Churches adjust Easter weekend services for second time during pandemic

For the second year in a row, churches are adjusting to how they mark Good Friday and Easter weekend during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the Trillium Lutheran and Elevation Churches in Waterloo came together from a distance on Friday for their ‘Station of the Cross’ walks.

“To be able to do something active with the kids that marks this day, and to be able to think and reflect during this crazy time, it’s meaningful,” said Sarah Wahl.

The walks feature artwork by Mary Button and Scott Erickson meant to be thought provoking and reflective.

“We feel that people can relate to it, even if they are not church goers or interested in the Christian faith,” said Helen Kroker of Elevation Church. “We’re hoping that engaging with some of these images will give people some hope.”

The walks are also designed to be interactive, as Trillium’s displays include a prayer collage where prayers are written down and posted.

“Having a prayer collage where we can all collectively bring together our prayer concerns is a way we can support each other and know that each persons’ prayers are held by others,” said Nathan Mantey of Trillium Lutheran Church. “We really wanted to make sure we weren’t doing anything indoors but still have a community experience on Good Friday.”

Uptown Waterloo’s Know Presbyterian Church is holding an online service and also created virtual activities to celebrate the Holy Week.

“We did a virtual play, so we gathered footage that was filmed at different parts of the play at home,” said associate minister Courtney Crawford. “We had an interactive room where young families could click on different images and get recipes at home, there was also different stories for each day related to the Holy Week, and some music to listen and sing along to as well.”

Under provincial guidelines, these churches could hold limited indoor services, but this year they’ve chosen against it.

“East is normally a time of hope and renewal,” said Wahl. “We need that hope even more and we need that renewal even more.

“This new lockdown will test our patience one last time, and we need to come together as a community and do the right thing to protect each other.”