Bay Area Churches Get Creative Delivering Easter Service During COVID-19 Crisis

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Easter Sunday is taking on a whole new importance for many this year as houses of worship across the Bay Area are turning to technology to stay connected.

Father Greg Bonfiglio at Saint Ignatius Church in San Francisco said he got an idea from a colleague in Italy to have church full of smiling faces – they’ve attached more than 1,700 pictures of their parishioners to the pews as a way of filling the sanctuary.

“I miss our people,” Bonfiglio said. “I miss being with them and speaking with them before mass.”

Instead, he will be delivering his Easter service with only a few fellow colleagues to a livestreamed audience on YouTube and Facebook.

Pastor Tyler Scott of Danville’s Community Presbyterian Church said they’ve been streaming services online for quite awhile. He said they’ve seen a big jump in their online audience since the shelter at home orders went into effect.

“We have all these people posting their pictures with their kids, and their pancakes and their dog is right there and they’re in their pajamas, with their slippers, and they’ve got it on the big screen,” Scott said.

Preachers are getting creative in delivering their sermons. One church in San Jose is leasing a drive-in theater to deliver Easter services.

Spiritual leaders are making every effort to stay connected to their congregants, especially on Easter weekend.

“So that’s what we’re inviting people to do, to make spiritual communion, until that day, which I really long for, when we’re all gathered here again,” said Bonfiglio.

Priests, pastors and preachers are using just about any platform available – YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Zoom and even conference call.

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