BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) - — A number of local churches open their doors for Sunday service for the first time in more than a month.
Members of Grace Bible Church say they function like a family, so after being a part for more than a month, Sunday's service was like a family reunion.
"I love being here, I love being with people," Pastor Dan Hauge said. "I miss those who couldn't be here but I certainly understand that, so it feels good to be back together and I think for everybody this is just a real transitional time."
Some churches across the metro reopened their doors Sunday following the most recent directed health measure.
Pastor Hauge says making the decision to welcome his congregation back inside wasn't easy.
"That was a difficult decision you know, the big problem is that at some point in time we have to make this transition and it's sort of a judgment call when that transition might be," Hauge said.
Julie Sweet worked on the logistics to ensure everyone inside the building was staying safe.
"We really love the closeness of our church family and this separation has been really difficult for us," Sweet said. "We're being very cautious about coming back together and taking all the precautions we need to."
Hand sanitizer and cleaning products were placed throughout the building. They even had masks for those who needed them.
Church elder Dan Schlesiger says it was nice to feel a sense of closeness again.
"We're all very excited just to see live people even though they can't be hugging and touching and all that. They're just glad to be able to stand a part and visit," Schlesiger said. "And keep the social distancing, but seeing people live and conversations so it's been really good."
Members sat in family groups and were reminded to give others their 6-foot social distance.
About 40 percent of the congregation attended.
Hauge says they'll continue live-streaming service and recording videos for those who aren't ready to come just yet.
"We also want to be sensitive to those who don't come," he said. "There's a lot who felt that they couldn't be here. They were concerned about their health or the health of a loved one and so for them, we wanted to say by all means, stay home and don't feel a false guilt about not being able to be here."
While Hauge says he understands the seriousness of COVID-19, he wants to people to have faith.
"Faith involves a lot more than just living forever, faith is all about how you live day to day," he said.