Albuquerque church holds first in-person Easter service since the pandemic

[anvplayer video=”5103157″ station=”998127″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The First Congregational Church has held online services for the last two Easters, but today they opened their doors – while still offering multiple ways to worship.

While Jesus’s tomb was empty, Easter morning, the sanctuary at First Congregational Church was not.

“It does feel different, it feels like a resurrection of sorts a completely new way of being a community again and it’s different than before. Before we knew it’s Easter and this is what it looks like, but we don’t know that anymore so it has that air of anticipation and hope,” said Sue Joiner First Congregational Church Pastor.

During the pandemic they transformed their bell tower into mission control, so they can live stream services on Facebook, YouTube and Zoom. Even with folks back in person, they are still sharing online to make sure that everyone who wants to worship can.

“We are still learning in this, of what it means to be the church. Some people are in-person and some people are online, but it is a gift being able to gather in so many different forms. A lot of creativity came out of the pandemic,” said Joiner.

They even added a live stream in-house for those who still want to come to church but don’t want to sit in a full pew.

“It’s a beautiful sign of hope and it’s a reminder that we really do need each other and we can’t do this all by ourselves. There is nowhere I’d rather be than with my community,” Joiner said.

It was clear this community was happy to be back together.

While they were back in-person some COVID precautions were still in place, masks were worn and communion was taken outside after the service right before they started their Easter egg hunt.