DeKalb churches look to live streaming as stay-at-home order goes into effect

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Parker Otto, Senior Reporter

DeKALB — As a result of COVID-19, churches across DeKalb have shut down due to safety concerns. However, many churches will continue to host services without having crowds of people grouped together.

Many local churches have begun live streaming their services across social media platforms, like Facebook, so that members of their respective congregations can worship with other churchgoers in the safety of their own homes.

Among these churches is the Church in DeKalb, 1600 E. Lincoln Highway, which shut down when the Health Department recommended not having gatherings of over 25 people, Pastor Jamie Page said.

“Live streaming will help people who can’t make it [to church],” Page said. “But it will also help people who haven’t yet made it [people who’ve never been to church]. Everyone needs to hear that God is in control and that God is good.”

However, the lack of face-to-face interaction might cause some troubles.

“Church isn’t just about hearing and being reminded of the Gospel,” Page said. “Church is also about being together. We gather together to help, serve and encourage each other as we point each other back to God and the Gospel.”

Other churches like the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 615 N. First St., are audio recording their services and posting them online, according to their Facebook page. Others have suspended services altogether until it is safe to host large amounts of people again.

A community drive-in worship will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of School Tool Box, 12107 Barber Greene Rd. The event will allow people to remain in their cars during the service and will feature collaboration from multiple churches, Stephen Persson, Pastor-at-large of the First Baptist Church of Sycamore said.

People will be able to hear the worship session through the radios in their cars. Prayers will be given in English and Spanish.

“During prayer, people can text the location of their car and license plate number and we [the worship leaders present] can send someone to pray for them while they remain in their cars without any body contact,” Persson said. “We’re trying to create a community presence for people to be connected both spiritually and emotionally.”

If there is a good turnout, this event might happen more until it has been deemed safe to have services again, Persson said.

“I think people need to be encouraged,” Persson said. “There are concerns and fears during this time and I think this [event] will help people get out without being exposed.”