ANDERSON, MO - As stay-at-home orders finally come to an end, churches across the country have begun to welcome their congregations back. For some houses of worship, this means laying out the proverbial red carpet and polishing their tithing boxes. Grace-Life Church in Anderson, Missouri, is taking a different approach.
When their church doors closed, some of the church's board members saw it as an opportunity to invest in some overdue repairs and upgrades. But Pastor Cecil Hall stood firm.
"Our congregation has been away so long. When they walk through those doors, we want them to feel a return to the way things were," says Pastor Hall. "That's why it's imperative that everything from the pencil stab marks in the pew cushions, to the styrofoam cup stuffed with Sweet-n-Low packets, to the '90s floral decor is exactly as it was before the lockdown. And, according to a tradition that is almost as old as the coffee we're serving, there will also be hot, stale java waiting for them, as expected."
During a church staff meeting, a newer member suggested purchasing new coffee for the upcoming Sunday service, prompting uncontrollable laughter from the room. Several elders were quick to point out that they still had plenty of fresh coffee they could heat up, sitting in the percolators from eight weeks ago, when they held their last pre-corona service.
Pastor Hall also plans to continue using the International Delight creamer capsules that expired in 2009.