How churches are preparing for Easter Sunday services
HENRY COUNTY, Ala. (WTVY) - A year ago, churches were moving their Easter services online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s a much different scene this year.
“Last year, we live-streamed our Easter service,” said Pastor Jud Waldrop of Abbeville’s Calvary Baptist Church.
With vaccinations increasing and case numbers decreasing, church goers are feeling more comfortable with in-person services.
“Since people are receiving their shots now, and a lot of people have received their second shot, there seems to more of a freedom to come and gather together, so we’re seeing our attendance increase a little bit,” Pastor Waldrop said.
Though there are positive signs that pandemic is nearing its’ end, churches are still implementing changes this year during Easter Sunday.
“We’re not meeting in our sanctuary, we’re meeting in our family’s activity building which is large enough to seat about a hundred people in small groups, and socially-distance,” Waldrop said.
There are also hand-sanitizing stations and masks located in sanctuaries.
Churches like Headland United Methodist church are bringing back Easter traditions, with social distancing in place.
“Sunday morning, we’ll gather at 6:30 for a sunrise service at the square in Headland with everybody that’s invited in the community,” Reverend Misty Barrett of Headland United Methodist Church said.
Churches plan to continue streaming services online for those who still don’t feel comfortable attending in-person.
“We still have a lot of folks that still aren’t able to join us yet in person. So we’ll be Facebooking, we’ll be Youtubing, we’ll be spreading the message, we’ll be telling everybody wherever they are,” Barrett said.
Pastors assure it doesn’t matter if people attend in person or online, the Easter message will still remain the same..
“To know that the most important thing about Easter is not the Easter bunnies or the candy, and flowers and all of that, it is His resurrection. That is powerful,” Barrett said.
“I hope when people come this Easter, maybe it’s the first time they’ve been back to church in a long time, maybe it’s the first time they’ve been to church, and I hope they hear that message that Christ died and rose again for them,” Waldrop said.
Some churches in Dothan are reducing the distance between their chairs to make room for those Easter crowds, while also encouraging masks.
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