GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – COVID-19 has caused many congregations to close their doors for the time being, but with Palm Sunday and Easter coming up, many have embraced the digital age.
“It’s sort of pushed us into a new area overall,” Greg Cartwright, Associate Pastor for Families at First Presbyterian Church in Greeneville.
Cartwright has seen the church’s services move from in-house to online.
First Presbyterian now streams its Sunday Services on Facebook live. They also pre-record segments to air on the radio.
“Ministry has always been about face to face kinds of contact and those kinds of things,” he said, “but now when we’re not able to do that, how do we still connect with people and not let them drop through the cracks and know that we care about them?”
Cartwright said ministers in Greene County are working together to record a Tenebrae service, or “service of shadows,” to help remember and reflect on the events leading up to the death of Jesus during Holy Week.
“Those pieces will be edited, put together and then sent out and available to all of those church’s members which we would be looking at several thousand people in the Greeneville Greene County area,” he said.
At Crossroads Church Greeneville, staff are putting together daily web videos leading up to Easter and streaming Sunday worship services on Facebook.
“We’ve moved from the seat to the street to encourage people to uplift the name of Jesus no matter where we’re at,” said Senior Pastor David Dugger.
They’re also encouraging members to have Communion at home on Palm Sunday.
“The church is alive and well, very much alive and well,” said Dugger. “We’re seeing souls saved lives changed and hearts touched outside of the building.”
Crossroads also has a YouTube channel people can check out.
Cartwright said his congregation is continuing to brainstorm ideas and explore other avenues to reach people during the COVID-19 pandemic.