’Church doesn’t stop’: COVID-19 moves Easter service online
BOWEN churches won't let coronavirus get in the way of services this Easter, with many moving to online streaming to keep the Easter spirit alive.
Bowen Baptist and Anglican Churches will both be offering live streaming services across the Easter weekend.
Bowen Baptist church has prerecorded Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday services which will be available to stream on the day.
The church had adopted the new digital approach to services when the restrictions were put in place and had been recording daily services.
Pastor Nick Riley said they had decided to do the recordings to allow them to continue their services and worship in the only way they were able to given current social distancing restrictions.
"It's all we can do with the coronavirus and the restrictions in place at the moment," he said.
"We want to be really looking out for the community - especially the elderly and the vulnerable in our constituency.
"We don't want to be part of spreading it further."
Pastor Riley said the digital approach had meant the services were different to usual and "fairly scaled back", it also posed a challenge for those who didn't have access to YouTube.
"There are some who don't have access to the internet or limitations with their mobile data, so to make it accessible we're putting it on USBs for them.
"There are a significant proportion who wouldn't have access."
With the evolving global health crisis, Pastor Riley said it is important to ensure people have access to the services and to remind the community that "church doesn't stop".
"Easter, like every other day at the moment, it's so important to be remembering the hope that we have in God and Jesus," he said.
"So much around us is doom and gloom at the moment, it's so valuable and important at the moment.
"While we are closed for the time being, we are still there for the community."
The service videos will be available at bowenbaptist.video/Sunday and the worship playlist at bowenbaptist.video/Sunday-Playlist
Bowen's Anglican Church will have a service live streamed from the diocese in Townsville, for Holy Trinity Anglican Church Ministry Unit Bowen, from Thursday through to Easter Sunday.
Maundy Thursday - Thursday April 9 at 5.30pm
Good Friday Liturgy - Friday April 10 at 9am
Good Friday Meditation (prerecorded) - Friday April 10 from noon
Easter Vigil - Sunday April 12 at 5.30am
Easter Day - Sunday April 12 at 9am
The live stream videos will be available at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIDWQJd5gYJCvX-5Nq8NXqA or google YouTube Anglican Parish Ascension Heatley.