AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott has classified churches as essential yet many congregations are playing it safe and not holding services inside, but a couple of local churches are getting creative with how they will worship this Easter Sunday.
Jonathan Botello, the pastor of House of The Living God, a Pentecostal church in Austin, has been holding his church services online to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
"I said, 'You know what, we are going to go ahead and do an Easter sunrise service in the parking lot,'" said Botello.
This Easter Sunday, the 20 members of the Pentecostal church will do something they haven't done in weeks, worship together in person.
"We are telling everyone to stay in their cars, one; and two, we are going to be having cones in every other parking spot that allows separation," said Botello.
They will also have communion but said everyone has to bring their own.
"Bring some crackers, bring some grape juice, bring some toast, bring a bottle of water so we can be as safe as possible and abide by those guidelines, but at the same time still conduct a resurrection Sunday service," said Botello.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many churches to get creative to celebrate Easter.
First Church in Austin posted on their Facebook page an invite to a drive-thru Easter Sunday worship. Others, like the Catholic Diocese of Austin, are opting out of in-person worship and live streaming mass instead.
"I never thought I would experience this but this is what we all need in this particular time," explained Botello. "We all need to hear what Jesus did for us."
He added, "This is a hope that we have to know that we can overcome the situation we are going through."
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