LAWRENCE, Kan. — Services at Heritage Baptist Church in Lawrences are back indoors. On Saturday, a federal judged blocked Kansas from limiting attendance at religious gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
“Out of all the time we need to have the church doors open, is right now because of the pandemic,” Rev. Scott Hanks said.
This new order doesn’t come without its limitations. Rev. Hanks says his congregations is taking the necessary precautions.
“There’s an empty pew between each pew. the only ones that can sit together are families,” Rev. Hanks said. “We keep our 6 foot distance, we’re not allowed to shake hands.”
State representative Willie Dove stopped by Heritage Baptist to observe Sunday’s service.
“It was quite inspiring to see them follow the rules. Especially not allowing themselves to get involved in the hand shaking,” Dove said. “You see a lot fist bumping and elbow bumping and elbow bumping. But even that was kept to a minimum.”
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s numbers as of Sunday afternoon, the Sunflower State has nearly 1,850 cases and 92 deaths.
Last week, Governor Laura Kelly extended the state-wide stay at home order until May 3. The judge’s decision will remain in effect until May 2.
“Some counties from my understanding have not been hit with the pandemic and this is one particular area, that from my understanding has not, there hasn’t been any instances of the virus taking a hold,” Dove said. “So one size fits all. I don’t think is a very good agenda.
The church says it doesn’t have capability to stream online services.