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How to Celebrate Easter at Home In Decatur, IL

How to Celebrate Easter at Home In Decatur, IL

Easter is the ultimate celebratory holiday for the Christian Church as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The traditional Easter greeting, “He is risen; He is risen, indeed” will be said in the comfort of homes this year – not as a congregation.

In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Illinois Governor Pritzker has ordered residents to stay at home, and gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited. This executive order is in place through April 30, 2020.

While the coronavirus might inhibit us from gathering, it does not stop us from celebrating. Here are some tips for celebrating Easter at home here in central Illinois.

Virtual Easter Services From Decatur Churches

There are many great churches here in Decatur, IL, and most are offering church online for Easter. If you don’t see your church listed here, check their website or Facebook page for more information.

First Christian Church

First Christian Church, located at 3350 N MacArthur Rd in Decatur, IL, has a Good Friday and Easter service coming up. The Good Friday experience will be available on demand. The link to watch will be on their website starting at noon on Good Friday, April 10.

First Christian Church explains that at their church, you’ll find Bible-centered sermons that are easily applied to your life along with vibrant worship.

For Easter, you can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with First Christian Church at these times:

  • Saturday, April 11 at 5pm (online)
  • Sunday, April 12 at 9am (online)
  • Sunday, April 12 at 10am (on TV)
  • Sunday, April 12 at 10:30am (online)
  • Sunday, April 12 at 12:30pm (on TV)

You can watch the online service through the Church Online platform, YouTube, or Facebook Live. You can also catch the services on your local television stations:

  • COZI TV (Channel 17.2, Comcast 907) on Sunday, April 12 at 10am
  • CW23 (Channel 23, Comcast 6, Dish Network 23, Direct TV 53) on Sunday, April 12 at 12:30pm

Learn more: Easter & Good Friday at First Christian Church

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, located at 1 Bachrach Court in Decatur, IL is offering services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

The Maundy Thursday service being pre-recorded. Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Washing of the Feet and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. You can find an unleavened bread recipe for this special meal on St. Paul's website.

You can catch the services at the following times:

  • Thursday, April 9 at 6:30pm
  • Friday, April 10 at 1pm
  • Friday, April 10 at 7pm
  • Sunday, April 12 at 8am (traditional service)
  • Sunday, April 12 at 10:30am (contemporary service)

Expect Easter flowers, a dressed altar, and the cross draped in white. The services were pre-recorded, and now the Technical Arts Director, Brendan Jenks, will do the video editing work to bring it all together.

Pastor Wray Offermann (left and middle) and Pastor Eric Trickey (right) pre-recording their parts of the Easter Sunday service.

Heidi Sack, Director of Worship and Music, explains, “We recorded the music with one acoustic guitar and three vocalists six feet apart for the contemporary service. For the traditional service, we did five vocalists with the organ.”

While following the coronavirus guidelines has been a challenge, Sack explains she did all she could to make it still feel like Easter. “Even though we can’t worship in person, we will still be together,” she says.

GT Church

GT Church, located at 500 S. 27th Street in Decatur, IL, is live-streaming their Easter services at 9am, 10:30am, and 12pm on Easter Sunday, April 12.

GT Church exists to help people Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference.

You can visit their website for updates on their Easter services, and you can also watch the live streams at live.gtchurch.com.

Renaissance

Renaissance, located at 456 N. Water Street in Decatur, IL, is offering online church until the pandemic passes. For Easter Sunday, you can watch the service on YouTube or Vimeo by searching Renaissance Decatur.

Renaissance explains on their website that their community strives to create an environment where the “un-churched,” as well as the “de-churched,” will feel unconditional acceptance. 

Service times are held at 9am and 11am.

There is also a unique Sunday school service made available for kids called “Kids at Home.” You can find links to these videos at rendecatur.org/churchathome.

Heartland Community Church

Heartland Community Church, located at 3253 N Brush College Rd in Decatur, IL, and is offering live stream services on Easter Sunday at 9 and 10:45am. 

Heartland’s mission is to love God, love others, and provide real ministry for real life.

You can find these services on Facebook and YouTube, and there’s also a special place on their website dedicated to service notes as well as convenient links to their streaming services.

Life Foursquare

Life Foursquare Gospel Church, located at 2954 W. Ash Avenue in Decatur, IL, is celebrating Easter Sunday with live streams at 8am and 10am.

While there isn’t specific live streaming information on their website at the time of this writing, check back closer to Easter for more details.

Use Technology to Connect With Family

Once you’ve finished live streaming your church’s Easter service, consider connecting with your family! While it’s not recommended to meet together in groups, you can still get together with your smartphone or computer.

FaceTime

If you and the family member in question have iPhones or other Apple devices, connect via FaceTime. 

FaceTime is a one-on-one video calling app that’s free to use. It’s already installed on your iPhone, so you don’t need to download an app to get started.

Google Duo

If you and your family members have different kinds of devices (say you have an Android, and the grandkids have iPhones), Google Duo is one of the best ways to have a video call. It works with all kinds of devices, though everyone has to download the Google Duo app. You can even start a group call with up 12 people.

It’s free and is incredibly easy to set up. Once you download the app, it’ll walk you through an easy set-up process.

Zoom

If you prefer to use your computer and webcam to connect with family, Zoom is a great video calling app. It’s also free to use unless you upgrade to a paid package, which isn’t necessary.

Simply visit Zoom’s website, set up an account, and send your meeting link to the family member in question. You can “Zoom” with up 100 people, so get the whole family together for a virtual Easter!

Have a Fun Easter at Home

If you happen to be lucky enough to see the grandkids this Easter, you can have a great time without leaving home.

Consider doing some crafts, like making Easter bunny plates or peep houses. Have an Easter Egg Hunt in the backyard or get an Easter movie ready like Peter Cottontail or The Greatest Story Ever Told.

It’s still possible to have a celebratory Easter, even though we’re all cooped up.

What are your Easter plans this year? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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