One year after COVID: Church members came together to celebrate Easter 2021

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Several groups and churches celebrated Easter Sunday with a reminder of how far the country has come in the fight against COVID-19.

“Today, we’re celebrating the fact that Jesus walked out of an enclosed place,” said Jeremy Johnson, lead pastor at North Point Church. “And it’s ironic that we go into an enclosed place, for many of us.”

After a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson says he is glad the church can celebrate Easter in person.

“It’s been a tough year, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of lack of hope, a lot of fear,” said Johnson.

“We were in our apartment in our living room watching our church and any other church we could think of,” said Dom Federici, North Point Church member. “We actually heard that song, ‘RATTLE!,’ which was played here, today so, it’s, like, bringing back memories.”

Easter was the first big celebration that was hit particularly hard in the Ozarks last year.

“When you think of Easter last year, you just automatically go to another place,” said Sam Rossio, North Point Church member.

“It’s kind of come full circle where Easter took the biggest hit last year, now it’s the first holiday to really get ramped up again,” said Federici.

“The calendar came close to easter, we’re so excited because it represents the hope that all of us need,” said Johnson. “Not just in a historical day, but we need hope for our own lives, for our own community.”

“I’ve just seen a lot of churches show how resilient they are,” said Federici. “Any church’s mission is to, you know, bring Jesus to the non-believer. So, when you have an opportunity where it’s taken away from you to gather, the first thing is how do we continue this vehicle to keep moving? When you’re not able to gather in person with people, it brings a whole new meaning to owning your own journey and owning your own walk.”

Johnson says being able to gather and celebrate in so many different ways brings hope for the future.

“As a community, we’re excited to go forward,” said Johnson. “It’s time to go forward and today is a celebration of that.”

“A year ago compared to today, it’s completely different and you really are more grateful because of that,” said Rossio.

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