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Churches go virtual in response to COVID-19

Wm. Shawn Weigel * Delaware
shawn.weigel@doverpost.com
The Community News

As more and more people “social distance” themselves, some area churches are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with delayed or virtual services.

Last week, the Hockessin United Methodist Church initially cancelled all services through to March 22.

That date was later cancelled, as well as all small group meetings except for AA.

HUMC Pastor Vernon Bryant said a recent email from church officials noted that services could likely be postponed until sometime in May.

“We’ll take it play-by-play,” Bryant said. “I’m hoping that’s not the case.”

In the meantime, Bryant said they would record each week’s planned sermon on Wednesdays, and uploaded to the church’s YouTube page.

“We’ll be doing that going forward, until things get back to normal,” Bryant said.

At Trinity Church, on Lancaster Pike, all in-person gatherings at Trinity are suspended “until further notice,” according to their website.

Members are asked instead to visit the church’s website at trinitychurchde.com and tune in to a virtual sermon on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.

At Grace Lutheran Church on Graves Road in Hockessin, services have currently been suspended until April 5, according to the church’s website.

Midweek Lenten services are also suspended, as well as scout meetings, bible studies, quilters, choir, and other scheduled events.   

In a statement from Pastor Tara Magoon, parishioners are asked instead to view a special sermon on the church’s website from Magoon, and for future Sundays to visit demdsynod.org for their online services.

“This is a crazy season, not just in the life of the Church but everywhere,” Magoon’s statement said. “My hope is that it will be brief.”

Members of all churches who wish to continue to donate during this time can typically do so through their respective websites.

Other Houses of Worship

A statement on the website of Hockessin’s St. Mary’s of the Assumption from Rev. Charles Dillingham notes that Wilmington Diocese Bishop William Francis Malooly “has dispensed all of the faithful of the Diocese of Wilmington from the obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation.”

There is no notification as to whether or not any services will be broadcast online.

The Good News Church, across from the Sanford School on Lancaster Pike, also has a statement notifying members of suspended services and activities until “at least” March 27, and directing them to view services on the church’s Facebook.

In a webpost dated Saturday, March 14, from Meeting Clerk Richard Bernard, the Hockessin Friends Meeting on Old Wilmington Road would be open for services at their usual 10:45 meeting time.

In a statement, Bernard said that Meeting officials “will be assessing the wisdom of canceling some or all of the future planned activities including Meeting for Worship at Hockessin Meeting during this emergency and communicating our decisions in the very near future.”