Pastors prepare for busy weekend of in-person Easter church services
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Today is Good Friday, a day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, leading up to Easter, the day of his resurrection. Last year, Easter church services were canceled because of the lockdown. This year, many people have been vaccinated and want to celebrate together again.
“Easter is obviously a huge weekend for our faith,” Church at the Beach pastor Jay Powell said.
Powell said he shares the same excitement of being able to hold Easter services in person again.
“And especially this year because just as things have been changing, I would assume there’s a lot of people that are going to pick this Sunday to come back to church,” Northstar Church Panama City Beach campus pastor Roy Mansfield said.
Mansfield said for people to celebrate together in person this year will be extra meaningful.
“There’s something just special about worshipping God together with other people,” said Mansfield.
Powell said the pandemic really made the people in our area realize how much they love gathering together.
“Scripture has told us to gather together and then when you have some times when that’s challenged, or taken away a little bit, at least for some that makes you appreciate what you’ve always taken for granted,” said Powell.
Powell believes it’s important people gather together, especially during this important weekend. Both pastors say even though they’re hosting these big gatherings for their Easter services, they’re still taking COVID precautions. Powell said their sunrise service is perfect for social distancing.
“Of course at the beach, everyone can spread out as much as they want,” said Powell.
Mansfield said they’re also continuing to social distance and use half the number of chairs in their worship center. They’ve also created more services to spread people out.
“We’re still offering our online campus experience for people if someone maybe doesn’t feel comfortable,” said Mansfield.
Both pastors say they’re thankful to share this weekend with the crowds of people coming in.
“It should be a really good weekend for our faith and for our community,” said Powell.
Both pastors say they will hold multiple morning services on each of their campuses on Easter.
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