plans in place.

On May 27, churches, temples, mosques, and other religious centers will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity after nearly two months of being closed, "We were ecstatic, we felt like we had seen a modern-day miracle," said Lead Pastor John Skipworth at Rochester Assembly.

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When the MN Stay-at-Home order went into effect, Rochester Assembly transitioned to a television station and started broadcasting faith and religious content, seven days a week, according to Pastor Skipworth, and even though they are prepared to reopen, they're still keeping alternative services open as an option, "We are committed to doing as many of those worship and Word experiences as it takes," he said.

When the congregation returns worship service will look a little different. The pastor shares that with several rooms throughout the church, they've decided to break them up and allow members virtually pick how they praise, "Anybody in this community can register. You can pick your room, you can pick your time, you can pick if you want to be with people with masks, if you don't mind being with people without masks or if you want to be in a room with no masks," said Skipworth.

Chairs are spread out 6-feet apart but in small groups of two and four seats. Skipworth said they will close down parts of the church to avoid cross-contamination between the different rooms.


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