Social distancing has changed a lot about our day-to-day lives but our family didn’t let that stop us from celebrating Easter in fun and creative ways. As churches all across the nation continue to suspend in-person services, finding ways of utilizing an online format continues to be a challenging way to connect as a community. But Hoboken Grace didn’t let that stop us from celebrating during our biggest day of the year.
In what was our most interactive online service yet, the community got the opportunity to use multiple social platforms to greet one another and say a little “hello” to those viewing at the same time as them. Going another step further, 16 of our band members put together a special home worship experience including two songs written by the band themselves.
As if that all wasn’t sweet enough, Hoboken Grace was able to send out festive Easter care packages containing various items such as easter eggs, candy, personal communion cups, and an encouraging note; all of which served to uplift and unite our community.
John Carluccio was one of many to tune in Sunday morning and said “I really enjoyed the music. It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve been able to gather together and this really helped, especially on a special day like Easter. I’m really missing my entire Hoboken Grace family but am so happy that we can find ways to stay connected!”
That connection we’re so used to feeling on any given Sunday morning had never felt stronger than the moment we took to celebrate what Jesus did for us on the cross with communion. While you couldn’t take from the usual plates and cups located around the room, Pastor Chris and Pastor Anthony encouraged everyone to grab juice and bread that was sent in their easter boxes or something from their own kitchen and take it together. What better way to feel that you are not alone in something?
Pastor Chris also used the special occasion to lead us into a brand-new series called “Lost and Found”which is an appropriate theme during this season. This new series is not only timely for Easter, but also useful any time by reminding us that while it feels like we may have lost the loving embrace of hugs, handshakes and hive-fives from our fellow friends and family on a Sunday morning, or the warm feeling of all being under the same roof singing songs together; we have still found a strong connection through God’s love.
In the message, we were reminded of something very powerful; that no matter how dark things feel, God never turns away from us. Jesus cried out to His Father while on the cross because He had experienced God turning away from Him for the first time. While He was broken-hearted by the feeling of separation, He still went to the cross so that we would never have to feel that separation from God in our own lives. This is just one amazing detail in the Easter story that is more relevant now than ever as things feel uncertain and maybe even hopeless for some. But what better time to be reminded of God’s love than on Easter Sunday?
This may not have been the Easter we had expected coming into the new year, but together we managed to make it memorable. It’s great encouragement going forward because we know now that if this virus couldn’t stop us from experiencing Easter as a community of God, then nothing ever will.