Easter Sunday, April 12, in George County will be observed locally, as throughout the United States, in a different way this year.
Shelter in place orders throughout the nation due to the COVID-19 coronavirus has changed plans of families, churches and congregations for Easter activities, according to area ministers.
For decades and decades, the Easter holiday for most George Countians has meant gathering in churches and religious buildings for worship services centered on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Usually a part of the services has been special music and cantata presentations. Children’s activities have traditionally included gatherings of large groups for egg hunts, games and refreshments.
Church service plans
But this year, 2020, none of these traditional events are expected to take place. Stay at home, shelter in place, social distancing and other local, state and national mandates have changed plans for gathering with others for Easter services
State mandates by Gov. Tate Reeves and a local ordinance from Mayor Darwin Nelson limit the number of persons to 10 in a church service or any gathering at the same time. And these must observe social distancing of six feet from others.
Websites, church Facebook
Although few activities for children are being planned, families in George County and surrounding area will still be able to hear and view Easter sermons and music via technology, including church websites, YouTube and Facebook.
If they have the capability, most George County churches will broadcast Sunday’s message and music on their church Facebook pages, YouTube or websites.
Dr. Eddie Davidson at First Baptist said that Sunday services will be broadcast on WRBE radio at 11 a.m. as it always is on Sundays. He said sermons may also be viewed on First Baptist Church YouTube and First Baptist Church Facebook page.
Rev. Larry White at FUMC said the Easter message and special music may be heard and viewed at 8:30 a.m. Sunday on First United Methodist Church’s Facebook page.
Rev. White, who is chairman of the George County Spiritual Develop-ment/Ministerial Association, said many local churches will present their Easter message on Sunday via technology.
Sunrise services at home
Rev. White said he has heard some churches are urging members to go in their backyard or other outdoor spot by 6 a.m. Sunday and watch the sun rise, read some Bible scripture about the resurrection of Jesus, pray and use this as the tradition Sunrise services churches would hold.
Check GCT church page
For more information on church services, all are urged to check their church social media sites. Also, the George County Times church page each week lists pastors’ names, church phone numbers, etc. and interested persons may contact any church to find out about their services and any special Easter service or plans.
Easter egg drive-thru
As to FUMC’s children’s activities, Rev. White said that an Easter egg drive-thru was planned for Thursday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. He said bags of plastic eggs stuffed with candies will be available in a large box under the awning on the left side of the church.
Parents may drive their children under the awning and let them pick up one bag per child from the box.
Rev. White said the Easter cantata traditionally presented for the observance has been tentatively set for Mother’s Day if the stay at home restrictions have been lifted.
Meanwhile, no community egg hunts or large gatherings are permitted by local and state authorities.