LEAWOOD, Kan. — The largest Methodist church in the nation has returned to in-person worship services with the goal of making it as "safe as possible."
"Safer than going to your grocery store," said Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor at Church of the Resurrection.
Families are spaced out from one another, and after one service ends, the cleaning begins. No pew is ever sat in twice, as they are alternating where people sit.
"I think all of us just have a longing to still be a community," said Elizabeth Pishny, a Church of the Resurrection member, "and even though the Zoom online was special and [would] still be a good way to be connected, being in person was really something meaningful."
The church held two services at its Leawood location. Services also were held at Downtown Kansas City, Missouri,, West, Blue Springs and Overland Park campuses.
Hamilton said he felt pressure to make the best decision for the church. But, what it came down to for him was that some members need hope during this dark time.
"There is something to the social isolation that really gets to people," Hamilton said. "We felt like, 'OK, we have to find that right balance for those who need that. We are going to be available to connect with people again.'"
The reopening comes as the church celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Members must register online beforehand, as the church only is allowing between 20% and 30% capacity.