Although Thanksgiving has no religious roots connected to the beginning of the holiday, many people of different faiths choose this time of year to express their gratitude. For Thanksgiving 2020, COVID-19 has significantly changed the way that all religions will gather together to express gratitude.

As COVID-19 cases increase throughout the state, the Capital Region is at risk of reaching the yellow zone. That has officials worried about all Thanksgiving gatherings, and especially gatherings in church or synagogue type settings.

Throughout the entire pandemic, churches and synagogues throughout New York have been closed and struggling to reopen following strict state guidelines.

According to News 10, just last week the Victory Church had a COVID-19 exposure. The church's pastor, Charlie Mueller, spoke about the exposure. He said, “We’ve been trying to comply and be as safe as we can. You know, we have some elderly people in our church. We’re probably not going to be opening for another couple of weeks. Nobody notified us, but we just did that on her own because we are trying to be as careful as we can.“

With the church’s compliance with COVID-19 protocol, and being closed for a couple of weeks, they will have to find another way to gather together to celebrate the holiday. In-person church services won’t happen, so they may have to hold services virtually.

Many churches and synagogues have improved their online presence significantly throughout the pandemic. Services are held on Facebook Live, Zoom, and other online social media groups.

What are your plans for the Thanksgiving holiday? Do you intend to attend in-person religious services or do you intend to celebrate online?

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