Local churches prepare for in-person Easter services

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The message that Grace Church is spreading is an appropriate one on the eve of Easter—hope.

“Everything beats last year,” said Pastor Aaron Giesler, senior pastor at Grace Church.

Last year, church leaders were told the week prior to Easter that indoor in-person services wouldn’t be allowed. For many people, the news was a huge blow.

“It was honestly, it was discouraging. You’re expecting to see people, and things were just so crazy, too. We weren’t sure what was going on,” he added.

Since then, restrictions on churches have relaxed, and many are offering in-person services for those who feel comfortable attending.

“Our Good Friday service was completely virtual. And then today, in-person outdoor distanced activity. And then tomorrow with COVID-safe church, so trying to balance all of those has been a trick,” Pastor Gielser said.

Grace Church said in-person attendees will have to undergo a temperature check and remain socially distanced inside. The church will also be doing extra cleanings in preparation.

Pastor Geisler said a number of church members will likely stick to online services due to health reasons.

“We serve a pretty diverse community as far as age and health,” he said. “We have a number of folks that are affected by disability.”

Regardless of whether people attend online or in-person, it will all be a celebration for the resurrection of Jesus.

“The message of hope is universal,” Giesler said.