Webster church prepares to resume in-person services at movie theater

Raven Brown
Updated: October 18, 2020 07:12 PM
Created: October 18, 2020 03:26 PM

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A church in Webster has been waiting longer than others and is still broadcasting virtually because they usually hold their service at a local theater.

“The movie theater opportunity opened up for us, and we had heard about other churches meeting at movie theaters. There are 250 other churches around the country that meet in movie theaters,” Blessed Hope Community Church Pastor John Wurzbacher said. 

Before the pandemic, the church met every Sunday at the AMC Theatre in Webster, but with coronavirus shutdowns for theaters, Wurzbacher said the church had to stay virtual longer than others.

“When other churches have been able to reopen, we weren't able to because the movie theater wasn't open, and we even looked into other venues like schools, and because of COVID restrictions, they couldn't rent out their space either,” Wurzbacher said. “We had to wait longer than other churches, and we stayed online longer.”

Wurzbacher said they're now preparing to do what many other churches did months ago.

 “We’re still waiting to hear back from AMC as to when they will allow us to use the theater for in-person services," Wurzbacher said. "They said they may need some time to get settled and get used to the new safety standards."

With restrictions in place, theaters will have to operate at 25% capacity with a maximum of 50 people per screen. Wurzbacher said they are weighing their options on what to do for whoever shows up.

“We have no idea what percentage of our people are going to feel safe doing that and are going to want to come, but we're working with the theater about the possibility of getting a second theater so our service would be in both theaters at the same time, or we may go to additional services," Wurzbacher said.

Wurzbacher said while it's been a long wait, they're excited to welcome back their congregation.

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