Local churches staying virtual even with relaxed restrictions
While Governor Abbott has declared churches to be an essential service, many are opting to continue holding virtual services.
Angela Cortinas, the priest at St. Thomas' Episcopal, said that she anticipates her church meeting online through May 10th. This decision comes as a result of the guidelines sent out by the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, Rt. Rev. Andrew Doyle.
"We're working with other faith leaders in our cities trying to figure out how we can best allow people to get back to worship together, " said Doyle.
In regards to future guidelines, Doyle made it clear that his churches are preparing to ease back into meeting together whenever health experts deem it most appropriate.
"I think what's really clear is that the best health approach...is a phase back in approach so we want to be ready for that," says Doyle.
In addition to the guidelines given out by Doyle, Cortinas is also continuing to take CDC guidelines extremely seriously. Cortinas is recovering from a confirmed case of COVID-19 and understands the danger it could have, specifically for her congregation.
"Knowing how I felt for two weeks, and knowing that a good chunk of my congregation is older, I'm very cognizant of being careful and listening to what the guidelines are," said Cortinas.
Even with all of the madness brought on by the pandemic, Cortinas reported that the attendance for St. Thomas' Episcopal has increased since they began streaming their services.