LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — This weekend marks one of the first major holidays since COVID-19vaccinations began. Churches across the valley are preparing for Easter services, and families are getting ready to hug loved ones they haven’t seen for months.
“It’s been a whole year since we’ve really had the ability to get together and celebrate without added anxiety, added precautions,” said Marcella Williams, who is visiting family.
She’s eagerly awaiting Easter Sunday, when she’ll finally get to see her in-laws and nieces.
“Now that most of my adult extended family has at least received the first dose, it’s just a huge sigh of relief,” Williams shared. “I can literally feel the anxiety reducing in my body.”
She says this weekend will be an opportunity to start seeing people again and feel some normalcy as family.
While some will be staying home this weekend, many will also be preparing for Easter Sunday church services.
“This Sunday is just so special,” said Jeremy Bosma, lead pastor at Avenue Church in the southwest valley.
Jeremy and Lindsey Bosma are anticipating 500 people will attend their Easter Sunday services.
“Churches all over are taking the precautions to welcome people there on Easter,” said Lindsey, co-lead pastor. “I think it’s going to be a win across the valley for all of us.”
The Bosmas say this Sunday marks the first time some of their congregation has worshipped in person since the pandemic started.
“Not having Easter last year, being totally online, but now in person, there’s just something about community,” said Jeremy. “Being able to see someone, although six feet away, having community and do life together on Sunday.”
After a year that highlighted the mental health challenges of isolation, Williams says she can’t wait to finally hug her family and friends.
“Coming together as a community is a great reminder that we will always be Vegas strong,” she said.
Many houses of worship were forced to adapt quickly to safety guidelines, and some started live streaming their services. This Sunday, Avenue Church and others across the valley will offer a live stream of their Easter worship.