Memphis churches making changes for in-person services this Sunday

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This weekend will be the first opportunity many churches can gather in person.

One congregation, Faith Fellowship Church in Raleigh, showed WREG changes it is making. Pastor Randy Brigman said a lot of planning has gone into safely assembling this Sunday.

“We’ve always felt like church was essential,” Pastor Randy Brigman said, knowing that we’re in a different time due to coronavirus.

“We also realize we have to build bridges to make people feel comfortable and reassured about coming back to a public setting,” he said.

There will be multiple services Sunday, and members have to sign up online. There’s also an overflow area set up in another building.

Unlike some other places of worship, there are no pews, but instead tables.

“We’ve distanced those tables six feet apart. We took half of our seating out the sanctuary and have added additional service times so that we’re keeping our congregation to a small group,” Brigman said.

They’re adhering to medical guidance for reopening, seeing this as an opportunity that extends beyond a building.

“The distance doesn’t limit the ability of God’s word to bring comfort and peace and joy to people,” he said.

Prayerful people will lean on God during these uncertain times, knowing things will never be the same — but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

“We’re not really looking to go back to normal as much as we’re working hard to create a new normal,” Brigman said. “When people return to our church they’ll find that it’s a little different but in a good way.”

The pastor said this Sunday is phase one of a three-month plan to slowly ease members back into in-person services.

Virtual services will still be offered for high-risk members or those who are not ready to come back.

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