After a year of cancellations and modified events, Easter 2021 looked hopeful as restrictions were lifted and life began to move in a semi-normal direction. Arkansas Baptist churches across the state prepared for an Easter service that looked every bit as different as last year, but also with a sense of normalcy to it.
We heard through the grapevine of some churches that tried to do something extra, or special, for their children this year as life for them lately has been anything but normal.
First Baptist Church, White Hall
Jennifer Weaver, children’s minister at First Baptist Church in White Hall said they did the typical Easter crafts. They also created a snack mix that detailed the story of Jesus that was sent home with the kids.
“The kids loved them and parents told me they were able to walk through the Gospel with their children because of the prompts on our tag,” Weaver said.
This past Sunday, April 11, they were able to baptize six kids during their Kids Day service.
“We have had to be creative with doing things to hand out for families to do at home instead of big events like we use to because of COVID protocols,” Weaver said. “It’s awesome though because it puts the discipleship focus in the home which was the goal of this cute snack mix.”
Central Baptist Church, Conway
David Moore, children’s minister at Central Baptist in Conway, said they held not one but two events leading up to, or on, Easter Sunday.
The weekend prior to Easter, they held a community-wide, drive-thru Easter egg hunt which was a first-time event for Central. Big banners that displayed Bible verses were put up around the parking lot that parents drove through and read with their children. Toward the end they encountered a cheering section made up of students waving pool noodles and other church members holding signs that read ‘Happy Easter’ and ‘We’re Glad You’re Here’ to encourage them. As they pulled under the awning the kids were handed a bag that contained a pamphlet with the resurrection story, an invitation to VBS, and 13 eggs. Each egg was filled with something to represent the Easter story – except one, which represented the empty tomb.
“This may be something we continue in the future,” Moore said. “The parents seemed to like the driving part instead of hunting for eggs.”
On Easter Sunday, Central held a regular egg hunt. Moore noted that being able to have one this year was special. Last year, members of the staff drove to church members homes and “egged” their houses.
“That was a humbling experience,” he said. “To see just how far people drive to be able to attend our church.”
As a result of both events, they’ve had church members express their gratitude towards the staff for all that they’ve been doing and for how well the events have been put on. They’ve also received comments from the community about how grateful and thankful they are.
“One of the neatest things to come out of the community event was that an Indian family came through after being invited by a member,” Moore said. “And they said they came because they didn’t know ‘what this Easter thing was all about.’ So we’ve been praying that something starts from there.”