Moline Churches to Re-Open Despite Governor’s Orders
Of the many businesses affected by the countrywide closures, churches are one of the biggest. From a business perspective, they rely on donations and tithes from their congregation to keep the lights on, pay staff, and pay rent. From a spiritual perspective, they rely on gathering together, encouraging one another.
As state restrictions stopped churches from gathering in person, many went to online services via Facebook Live and Zoom. This somewhat solved the gathering issue, but made it difficult for churches to accept financial contributions. You can't pass a plate through Zoom. Churches were hurt spiritually and financially.
14 states have yet to reopen, 10 of which have allowed specific counties to open. 4 states remain on a full lockdown, one of which is Illinois.
Gov. Pritzker's order extension has come under scrutiny by many business owners and operators in the state, with many beginning to decide whether to open and defy the orders, or close down for good. Churches are no exception, and two Illinois-side Quad City churches are making the decision to reopen.
Calvary Church in Moline decided they will be reopening Sunday, May 31st for Pentecost Sunday. They'll be offering three one-hour services, at 8:30am, 10:00am and 11:30am.
Their seating will be modified for social distancing, and won't be immediately reopening children's ministries. No food or drink will be served. No hand shaking or hugging, but elbow bumps. They say they'll be doing the proper sanitizing between services to be sure things are cleaned as they should be.
MGT New Hope in Moline announced on Facebook that they will be reopening Sunday, May 31st for a Pentecost Sunday service, which will mark 77 days since the lockdowns began
They say until they can deem it safe, there won't be any children's service. The church will continue to hold two services at 9am and 11am, neither of which will exceed one hour long, and the congregation will practice social distancing.
Other churches have yet to announce re-openings, but according to Pastor Tim Bowman says many other churches in the Quad Cities will be reopening the same day in solidarity.
The pastors of these churches take a risk reopening. Pastors across the country have been arrested for defying stay-at-home orders, but that was at the beginning of the orders.
Will they arrest multiple pastors in one area after the majority of the country has reopened?