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Churches opt to stream services online amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 5:09 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 06:09:48-04

WACO, Texas — Several churches across Central Texas canceled formal services in light of the coronavirus, opting instead to stream services and messages to their congregants online.

At Antioch Community Church, a crew of 35 workers came together to stream an entire service, complete with worship and a sermon.

Other congregations posted sermons online.

Some churches still met because they didn't have streaming capabilities.

"It seemed like best practices to suspend services," Susan Peters, a member of Antioch's leadership team said. "These are challenging days and people are reaching out to God and answering questions and reaching out to one another. So, the streaming allows us to bring in the word of God and that comforting peace."

The change was felt by members of the various congregations. Drew Bailey, a member of Crestview Church of Christ in Woodway, said he slept in on Sunday. When he woke up, he thought he had slept through church.

He said he missed the community aspect of his church's services, something Peters hopes can soon be found outside of a church building.

"Neighbors will meet with reach out to one another," she said. "They will meet the needs of one another and share, and we'll get through this together."

The CDC has recommended organizers cancel events and gatherings for more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, including churches.

That means congregations over 50 members would not be able to meet for two months.

Still, church leaders are trying to find ways to unite their congregations while also following the recommended social distancing.

“Being able to worship God, open His word, and pray together even through the streaming process is a way to keep our eyes focused on God who is the one we need," Peters said.