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Local churches split on reopening for in-person services

Posted at 12:00 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 10:12:23-04

The state of California announced churches and other places of worship are allowed to reopen for in-person services at a 25 percent capacity or a maximum of 100 people.

In San Luis Obispo County some churches have a different approach when it comes to their plan to reopen.

"We feel like it would be unwise, even with an order, or an encouragement, or an allowance right now, to rush into gathering," said Brent Bramer, SLO City Church pastor.

"We're aiming to open on the first Saturday night of June, so that should put us at a couple of weeks out," said John Frady, Oasis Church pastor.

When churches do re-open, they'll be operating under new state guidelines. Those include members inside being encouraged to wear masks, avoid sharing prayer books and skipping the collection plate during services.

Even though the guidelines were released today, Oasis Church in Grover Beach says they already have some safety protocols in place for when they do return to in-person services.

"We've also purchased an infra-red laser thermometer, so we'll be taking peoples temperatures when they come in the door," said Frady.

As Oasis Church has preliminary plans in place to open in the coming weeks, SLO City Church's pastor wants to take a wait and see approach before returning to in-person services.

"I think we're kind of waiting for some of the dust to settle. You never want to be the first place to open and then oh my gosh, an outbreak happened in our congregation," said Bramer.

As churches now have the guidelines in place to move forward to resume to in-person gatherings, both Oasis Church and SLO City Church say they're hopeful but want to be practical in their return.

Places of worship are also encouraged by state guidelines to continue offering remote and online services.