NEBRASKA CITY- Nearly 365 days ago, Nebraska City and the whole state of Nebraska began a lockdown period where businesses and restaurants shut down indefinitely. According to pastors Keith Valenzuela and Michael Schmidt, the planning for Easter 2020 required more than just laying out your Sunday’s best.
“Well, last year we didn’t really have an Easter service,” said Valenzuela. “In fact, we did a Facebook live. So, I guess people were in their pajamas as they listened to a message on Facebook live.”
“Last year, by the time Easter came around, we were missing each other dramatically because the church was closed because of COVID,” said Schmidt. “So, we worshipped with the service on the radio from our cars.”
Now, a year removed from unconventional church services and Easter egg hunts in house windows, Valenzuela says that Easter traditions can once again return to a new normal after the newest CDC guidelines.
“This year, it’s completely different,” said Valenzuela. “We are now assembling, and to make people comfortable, we still wear our face masks. We ask people to sit six feet apart—if they are a family, they can sit together. When we are all done, we’ll put on our masks and walk out. We’re pretty much close to normal now, for this year.”
Other churches nearby can expect similar restrictions and guidelines.
“Our sunrise service will be outside and so there won’t necessarily be as much of an issue there,” said Schmidt. “We do not pass anything, and we have a little communion packet that we use instead of passing communion.”