For Lexington church, rebounding means empty pews for now

Posted at 11:07 AM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 11:03:12-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) — Whether it is a family, business, or place of worship, rebounding will look different for everyone. For Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church in Lexington, it has meant staying virtual to ensure their congregation stays as healthy as possible.

"This is totally new. Ten years of ministry and this is completely unique," said Rev. Matt Falco.

According to state regulations, houses of worship were able to reopen at reduced capacity on May 20. Still, Pastor Matt Falco said while they are discussing what reopening to in-person services will look like, they are in no rush to fill the pews on Sunday mornings.

"We are still worshiping online completely, and the reason for that is we feel it's in the best interest of the congregation and our community. It's how we demonstrate that we care and love for one another," Falco explained.

In the meantime, he said creativity had been the name of the game. Over the past 125 years, the church has been relied on by many for their outreach ministries, including Thursday Night Meals, something they have been able to continue by providing them in a grab-and-go fashion.

"We look forward to the day that we can start serving folks back in here," Falco said. "But we're still able to provide that service. We also have a social worker on staff who helps provide assistance to those in need."

That social worker can assist anyone impacted by the coronavirus, furloughed from their job, or anything in between.

Falco said he has watched as the church has quickly adapted. He said older adults are conducting Bible study via Zoom, and this week they are offering a virtual Vacation Bible School for kids. He said thanks to their online services, they are actually reaching more people than before and have even had new members join during the time of COVID-19.

"It's hard to think about it as a silver lining," Falco said, "But we're discovering, learning, we're trying to be creative in how we go about our ministry. This has just helped us to think outside our box, outside our church, which is a good challenge to have."

Falco said he does not look at it so much as a rebound but as an opportunity to continue building momentum. For Maxwell Street Presbyterian, he said, for now, that means continuing to settle into what has become a new standard and carrying on the work they have stood for, for decades.

For more information on Maxwell Street Presbyterian and all of their outreach and online services, click here.