The Arden, N.C., Church was determined to hold an Easter communion service in spite of the quarantine due to the coronavirus. Eric Bates, senior pastor; Devin Lilly, associate pastor; and Whitney Barron, church secretary, prepared “to-go communion packages” and delivered them to the homes of 187 members. Packed with doubly sealed and manufactured juice and wafers, Sabbath School materials, and handwritten notes, these packages allowed members to participate in communion together via Zoom.
With gloves on, the three personally drove to each home and dropped off the packages to the members’ front steps, and in some cases were even able to wave “hello” and wish them well through windows and screen doors.
This year, the attendance was higher for the Zoom communion service than most in-person services. Coming together online allowed members who might otherwise be inhibited, or uncomfortable with partaking in all aspects of communion, such as foot washing, to join and fellowship.
“COVID-19 has not hijacked our joy, our purpose, our hope, or Easter, and what it means for our lives as Christians,” said Lilly. “If anything has been hijacked, it was the grave that was borrowed for three days before Jesus rose again. People were really appreciative of being met where they are, literally. It was so special to see families in their homes (via Zoom), and to gather together, especially for communion.”
With Easter happening in the first phase of the novel coronavirus lockdown, this creative communion service set the tone for how Arden members continues to gather together as a church family during the pandemic.
Carolina | September 2020