Drive-in radio church, walking egg photo hunt among socially-distanced ways locals planning to celebrate Easter
The ongoing public health emergency around the COVID-19 pandemic has forced churches and community organizations to find new and different ways to celebrate Easter this year.
Among the innovative approaches: Radio “drive-in” broadcasts of pre-recorded church services, virtual worship online, and a Glenwood Springs neighborhood egg photo hunt — all while still making an effort to practice safe social distancing.
On the secular front, Glenwood Springs Recreation coordinators have come up with a way for children and families to participate in a neighborhood-by-neighborhood Easter egg “hunt” and photoshoot.
“We just wanted to put something fun together to get the kids outside and have a good time,” said Tiff Lindenberg, fitness coordinator for the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
The city’s recreation team has been busy working from home to come up with family activities that can be done either online, or with some simple instructions without having to sit in front of the computer, she said.
Daily activities have been shared on the Glenwood Rec Facebook page.
“In one of our video meetings, we got to talking about how we could offer some sort of virtual Easter egg hunt,” Lindenberg said.
The rules are simple, but it takes a little neighborhood coordination.
Participants can print out digital eggs that can be found at glenwoodrec.com and decorate them. Prior to 10 a.m. Saturday, the eggs are to be displayed in a window or in front of homes where they can be seen from the sidewalk or street.
Then, families can walk the neighborhood trying to spot the eggs and take pictures — while practicing social distancing, Lindenberg emphasized.
Photos can be shared to the Rec Department’s Facebook or Instagram page using the hashtag #GlenwoodRecAtHome
There’s no contest, Lindenberg said. “It’s just something fun to get out for a walk and do.”
For the Christian faithful, many area churches are continuing with offering Easter worship services using a variety of online platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube and Zoom video-conference gatherings.
KMTS radio has also partnered with some churches to broadcast pre-recorded Easter worship services in different time slots on Sunday morning.
Mountain View Church in Glenwood is inviting people to listen from home to the 10 a.m. worship. Or, for those who feel comfortable doing so, the church is also exploring a drive-in option for families to stay in their cars and listen from the church parking lot.
“Everyone will be required to stay in their cars with their windows up,” Mountain View Pastor Steve Grosz said, adding they’re also working on logistics to maintain adequate spacing between cars.
“A church is a church whether we are able to gather in person, or not,” he said. “But there is a power in the gathering, and it’s fitting with the theme of resurrection.”
Instead of decorating eggs, people can decorate their cars for Easter, Grosz said.
“It’s a way to create some joy because we’ve been in a time where we haven’t had that joy,” he said.
The Orchard in Carbondale will continue with its 10 a.m. Facebook and YouTube worship broadcasts, and also will have one of the KMTS broadcasts at 11 a.m., Pastor Daniel Self said.
Church leaders consulted with Garfield County officials and considered the drive-in format, as well, but opted not to do that due to the much larger size of the church congregation, he said.
“For many in our community, it is best for them to stay at home,” Self said. “The church has never been a building, it’s always been people.
“… There will come a day when we will gather again together in our building… and on that day, we will fill The Orchard with more hugs, smiles, and worship than we’ve ever experienced before.”
Other area churches are continuing with their various online worship platforms. That has been evolving over the past few weeks, said Pastor Jeff Carlson at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glenwood Springs.
Good Shepherd is part of an ecumenical group, joining with parishioners from St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, First Presbyterian, First Lutheran of Gypsum and others to record a worship service via Zoom on Saturday and share it on YouTube Sunday morning.
The weekly worship can also be found at http://coloradoworship.online/, and for Easter is to be broadcast on KMTS at 9 a.m.
“With help from others in the community, folks from Good Shepherd have launched Helping Hands for Vulnerable People [http://www.hhvp81601.com] to match volunteers willing to help with vulnerable people who need groceries shopped for and delivered and/or a daily check-in phone call,” Carlson said.
St. Stephen’s has also continued to offer live masses via Facebook, including Holy Thursday and Good Friday Mass and a Holy Saturday vigil, as well as Easter Sunday Mass in both English and Spanish.
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