Local places of worship prep for safe celebrations of Spring holidays

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– As we all remember in 2020, some services for Easter and Passover were changed around or canceled.

A rabbi and pastor say they’re trying the best they can to be careful this year.

“We have added services, and opportunities for people to experience the passion of Christ,” Rev. Karen Hayden, lead pastor at King’s Way United Methodist Church, said.

King’s Way UMC started having Easter services on Thursday night – that will continue through this weekend.

“There will be options outside, inside and every experience we’ll have an online option,” Hayden said. “We have added an ionization ventilation. I mean, as many things as we can think of, offer and make for a safe experience.”

Reverend Hayden said registration is required for her worship services through April 18.

“To offer us a chance to be as prepared as possible. Also, if there was any need for contact tracing afterwards.”

With these precautions, the egg hunt will still be on.

“Our tradition of different kinds of foods and everything won’t be available, and we’ll space the children out and give them opportunity to go in groups,” Hayden said.

Ten minutes down the road, Springfield’s 15th Annual Easter Sunrise Service will be held at Hammons Field Sunday morning at 6:45 a.m. with gates opening at 6:15.

“We’re just glad that we’re able to do it again this year. Missed last year, but we’re back and in full force,” Easter Sunrise Committee member Anitra Appleby said.

If it rains, though, Appleby said the event will be canceled.

“Typically, if it’s cold or rainy we would go inside, but because of COVID we will not go inside.”

CDC guidelines will be followed, but Appleby said capacity won’t be limited.

“The stadium’s big enough to hold everybody.”

Switching from Easter to Passover, Rabbi Barbara Block says the Seder – a religious family meal – is usually held inside a home and not a synagogue.

“I urged my congregation to follow the guidelines put out by the CDC,” Block said. “So, no large gatherings with people you don’t ordinarily associate with unless everybody is vaccinated.”

Rabbi Block says she also recommended having a virtual Seder if having a small gathering wasn’t an option.

Temple Israel held a Seder over Zoom for people who don’t have anyone to celebrate the holiday with this year.

Temple Israel is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

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