Local churches host COVID-safe Easter services

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Easter Sunday is a time for many Christians to gather and celebrate. Last year, many of those celebrations were put on hold due to the pandemic, but today many churches found a safe way to get together.

The Cathedral of St. John in Albuquerque was one of many churches that held a COVID-safe outdoor service Sunday.

"It’s Easter and its COVID, so we’re doing our very best to bring some of our congregation together. We haven’t been in the building for a little over a year now so last Sunday and this Sunday is our very first time together,” said Kristina Maulden, dean of St. John’s.

Maulden said the outdoor service created an opportunity for newcomers to join.

"The thing that I love about being outside is so many people who never know what’s going on inside our building, so it’s like breaking the church open,” she said.

"There was kind of a big difference to just being able to see everybody, so we’re outdoors, being Downtown it’s a little funny. There’s a lot of background noises and things, but it’s great hearing the whole choir together and just seeing so many folks,” said Zac Van Note, a church member.

Despite being closed for a year, Maulden said they still found opportunities to forge connections with church members.

"Even though the building was closed, the church was wide open, and we’ve done as much as we can to meet people online virtually,” she said. “We’ve done a lot with creating new ministries so people can be engaged with the church. "

No matter what someone’s faith is, Maulden emphasized the need for hope.

"For people of whatever faith of whatever spiritual walk is that they still look for hope. Pandemics come and go, and we are caring for each other the best we can, but to hold on to whatever it is to bring them hope."