Pastor Dorie Hall sits in the sanctuary of the United Methodist Church in Luverne, where she’s taped pictures of congregation members on the pews.

Local Pastor uses congregants' pictures to fill empty church santuary

By Lori Sorenson

Many local churches are worshipping online amid coronavirus distancing, but preaching to inanimate cameras isn’t the same as speaking to a live audience.

Pastor Dorie Hall has been video recording her messages in the sanctuary of United Methodist Church in Luverne but found it difficult to minister to the empty benches.

“You draw so much energy from the people in the room; you end up having conversations with them,” Hall said. “You just don’t get that when you’re not there together.”

To help visualize her congregation members, she requested they email photographs of themselves to be placed in the pews.

“I told them I’d put them in their usual seats, but I moved everyone toward the front,” Hall said. “It’s the one time they’re going to sit in the front, because I say so.”

She and many local pastors continue ministering in their churches, but Hall said social distancing is difficult for Christians accustomed to social closeness.

“It’s not easy,” Hall said. “It’s an interesting time, for sure. But it’s working.”

Hall’s sermons and other messages can be found at

See the Star Herald church directory on page 8 for a complete listing of local churches and their online links.


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