Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Local LDS chapels, such as the Pima Stake Center pictured, will begin to once-again host Sacrament meetings starting Sunday, Aug. 16 while following CDC protocols.
By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – After having church services suspended from local chapels since mid-March, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will return to in-person Sacrament services starting Sunday, Aug. 16.
In the LDS Church, the members utilize the Sacrament meeting to reaffirm their covenant with God by taking the sacramental bread and water, which is followed by instructional talks by church members.
According to a release from the LDS Church, attendance will be limited to fewer than 100 individuals in any given meeting. To meet that number, various wards will have their congregations split alphabetically and will alternate attendance at chapels that are also used by other wards.
The chapels will also be thoroughly sanitized after each meeting. Families will sit together separated by others by closing every other pew and following social distancing recommendations. While mask use is not required it is “highly recommended.”
Each chapel will be available to enter approximately 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of services and each Sacrament meeting will be only 45 minutes long. There will be no other meetings during this initial re-opening and other areas of the chapels will remain closed to minimize the required sanitation after each service.
Upon entering each chapel, hand sanitizer and masks will be available for those who would like to utilize them.
“We sincerely hope that attending Sacrament meeting, despite the many new challenges that need to be implemented, will be an uplifting and sacred experience to all that attend. It should be noted that anyone who has been discouraged from attending due to their age, or due to health concerns, or who is otherwise uncomfortable attending, is welcome to contact a Bishopric member for authorization to have the Sacrament at home,” stated the Pima First Ward Bishopric in an email sent to members.