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Local church finds a way to bring congregation together

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 19:37:02-04

While many congregations are finding alternative ways to celebrate this Holy Week, they're doing so without physically gathering to worship.

At Asbury United Methodist Church in Lafayette, when the pastors realized they would not be able to hold in person worship because of COVID-19, they wanted to do something to make it feel like everyone is physically at church.

Reverend John Cannon, Senior Pastor at Asbury recently saw a story where a church in Italy called on its members to send photos. Reverend John decided to do something similar.

Like most Easter Sunday services, Asbury is usually packed with lots of familiar faces and families, including some new ones from the neighborhood.

"We were able to get hundreds of photographs from folks in the church and now, they're here with us in spirit," Reverend John said.

He tried his best to make sure everyone is in their usual pew.

"But...it is Easter Sunday so we have a lot more people here," Reverend John said. "So, I'm asking them to be a little gracious and move over a little bit. Not everyone is in their exact place, but we tried to get them a little bit close."

Members also wrote what they're thankful for this season, adding special prayers to their photos.

Until Asbury can open its doors again, they're recording services. The pastors say it has been hard not to worship in the ways they're used to.

"The thing that we love, the thing that we crave is being together with our community," said Reverend Allison Sikes, Associate Pastor at Asbury.

Through the smiling photos of the congregation, they want everyone to know their faith is much stronger and larger than the physical building.

"This Easter Sunday, we're talking a lot about sharing the Easter story with the world. We're spread out in all of the places that we are and maybe we're connecting with even more people than we usually do," Reverend Sikes said.

Asbury will stream its service on its website and Facebook page starting at 8:00 Sunday morning.