The news is out: [RIDGELAND, Miss. (AP) — It always feels special for Pastor Jay Richardson when his congregation at Highland Colony Baptist Church gathers during the holidays — but this year, that’s even more true because of time they’ve spent apart.
The church temporarily shut down at the start of the pandemic, and again three months ago, when 25 worshipers became infected with coronavirus during an outbreak. Richardson, 70, was hospitalized with double pneumonia caused by the virus.
As hard as it was dealing with an outbreak, in many ways the isolation it caused has been worse, Richardson said.
“I’ve made the decision here that unless it’s a very, very unique situation, we’re not going to shut this church down anymore,” Richardson said, explaining that not being able to worship together has hurt members emotionally and spiritually.]
Translation: donations are down.