Easter Sunday will be completely different this year for most people, with coronavirus social distancing protocol prohibiting church services and large family gatherings. In the absence of traditional events, one local church is organizing a unique way to experience the message of Easter.
St. Charles United Methodist Church member and leader Susan Meyer recently had an idea for the community to celebrate Easter collectively even though no one can gather in their respective churches.
“We want to invite the whole community, regardless of church or denomination, to join us in making homemade ‘He is Risen’ signs to blanket the area with the Good News on Easter Sunday morning,” Rev. Michelle Harris said. “The idea is to create your sign, take pics of you making it, post it online or invite friends through email and we all put our signs out together on Easter Sunday when we wake up.”
The idea is similar to the teddy bear and Easter Egg hunts neighborhoods have been having, Harris said, where people can view things from their car or by walking around.
“In a time of despair, we can still know the power of Jesus, even when we can’t worship in the same building,” Meyer said. “Easter is this celebration, because He is risen.”
Harris thinks the signs will be a way to share the gospel in a fun way for people of all ages, and said she hopes families have something new and encouraging to experience through this event.
“We envision people of all ages and families of all sizes taking a stroll, riding bikes and walking the dogs while be surrounded by an Easter art show of encouragement and hope,” she said.
Organizers said they’d love for the idea to catch on and take off across St. Charles Parish and beyond.
“It’s important now more than ever for people to know they are not alone and for all of us to find hope in these difficult and scary times,” Harris said. “With such limited options for entertainment and variety, having a special project can give us a sense of purpose and meaning … even more than that, connecting with others throughout our neighborhoods during this time of isolation can give us all that sense of community that we all long for these days.”
Church member Shandi Anderson agrees.
“It means a lot to our family to share the best news of all – Jesus lives,” she said. “It is especially important at this point in history to remember that Jesus is here and we are not alone”.