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Coronavirus Update: Worshipers Gather Virtually On Big Week Of Religious Celebrations

SAN RAFAEL (KPIX 5) -- For many religions, this would be a big week to celebrate and come together, but many have to adjust to the new way of worship online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It started Wednesday night for the Jewish community as families celebrated Passover Seder. Typically, many generations would gather around one table, but groups this year gathered around their electronic devices.

"We have had a couple of weeks to practice with Zoom so hopefully everybody has that capability," said Stephanie Dornhelm.

Dornhelm and her family are staying virtually connected as they celebrate Passover while making some adjustments to their family tradition.

"I would not say this has brought us closer together but we are grateful that we live in a time and place where everybody can get online. We can't be together but we can be together in that way," she added.

Other congregations are also learning the new way of worship. Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco held an online service on Palm Sunday and another busy weekend is ahead as the church prepares for a lineup of Easter services that will be administered on the video conference app Zoom.

"Now we have to bring art and beauty and aesthetics and spirit into that space," said Minister Marvin White.

Minister White admits this has been a challenging time for his congregation. During this time of isolation, White says many are looking for that human connection that only a service at church can offer.

"So much of Church is about connection and physicalizing spirit. We hold hands, embrace one another and we give the kiss of peace," he said.


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