In 2020, Easter services were streamlined because of closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sunday, families were able to attend in-person services once more.
“Last year, there were no people in the pews, Livestream only; today we had people,” Scott Bradford, First United Methodist Church senior pastor, said. “It was just good to see faces and to worship together again for Easter.”
Attendance at First United Methodist Church grew to approximately 30 to 40%, but after cases increased, attendance was lowered down to 20% once again, according to Bradford. “We’ve built our way back up.”
The church also held an Easter egg hunt, which was open to the community, at San Angelo City Park, 315 E. Twohig Ave, and consisted of an Easter egg hunt, prizes, as well as gift baskets.
“We started to have more and more folks attend the worship service,” Dale Weise, First United Methodist Church associate pastor, said.
The Sunday worship service was the largest seen in approximately, according to Weise.
Golda, Allison and David McMahon have attended in-person worship services regularly. Golda McMahon says the difference between this year and the previous celebration is that everyone is together.
“People are ready to be together with or without a mask,” Golda McMahon said. “Society needs that community spirit and that’s what we are trying to rebuild.”
“We noticed driving here today that every church’s parking lots were all packed,” David McMahon added.
At the San Angelo City Park, families also gathered to celebrate the holiday.
“We are just celebrating with our family and we have a scavenger hunt planned for the younger adults that don’t really easter egg hunt,” Aimee Rodriguez said. “Celebrating life and the reason that we are out here is because He is Risen.”
Rodriguez says the 2021 celebration looks very different from the 2020 celebration.
“We were just with our immediate family and we just had dinner, but it’s really different from last year," she said
Rodriguez says it feels good to be able to gather with her family, who enjoys family time and never takes it for granted. “We’re really blessed and grateful that we have this opportunity,” she said.