An online group that started as a way for friends to worship together while apart is far from being socially distant. 

Hilda DeRose grew up as the daughter of a pastor and surrounded by faith, but when churches closed their doors she felt the desire to continue to worship together.

"I created the page after COVID-19 started and churches were closed. I just felt that we needed a place to stay connected ant to grow in with the Lord even though the doors were closed," DeRose says. "I just that we needed to come together as the body of Christ to stay encouraged and connected"

The page was originally created for DeRose's own friends and family. Proving to be a well-loved idea, DeRose's Social Distancing Praise & Worship group grew.

The page currently has over 8500 members from Manitoba, Ontario, and even as far as Nigeria.

"I created this group not realizing where it would go," DeRose says. "I believe God had a hand in this... I just give him al the glory and all the honour, and all the praise. He is so worthy to be praised."

The page is filled with people of all ages sharing worship music, testimonies, and praise. 

"I just get encouraged by how people are opening up and are sharing the word of God, and sharing songs that the Lord has placed on their heart and scriptures. I see testimonies coming."

DeRose is encouraged to see so many people come together to worship. While many are not inside of churches yet, she believes the church community has risen up to share praise online.

"It is so good to see people connecting, to grow in the Lord and be part of something that God is doing right now."

DeRose says that some of the group's members are not Christians and are hearing the gospel for the very first time. She adds that there are a lot of young people in the group as well.

"I love the Lord and what he is doing in this group."

DeRose hopes that more people will join the group to share praise and plans to continue the group even after churches reopen.