Sidney Churches Preparing For Easter Sunday
April 8, 2020 | View PDF
Due to restrictions in relation to Coronavirus, area churches have been posting videos on their website and Facebook so their members can watch weekly services. That format will continue for the majority of them on this Easter Sunday.
Pastor Rolf Preus of Trinity Lutheran Church said the church's first video was two Sundays ago. Trinity also posted a video last Wednesday.
"We've pre-recorded services and then put the link to our congregation's Facebook page," Preus said. "We will keep doing it until this thing goes by and we're able to start gathering together again."
Faith Alliance Church Pastor Paul Turek said that they are taping services and then broadcasting them at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays.
"It's one way to keep people connected with our church family," Turek said.
Pastor Sione Fungalei of Lonsdale United Methodist Church said Lonsdale started posting its services three weeks ago. The Easter service will be on Facebook live at 11 a.m. on Sunday. They will also Facebook live a service for Good Friday.
Pella Lutheran Church has been a little ahead of the game. Pella started having videos of its services available about a year ago.
"We had people who are shut-ins asked a year ago about why couldn't they have a video," Pella's Pastor Audrey Rydbom said.
Pella is trying something different for Easter Sunday. The service will be broadcasted on 95.1 FM at 9 a.m., and members are asked to listen from their vehicles in the church's parking lot. The service will also be on Facebook live.
"Hopefully, I will lead from the front steps if the weather permits," Rydbom said. "It's a difficult stretch of time and we're doing our best. Our goal is to have people hear the Word."
Pastors admit that putting together a video with few other people in the church is a strange experience.
"It feels weird preaching to an empty church," Preus said. "I'm just really happy we can do this. They can hear God's word."
Turek added, "It's a lot more awkward for sure. There's no feedback. It's a different feeling, but I preach just like there's people there."
The response has been great. Both Preus and Turek said that their broadcasts have attracted more than 300 viewers.
"It's more than what normally come here on a Sunday morning," Turek said. "I think there's a convenience factor. You don't have to move, you can still be in your pajamas."
Viewers aren't just from the area but also from other parts of the country.
"Churches of all sizes are doing this," Turek said. "You don't have to be a large church to do this, you just need the technology."
For now, it's the way that people will receive their religious services.
"All we can do is hope and pray and know that God is in charge," Preus said.