MCGREGOR, Texas — Places of worship are normally filled with hundreds of people, especially on Sundays. This Sunday looked very different -- just priests and pastors speaking to dozens of empty pews, and people watching from home. 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen, it is no longer safe for people to gather in large groups, or really groups at all. 

Churches have adapted to the situation by preforming the service as they normally would, and live streaming it posting it online for members to watch. 

JP Pokluda, the lead pastor at Harris Creek in McGregor, said they are making both the speaking and music portions of the services available for download on their website and app. 

"At the end of [the service] today I gave everyone my cell phone number and told them if they need anything to call or text me." Poklida said. 

The reason for this is to maintain a personal relationship with the members weather they can meet in person or not.

"How can we gather if we can't gather," Pokluda said. "We are doing that through technology, everything is better in person but we are complying to the guidelines to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of the virus."

Many churches have their website full of resources, which makes services for tech-savvy members easily accessible. But that's harder for elderly members, who don't always have access to the internet, a computer or smartphone. 

"We have a team in place that can check on our elderly members," Pokluda said. "And we can safely send someone to their houses to set up a computer or a device."

While Bell county did add places of worship to the essential business list meaning they can gather, it's highly suggested churchgoers continue to social distance. Most Bell County churches are still going the digital route at this time as a safety precaution. 

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