Church attendance has declined since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reverends and pastors are continuing to see a shift with the outbreak of Omicron.

What used to be pews filled every Sunday with church members flooding through the doors are now vacant and empty sanctuaries due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. Church attendance has taken a hit while others have seen quite the opposite.

“It’s slightly diminished. We generally have 20 to 25 people in the church and It varies daily. Obviously, we’d obviously like to see it fill up more.” said Rob O’Connell, Erie City Mission Assistant Chaplain.

“It’s been an interesting year and a half. We have seen it rebound some. We’ve seen increased attendance of folks coming back into the sanctuary.” said Rev. William E. Hastings, Senior Pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church.

Churches have implemented ways to make service doable despite the rising numbers of COVID-19 and Omicron.

“It’s caused us to have to do some creative things with online worship as well and giving that option. I just had somebody ask me if we are in fact broadcasting into the parking lot tonight for our service. Yes, we are broadcasting there as well as being online,” Rev. Hastings said.

Whether you’re attending church in person or online Christmas Eve, Rev. Hastings has an important message to share this Christmas.

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“Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy that was in Scripture and that’s the message for tonight. So, it’s been this great journey that we’ve taken through the Beatitudes and looking at the nativity story.” Rev. Hastings said.