Created: May 17, 2020 05:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For the first time since before Easter, worshippers were able to practice their faith in person Sunday.
Gov. Lujan Grisham announced earlier this week that places of worship can open at 10% capacity, but on Friday she upped the capacity to 25%.
Some local churches are taking advantage of that while others say they are not ready.
Legacy Church was one of the places that jumped on the opportunity to open their doors at 25% capacity.
“People have been so happy,” said Daniel McCabe, executive pastor at Legacy Church. “Just being able to come in and worship God the way they want to worship God. Coming together as believers as the Bible tells us do.
The church is changing a few things to make sure churchgoers are following social distancing rules.
“At all of our campuses, we have every other row marked off so people cannot use those rows,” McCabe said.
While the governor’s public health order makes it mandatory for New Mexicans to wear masks in public places, Legacy is not requiring it.
“We told people they can do what they like. If they want to wear a mask, if that's what makes them comfortable—absolutely wear a mask,” McCabe said.
Other churches said they’re not ready and that they’re going to have strict rules in place when they finally decide to reopen.
Calvary Church said they’re not going to open until May 30. for in-person services.
"We will responsibly operate within the parameters of the prevailing state public health order as well as COVID-19 safe practices. We are excited to gather in person once again,” said Calvary officials in a statement.
The San Felipe De Neri Catholic Church in Old Town is also holding off until next weekend.
However at Legacy Church, they said they’re members couldn’t wait.
“Allowing people to come together to see people, even if they can't hang out with them, even to be able to see people is really helpful,” McCabe said.
Places of worship that do choose to reopen under the new rules are asked to follow social distancing and public health orders such as wearing a mask out in public.
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