BRAZOS COUNTY — Over the last month churches have had to find new ways to worship due to shelter in place restrictions causing many to being 100 percent digital.
With their doors locked and sanctuaries completely empty, its a reality many church leaders like Pastor Elaine Gomulka of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church says she never thought she would experience.
“Never, never. It feels like a dream I’m going to wake up from,” explains Gomulka.
This new normal has forced church leaders to become innovated and develop new ways to worship with their congregations.
"I had been longing for more digital out reach to people before the virus happened but this forced us to take those next steps,” say Gomulka.
Since spirituality has gone strictly digital, some local parishes, like Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, are able to reach more members of the community allowing for a wider connection to their faith.
"They need that and since they can’t gather in person they are making online worship online devotion and time of prayer and bible study a priority and that’s a blessing,” says Gomulka.
With church being houses of worship where the faithful gather, during this global pandemic, many believe churches are so much more.
“The church is not a building. it’s not a spot, it’s the people,” explains Jonathan Brooks, Lead Pastor of Restoration Church.
With religion going remote, Brazos County Health Department has partnered with religious members to offer the Bryan College Station community a Christian-lead spiritual hotline.
"Specifically focused on just prayer," explains Brooks. "We are not trying to be professional counselors we really just want to let people feel loved and bring that hope and encouragement through prayer."
The number to the hotline is 979-361-5790 and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.