Glasford church welcomes guests through doors; ready for new beginnings

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GLASFORD, Ill. (WMBD)–Phase Four of the governor’s reopening plan allows groups of 50 people or less or 50% of space capacity with proper social distancing.

A church in Glasford is benefiting from the increase in attendance as things move into a new normal.

Glasford United Methodist Church opened its’ doors Sunday to members for the first time in over three months. With a new pastor at the helm, the church is ready for new beginnings.

For three months, members of Glasford United Methodist Church have only been able to worship online. Sunday marked their first in-person services since the beginning of the pandemic. Director of Outreach and Ministry, Jenny Ulrich said it’s good to be back.

“It just is a joy to be here with my community,” Ulrich said.

Ulrich said she has missed being able to interact with her church family and that Sunday’s service was needed.

“It’s just that sense of community that you can’t get in that virtual world, I’m happy to be back, Im feeling blessed today,” Ulrich said.

Due to COVID-19, the service comes with many changes to comply with orders. All patrons must wear facemasks, and traditional service rituals such as communion and singing have been put on hold by the Bishop Frank Beard. Guests have to sit six feet apart to comply with the governor and can only sit next to their family members.

“It’s just that sense of community that you can’t get in that virtual world, I’m happy to be back, I’m feeling blessed today,” said pastor Gregory Coates.

Coates is the church’s new pastor and Sunday was his first service in Glasford. He said he is adjusting well to the new church and the members have been welcoming. He’s glad to be preaching to actual faces rather than a virtual service over YouTube.

Pastor Greg Coates delivers a sermon to a live audience for the first time in months.

“We’re not meant to be alone. We’re not supposed to be Lone Ranger Christians. It’s a communal thing we’re participating in,” Coates said.

Despite the new changes of attending church, church-goers and the pastor are glad to be back together and do some catching up.

“We’re not supposed to be Lone Ranger Christians. It’s a communal thing we’re participating in,” Ulrich said.

“We’re able to mingle in an informal way and catch up on each other’s lives,” Coates said.

The church says until further notice the new changes will be in affect. Coates also said with everything going on in the country, going back to church is something he feels is comforting for his members.

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