Indiana churches face May 8 reopening with uncertainty

Updated: May. 5, 2020 at 7:57 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced churches are among the places that can reopen its doors to visitors after Friday.

But at least one local church is taking its time deciding when to resume offering in-person services.

St. Paul Episcopal Church would be allowed to reopen Friday, but senior warden Walker McCulloch said that’s not going to happen.

St. Paul has been in the Jeffersonville neighborhood for decades. It’s still standing and operating after three floods, two fires and now, a global health pandemic.

“I miss coming down here every Sunday, seeing all the folks drinking coffee, catching up on all the news of the week,” McCulloch said. "I miss mass on Sunday.”

Even though Holcomb gave his blessing, the bishop and diocese have told churches to wait as the health of the parish members remains a concern.

“I expect to be socially distancing,” McCulloch said. “Maybe sitting in every other pew, sitting apart in the pews. I got amused by the governor saying churches can go back May 8, but people over 65 should stay home. That’s 80 percent of our congregation.”

McCulloch said the diocese is preparing to distribute guidelines that its churches will have to follow in order to reopen. Once they do, McCulloch said, Sunday services will be looking a lot different.

“We keep talking about things going back to normal,” McCulloch said. “I don’t think its ever going to go back to normal. This has been wild."

The soonest services here at St Paul’s could restart is at the end of May.

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