By Linda Benningfield-Hashman — Cañon City, Colorado … A gift from three years back blesses members of the Cañon City church through the pandemic.

In 2017, Cañon City church was given several hand sanitizing stations from the local hospital, who was revamping their hand sanitizing procedures and making the old ones available for anyone who was interested. Steve Schwarz, pastor of Cañon City in 2017, was able to obtain several of the dispensers, including extra cartridges. Into a church storage closet they went, with members wondering where they would use so many stations and why they would need so much hand sanitizer.

When the pandemic hit the country, the church and pastor were glad to have these dispensers to help keep members and visitors not only safe, but in compliance with Fremont County COVID-19 safety guidelines.

In addition to placing these hand sanitizing stations at every entrance and exit, the church also implemented procedures to ensure the health and safety of members and visitors alike, including the following.

  • Sabbath School and church services are live streamed on Facebook for members who choose to remain home.
  • Masks are available for anyone without, and bottled water is available since water fountains are closed.
  • The sanctuary pews are taped off to show the suggested six feet distance between families.
  • Bulletins are distributed by members wearing gloves.
  • Traffic is directed throughout the church so that passing is at kept to a minimum.
  • Use of bathrooms is alternated so that the every-two-hours cleaning requirement doesn’t have to be met on Sabbath.
  • Members are encouraged to visit outside in the parking lot, rather than in the church foyer.

The Cañon City church will continue to address and meet the county and state requirements for church attendance and feels blessed that no members have been tested positive for the virus.

Prior to COVID the congregation averaged attendance between 100 to 130 however, since the pandemic restrictions between 60 to 90 believers worship together.

–Linda Benningfield-Hashman, is a member of the Cañon City church; photos supplied