Several Spokane churches turn to technology to celebrate Easter

SPOKANE, Wash. – Churches in the Spokane community will be celebrating Easter a little differently, as they still hope to reach their congregations on the holy weekend. It’s not easy, when everyone has been ordered to stay home.

It’s been a different scene for churches the last few weeks. Preachers holding service without people physically in the pews. Instead, churches are using Facebook Live or other online services to hold church. Easter will be no different.

Friday morning, Rev. Daniel White, the pastor for Whitworth Church, recorded his second ever online sermon – this time for Easter.

“We’re doing everything differently, but we’re trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in the midst of it,” Rev. White said.

While he’s only done it twice, St. Aloysius has been holding online mass daily since the Catholic Diocese of Spokane suspended public masses almost a month ago.

“When we gather, it’s not just whoever the presider is up there doing their thing. We are a community of prayer. We do pray together and it makes a difference, us being together,” said Rev. Tom Lamanna, the pastor for St. Aloysius.

However, being together is not possible right now, so online or over the phone will have to do.

It is difficult, though, for some worshipers because not everyone has access to the internet.

Rev. Walter Kendricks, the pastor at Morning Star Baptist Church, says they will always find a way.

“We’re learning as we go along. Whatever we can do and whatever needs that need to be met, we try,” said Rev. Kendricks.

It is different, holding services online. Rather than seeing everyone in person, they’re talking to a camera and an empty sanctuary.

“In the African American church experience, you have a call and response, I say something, the congregation talks back with me. So, we’re missing that. I call it ‘going on down the road.’ I know what the sermon is, I just give it out as though there were people here,” Rev. Kendricks said.

Even though the pews will remain empty come Sunday and preachers will be talking to cameras, they will still get their message out there for their worshipers to celebrate Easter.

“That goes across space and across time. It’s not limited. So, that’s been a focus for us,” said Rev. Lamanna.

“I think what you see is the opportunity for the church to express its resiliency. We have a message that continues regardless of our context, regardless of what challenges are being faced,” said Rev. White.

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