As restrictions begin to lift, East Greenwich church is in no rush

EAST GREENWICH, RI (WLNE) – After Gov. Raimondo lifted the stay-at-home order on Saturday, the economy is beginning the slow process of opening back up, but one church in East Greenwich said, if they need to, they would hold off for the long haul.

Right now, churches are allowed to have five people inside the building for worship, and Raimondo announced Monday that those restrictions could be reduced by the end of the month.

Rev. Ellen Quaadgras with Westminster Unitarian Church in East Greenwich has not held an in-person service since March 8.

“It became more and more clear that the right thing to do and the safe thing to do would be to close,” Quaadgras said. “It was not an easy decision, however.”

When the church first closed its doors they started holding virtual services from the altar, but that quickly changed.

“We started out in a sanctuary and then when we were told we had to stay home we started using Zoom from home,” she said.

Quaadgras will be holding a meeting with the church board to decide on how they will move forward with Sunday services.

“Probably at some point have some hybrid solution where there might be some opportunities in person. There will continue to be some opportunities online,” she said.

Quaadgras said that her church has a number of elderly members, and with that in mind it’s going to be a tough decision.

“We don’t want to be putting someone in a position where we’re inviting them to something that might be dangerous,” she said.

In her opinion, she said that she wouldn’t mind holding out for as long as it takes until it can be guaranteed everyone is safe.

“I could see potentially saying we don’t go back 100 percent in-person until there’s a vaccine available.”

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island