DENVER (KDVR) — At the Pearl Church on the south side of Denver, Tasha Garza’s team has been hard at work preparing for Sunday.
The church is planning to host in-person Easter service, after hosting a virtual one last year.
“I think there is something to be said about being together in-person,” Garza said. “So I definitely missed being able to celebrate Easter with my church family. I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow.”
Over the past few months, the church has experimented with hybrid services, while continuing to allow people to attend virtually if they’re more comfortable doing so.
“I know a few families that are going to be coming back for the very first time,” she said. “We could not be more excited.”
Garza said everyone will be required to wear a mask, and they’ll be enforcing social distancing.
“We want to do our part to make sure people as they come in here, that they still feel safe,” Garza said.
Across town at Highlands United Methodist Church, Easter service will once again be held online.
“We want to be together, but we want to be together safely,” Reverend Brad Laurvick said.
With a smaller sanctuary, and limited outdoor space, Laurvick said it felt more responsible to remain online.
“I would rather have someone say I wish we could have been in person, than have someone look at us and say, why are we here at a funeral? Because we couldn’t take a few more weeks,” he said.
The good news? Laurvick says they’ve made great strides since one year ago, when they only had one camera to stream online services.
“We’ve moved to a place now where we’re talking multiple camera angles, shooting on location, pre-editing, building things together, because if it’s going to be virtual, it needs to be engaging,” he said.
Laurvick said they’ve even hidden easter eggs throughout the sermon, to keep children engaged.
“Our recording quality is better this year, our audio quality is better this year, our creativity, because we’ve had more time and more experience,” Laurvick said.
Whether in-person or online, both churches said they hope this Easter marks a turning point for our communities, as vaccinations begin to be more widely available.
“Even though we’ve made progress over the past year, we still want to make sure we’re maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone who comes into our building,” Garza said.
“Easter is about new life, after a period of challenge, and great change. And I don’t think it’s ever fit more for me, and for many of the people I’ve spoken with, than for right now,” Laurvick said.