Churches in Rockland's COVID-19 red zone pray for better days
Businesses aren't the only ones struggling to survive the second round of restrictions in Rockland - congregations are coping with more empty pews and donation baskets.
As religious services are limited to 10 people in Rockland County’s red zone, congregations like Brick Church are turning to social media to adapt and survive.
Rev. Tom Johnston’s small congregation at Brick Church is faring well, but many are not.
About 65% of American churches saw a drop in contributions during the pandemic, which could lead to 1 in 5 churches closing for good over the next year. It's a problem compounded by the second wave of restrictions in New York.
Brick Church began to adapt in April during the first wave of closures in New York and has continued since. It was a necessary change as many in his small congregation are still too hesitant to return.
“They’re nervous. They’re older, have some health issues, so we took about a 50% hit in attendance just from that perspective," he says.
He’s not the only local congregation going virtual - the First Baptist Church of Spring Valley is featuring its sermons on Facebook as well.