The Presbyterian Church (USA) announced this week that it will be releasing an online Easter celebration video to share how "the good news of Christ’s resurrection transcends the despair, economic deprivation and isolation brought on by the coronavirus."
Filmed at the Chapel of the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and completed by Mike Fitzer of the music group 180 Degrees, the Easter video will be available on several online PCUSA sources, including its official website, on April 9.
The Easter service video features a sermon by the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the PCUSA General Assembly, and the Rev. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Nelson and Moffett said in a letter sent to members of the denomination that people are “welcome to use the video" however they like.
“We hope it is helpful for congregations that are unable to hold their own virtual worship,” they told the Presbyterian News Service.
“Even congregations that are already streaming worship may wish to watch. You may choose to create a sense of community by asking your congregation to watch the video at an appointed time.”
During his sermon in the Easter video, Nelson addresses the issue of being “locked up in the house and being told by the government not to go out because of the coronavirus.”
“Can’t make it to church this morning like we’d like to. Can’t see our friends in this moment. But what else can we do? What has God given us to do right where we are?” he asks, according to PNS.
“Maybe God, in God’s own mercy and love — just as God was willing to give God’s only begotten Son for us for the redemption of the world and the forgiveness of our sins — could that same God right now be slowing us down, that we might give our full attention to the One who has never taken holy hands and eyes off of us?”
In response to government recommendations to not gather in groups of more than 10 people, many churches have cancelled their in-person worship services, including on Easter Sunday, which falls on April 12 this year.
While many churches have switched to online worship, others including Genoa Church of Westerville, Ohio, will hold a drive-in church service where attendees stay in their parked vehicles in the church parking lot while listening to the outdoor service through an FM transmitter.
“We decided to do this as an alternative way to allow people to worship collectively in a safe environment of their own car and to honor the guidelines of our governor,” explained Genoa Church pastor Frank Carl in an interview with The Christian Post.
For their part, Genoa Church said they will likely hold as many as six drive-in worship services on Easter Sunday to accommodate a larger attendance.