MASON CITY, Iowa - The rapid spread of COVID-19 is forcing churches to reevaluate how they hold services.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' proclamation does not restrict churches from holding services, but some are deciding to make a change, based on the guidance of health officials.
Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Mason City had gone online for most of the pandemic. Not too long ago, they went back to church in person and now they've decided it was time to go back to online services.
Pastor Dan Gerrietts said CG Public Health had asked local churches to consider going back to worshipping online. Trinity Lutheran Church decided to comply.
Pastor Gerrietts says there are actually some good aspects to live streaming their services. They're able to reach more people in other parts of the state and even across the country.
He says eventually they will return to in-person services when the right time comes.
"We're looking at it and reevaluating often. We have a reopening plan that's a phased approach that we put in back in May and we've continued to use that. We've adapted it as we continue to learn more about the virus and how it works," said Pastor Gerrietts.
Christmas services are a busy time for the church, attracting almost 1,000 followers in a normal year. Pastor Gerrietts says they're playing it safe and holding those online as well.