SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On this Easter, Christians would normally be celebrating at their places of worship, but because of the current pandemic, many churches in the area came up with different ways to celebrate.
Though the pandemic has restricted people from gathering inside churches and places of worship, it isn’t stopping them from gathering separately outside.
“Easter is our Super Bowl as Christians,” said Pastor Paul Clark of Northwest Baptist Church. “This is the day Jesus came out of the grave.”
Easter is a time many Christians gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but this year looks a little different.
Some, like the Northwest Baptist Church in Springfield, are still gathering but in their respective cars.
“We saw it as an opportunity for us,” Clark said. “We have some online presence and we’re capable of doing some of that as well, but this was one of those areas where many people began to contact me and say, ‘Hey what about this?'”
Clark says they hope celebrating this way will help fulfill the need of community when social distancing.
“This is all new to us,” Clark said. “I do think, yes, this gives some an opportunity. We have a large number of our people who don’t even own a computer — you just don’t have the opportunity to go online and do that. So, this gives them an opportunity, a safe opportunity, to do that to maintain all of the guidelines that have been given to us.”
Another church, the Immaculate Conception Church in Springfield, has moved to online services.
“It’s really kind of made me up my game in regards to technology,” said Bishop Edward Rice. “I’m sort of a dinosaur when it comes to technology. All of a sudden, I’ve learned how to live stream and I’ve learned how to Zoom. It’s a loss for both the people and for the priests. We’re here for the people and when we can’t be with them, it’s a loss for us and it’s certainly a loss for the people as well. They feel void.”
But the idea is to remain positive.
“Good news is, Christ is risen and he overcomes even the virus and we don’t need to fear,” Rice said.
Gov. Mike Parson says drive-in church is acceptable during the stay at home order, so long as people abide by the rules of gatherings and social distancing.