By Erica Thomas, managing editor
ARGO — When Satan tries to move in, the church always seems to step up in a big way. That is no different for Clearbranch UMC, in Argo.
Once the coronavirus pandemic hit, many churches were left empty on Sunday mornings. With the fear of being exposed to the virus, parishioners chose to stay home. But like many churches, Clearbranch came up with a way to come into the home of members and guests every week. Through live streams, hundreds were reached. Many that would have not usually heard the word of God, were able to tune in from their couches and beds and hear the message.
Clearbranch has used the platform to go a step further. Director of Communications Mark Harvard said the church is now offering an online campus.
“We stream our Sunday mornings, like everybody else,” said Harvard. “But we have also expanded out to every Thursday I host a Bible study online at noon, it’s like a lunchtime devotion sort of thing. On Tuesday nights, we have the Night of Prayer, and our worship director did an all-request Night of Worship, and there is one of those coming up soon.”
The Night of Prayer will now be held every first Tuesday. The Thursday Bible study is every Thursday at lunchtime.
Harvard said although the church as a whole has faced challenges throughout the pandemic, some changes that have been made could be here to stay.
“When it comes down to it, you’ve got to realize that you can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” said Harvard. “A lot of people in the past year have really embraced the online church thing and there are some that we may not see come back. They may decide this is the way they want to worship and that’s okay.”