** This article has been updated on March 14 at 10:40pm to reflect the change in Transformation Life Church's services. **
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS/WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Area houses of worship are responding to the health emergency caused by COVID-19. Some are canceling services while others are limiting offerings.
Chabad of Hasbrouck Heights and Chabad of the Meadowlands will not be having services or gatherings at this time, according to Rabbi Segelman.
"We are following the advice of the head Chabad center in Bergen County, after they met with local government representatives and the Department of Health, as well as expert physicians from three local hospitals," he said. "The message was clear, they need our help in slowing down the spread of the disease before their resources are overwhelmed, and we feel we should do as much as possible to prevent whatever spread that we could."
"However, our doors are definitely not closed, and we are still very active and reaching out to our community," said Rabbi Segelman. "If anyone does need any assistance or help, they should not hesitate to reach out to us, and we will do whatever we could to help.
Bible Baptist Church in Hasbrouck Heights will continue to hold its regular Sunday services, Sunday School at 9:15am and Service at 10:30am, according to Senior Pastor Eric Dammann. The church has posted its "cleaning schedule and what we are doing to help combat the virus," he said.
"We have asked anyone who has any signs of a cold to stay home," said Dammann. "We also live stream our sermons on Facebook and people can also watch them at a later date via our website. We are asking everyone to pray but also if they can to attend services and fellowship together."
Iglesia Bautista Hispana in Hasbrouck Heights is canceling its services for the next two weeks.
The First Reformed Church of Hasbrouck Heights will be canceling Sunday School until further notice after this Sunday, said Pastor Debbie Rundecker. The announcement will be made on Sunday. The regular 10 a.m. church will go on as scheduled.
Rundecker said they "are also considering other actions as well, which will might include alternate ways to celebrate the sacrament of Communion and how to maintain community during this time of social distancing."
" We know that this rapidly changing situation is producing quite a bit of anxiety for people, so we will be exploring ways to help them manage it and one way we know to do that is to help people feel connected."
She said that currently there are no plans to cancel the regular time of worship on Sunday mornings however, that is subject to change as the situation with COVID 19 continues to develop and more cases of confirmed infection move closer to “home “.
"Our approach will be going forward it would be that our concern is for the physical health of our congregation, many of whom fall into the category of those most vulnerable to this virus, but we are also concerned with their spiritual and emotional health too,": said Rundecker
St. John the Divine in Hasbrouck Heights has canceled Sunday services for the next three Sundays as per The Right Rev. Carlye J. Hughes, XI Bishop of Newark.
Holy Trinity Luther Church in Hasbrouck Heights has suspended worship services through March 29.
Christ First United Methodist Church in Hasbrouck Heights will hold its regular scheduled Sunday service at 10:15am on Sunday.
Transformation Life Church in Wood-Ridge announced that services for Sunday, March 15 are canceled. Members can view a livestream on its Facebook page, website or app at 11am.
TLC will also live-stream its Sunday morning service through its Facebook page, website or app. The church's annual Egg Hunt and Barcelona Mission Trip have been canceled. If feasible, the church will look into rescheduling once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Full refunds will be given for the Mission Trip.
The church also announced it is "paying special attention to cleaning and sanitizing commonly used areas in our church...
providing hand sanitizer in our bathrooms...have tissues readily available in the sanctuary." It will also be using individual, pre-filled cup and wafer communion sets as long as necessary.
Catalyst Agape Church in Teterboro "will hold our 11am Sunday service virtually for the next few Sundays, starting March 15," it announced. "This decision doesn’t come from a place of fear or anxiety, but it comes from a place of worship and love." The church will livestream its Sunday services.
Local Catholic churches Assumption Church in Wood-Ridge and Corpus Christ Church in Hasbrouck Heights have canceled Sunday Mass this weekend. The celebration of daily Mass will continue. Assumption Church has canceled Faith Formation Classes for the weekends of March 15 and 22. Parents will be notified about at-home assignments.
The Archdiocese of Newark announced it will live-stream 12noon Mass this Sunday, March 15, 2020 on its YouTube channel.
The Church of St. Paul’s and Resurrection in Wood-Ridge has canceled services through March. They will offer members service by teleconference.
Editor's Note: if there is a church or house of worship that would like to be included, please email the editor and we will update the article.
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