HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) — With Easter service Sunday, many churches are preparing to host a larger crowd of people, but keeping everyone socially distanced and safe will be no easy task.
For services at the Hilliard Church of the Nazarene, parishioners can expect to hear hymns and worship taking place outdoors for Easter Sunday.
“About a year ago, I was looking so forward to Easter, and I just feel like that really got taken from us,” said Hilliard Church of the Nazarene Pastor Kevin Meyers.
When Easter service had to be postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meyers said he wasn’t sure what to do next.
In the months after, he said the church found a way to livestream and hold very limited indoor services requiring masks and social distancing.
He admits, though, it wasn’t quite enough for him or his congregation, until they found another way to worship.
“So we want people to come back,” Meyers said. “When we see them, it’s great, but there’s always that hesitation, especially on Easter Sunday. And if we didn’t have the outdoor service, I think it’d be even more of a concern.”
Instead of holding only a limited indoor service, the church expanded to the great outdoors with their shelter house out back.
He said the move has provided them with new opportunities to reach out to their community, by allowing people to gather in a larger setting that adheres to CDC guidelines.
And although they still hold service indoors, hosting a second one outside has now become the favorite of many people in his church.
“It’s obviously going to be cold, but we have a lot of people who just really enjoy being out there, and they’re not comfortable gathering inside yet,” Meyers said. “And so we’re excited, I think I’m going to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while.”
Sunday’s service will be the first outdoor service for the church since late last year, but Meyers said the church expects to continue running the outdoor service throughout the summer and fall as well.