TULSA, Okla. — Finding faith and holding onto hope has gotten many through tough times.
It's also helping many people during the coronavirus pandemic, and with recent restrictions on public gatherings, it's creating confusion on who's allowed inside.
A church and forcing faith leaders are trying to get creative with social distancing, and sharing the good word online.
2 Works for You spoke to one church leader with questions to the City of Tulsa about what they should do next.
“Having services is not equivalent to having faith," Mull-Anthony said. "The bible tells us to assemble together, the scripture says we should never forsake the assembly together of ourselves, but it doesn’t tell us when or how we have to do that.”
Chyanna Mull-Anthony leads the International Gospel Center in Tulsa.
She says she's witnessed the impact that the coronavirus has had on her, and the congregation.
“When corona first came, we had 10 or less in the sanctuary live streaming a whole service," Mull-Anthony said. "Now since our governor has changed that directive, now we are live streaming from home only one at a time.”
Streaming church services have become the new normal during a time that faith and hope is desperately needed in a time of crisis.
“In our opinion, my opinion and our leadership team," Mull-Anthony said. "This is not the time to be uncompliant, This is not the time to be difficult. This is not the time to expose people to danger. This is the time to be supportive, and prayerful, and just do the things Jesus told us to do as Christians.
And while coming together online may not be ideal, it's helping the International Gospel Center's members continue to worship.
“They’re interacting. They are getting involved. They are inviting their friends. We have a lot of other churches outside of Oklahoma and they are joining in. So, I have had absolutely no protest from any of our congregants or leaders,” Mull-Anthony said.
Despite some of the confusing directives on public gatherings from our elected leaders, Mull-Anthony says.
“Our mayor has said it, our governor, our president, our job as Christians is to really cooperate with the government as much as possible," Mull-Anthony said. "So, part of that is just our compliance.”
With Easter less than two weeks away, they want to do something more traditional than usual.
“We were looking at doing a drive in service for Easter, but wanted to be sure we were doing it properly,” Mull-Anthony said.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum's Office says faith services provided online are declared essential, and those churches planning drive-in services won't receive citations.
It's good news for the International Gospel Center.
“To Christians, I would like to say we are intrusted to continue the ministry of Christ, which means we help people who are hurting. We love people who need to be loved. We heal people when healing is needed,” Mull-Anthony said.
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