Calvary Church Emerald pastors Wade and Amie Coop.
Calvary Church Emerald pastors Wade and Amie Coop.

Churches move Easter traditions online amid coronavirus crisis

WHILE Easter egg hunts and Easter parades have been cancelled to abide by coronavirus restrictions, some Easter traditions will continue almost like normal.

It’s usually a time where families head away for the weekend, but instead people have been advised to stay home to slow the spread of the virus.

Police will continue to clamp down on people who ignore directions not to travel over the Easter long weekend.

Officer in Charge of Emerald Police Station Senior Sergeant Peter McFarlane said, overall, police were pleased with the way people were abiding by the restrictions, but they would issue infringement notices to those who ignored warnings.

To make the homestay a little more normal, churches across the region have moved their normal Easter services online.

“For all of us, Easter this year is unlike any other year in recent memory,” Emerald’s Calvary Church pastor Amie Coop said.

“While churches are not gathering in buildings this Easter, technology allows Easter worship services to be streamed direct to individuals and families in their homes.

“Yes, it’s a little different this year, but many families and churches are finding creative ways to continue important Easter traditions.”

The church has been streaming each Sunday service for the past six years to engage with people who don’t have access to a local church.

“We see online church as a tool to help connect with people who would otherwise be isolated and this has become particularly helpful in the Covid-19 season,” Mrs Coop said.

“To be able to use technology to connect with some of our normal routines and communities is vital during this season.”

The Calvary team has delivered grocery vouchers, funded by people in Calvary, to families who have lost employment or income due to coronavirus.

“This support also helps to provide normality for families during this season,” Mrs Coop said.

In the days leading up to Easter, the Calvary delivered Calvary Kids Easter packs to children in hospital and the Neighbourhood Centre, and in the Gemfields.

They also gave Easter thank you gifts to local businesses, essential services and those working in the medical field.

“Kids within our church wrote letters to go with them,” Mrs Coop said.

“It’s a small gesture of kindness we can extend to make life better for families in our region this Easter.”

She said if there was a time when the region, nation and world needed hope and good news, “it’s this Easter”.

“The timeless message of a God who voluntarily entered into a broken and hurting world, gave Himself on our behalf, and rose from death to give us an unending hope – that message has never been more relevant than it is now,” she said.

“While this season is difficult for many, we know Emerald has a great future and are committed to building toward that.”

The Calvary services will stream at 9.30am, 11.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm each Sunday at the Calvary website or through the Calvary Emerald Facebook page.

Emerald Uniting Church will also be live streaming a service at 10am on April 12.

Emerald Baptist Church has shared a Good Friday Service on its Facebook page and 3CI Church Emerald encourage people to make breakfast and link in for the Resurrection Sunday Breakfast at 10am through Facebook.