Easter church service looked a little different last year because of the pandemic. It was online because people couldn’t gather. As vaccinations continue to roll out, service this year looked a little like years past.
“It’s just exciting. I think it’s fun to be where we’re at now versus a year ago,” said Executive Pastor Nicholas Bawden.
Hundreds of churchgoers made their way through the Pursuit church Easter Sunday. Last year, service was online.
Some people we spoke to say the gathering today, felt like a 180 from last year.
“When you have a gathering in person, it’s just a different atmosphere. There’s just a different connection you have with people with God,” Bawden said.
“It was hard not having that connection with people that can only happen in person,” said Kevin Burckhard, churchgoer.
For some churchgoers, this was their first time back since large gatherings were shut down.
“This will be the largest gathering we’ve seen since March 10, March 13, whatever Sunday that was of people gathering together. It’s exciting! It’s good to see the faces we haven’t seen in a while,” Bawden said.
“I’m just really happy to everybody here with us,” said Abby Graff, connections coordinator.
“Yeah, for sure. I do feel like there’s so many people that are coming in over these last couple weeks that we haven’t seen in so long, so it really is special,” said Breanna Melgaard, connections director.
“It almost feels like a breakthrough, you know? Like, we made it. Things seem to be coming around. It just feels good to be back!” said Laura Wheeler, churchgoer.
They say today feels like a step in the right direction and there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
“Definitely a new normal. But I’m definitely feeling that. Today, it definitely feels like how it has felt in past years. So, I think we everything with the vaccinations and everything, I just think people are feeling more comfortable coming in. We’re just loving to see them,” said Melgaard.
The Pursuit continues to offer its service online for those who don’t feel comfortable gathering.
CDC guidance for large gatherings includes wearing a mask, keeping a 6-foot distance and avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.