A ‘surreal’ Easter expected by Rose City churches
HE’S faced hardship before but Father Franco said in his 43 years as a priest he’s never seen anything like a country wide shutdown of churches.
But one week out from the peak of the church calendar, Father Franco will be commemorating Easter alone in the Percy St building.
“It will be a surreal, empty feeling, not pleasant,” he said.
“But we will email congregation and send them SMS with scripture and instruction to follow along from home and we’ll imagine and feel people present.”
But while it’s a sombre time for his congregation, Father Franco said he knows it will pass.
“We can choose to use this as a time to reflect and stop and listen to what the health authorities are saying,” he said.
Reverend Ansie Liebenberg from Warwick Uniting Church said while it will be a different Easter this year, she’s excited to be propelled forward into the 21st century.
“We’ve got quite a few things planned with services to be streamed live through our Facebook and later uploaded to YouTube,” she said.
“It’s quite funny I’ll be up the front doing a sermon and people will be watching from the couch in pyjamas.”
The church will stream a Good Friday service, a sunrise service on the Sunday and another 9am service on the Sunday.
Reverend Liebenberg said she’s proud of how her congregation has embraced worship from a distance.
“It’s so amazing our elderly people said they never ever wanted to go on Facebook but now our old pastor is now an avid Facebooker,” she said.
“Last Sunday we had 97 hits on our service which is really great because we didn't expect it but every week more people are on.”
The reverend said she’s determined to look on the bright side of the situation.
“The funny thing about the live stream is, it is live and the other day a cockroach was sitting on my hand, well I imagine people would have been screaming at our computers,” she said.
“We’re using this as an opportunity to get creative, we’ve encouraged people to put a cross in their garden or in their window in preparation.”
To join in on the church lifestream go to the Warwick Uniting Church Facebook page.