The sight of a full church during Holy Week will be welcomed by area clergy a year after doing them in front of empty pews. It has been over a year since Governor Tony Evers had churches lock their doors during his Safer at Home Order. Some congregations like Friends Community Church in Sturgeon Bay took to the radio to make sure its weekly message was heard, even as they have allowed people back for services in recent months. Friends Community Church Pastor Nancy Bontempo says it has been a hard adjustment from pre-pandemic times to now even with their doors open to the public.
Pastor Dan Schuster of Holy Trinity Parish in Casco and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg has done weekday and Sunday masses over Facebook Live since the very beginning of the pandemic. He is encouraged that viewership has started to drop a little bit because it has meant his pews have become more full.
Churches are anticipating larger crowds for Holy Week services, but believe they can keep people safe by offering more services and continuing current COVID-19 protocols.
Picture of pre-pandemic service courtesy of Friends Community Church.