Services will be different, but Easter message remains

Area churches prepare for online-only services over holiday weekend

Churches adapt to stay-at-home orders as they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus
Churches adapt to stay-at-home orders as they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus

Church leaders in the community are ready to serve, to guide, to lead during this time of uncertainty.

After all, they are certain of one thing.

“Easter still happened. The grave is still empty. Jesus is worth following, and He’ll lead us through this,” said David Whiting, the lead pastor at New Heights Church. 

He said if the pandemic had to happen, Easter was a good time for it.

“It reminds us there are things more powerful than Covid-19. The anxiety we feel … is not where we ultimately find our hope. The hope is in the good news of Jesus rising from the dead. That’s what we should be looking to for hope.”

Churches throughout Clark County will hold services, albeit over streaming devices. 

“We’re following the stay-at-home order. We should honor our government,” said Doug Frazier, lead pastor at Living Hope Church. 

Before the stay-at-home order, Living Hope Church had a drive-in service. That is no longer happening. While church and state are separate, this is a time for the church to listen to the state, Frazier said.

“Our leadership believes … if our government asks us to do something to protect people, we’re going to do that. That’s the right thing to do.”

Church members should be able to find the times of their services at their church’s website. Plus, as Frazier points out, one could watch the service any time using the online archives. 

At Living Hope Church, the message will be, well, just what the church stands for at all times.

“We’re going to preach our exact name of our church. Living Hope Church. Those three words,” Frazier said.

“Living Hope is found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m just going to talk about that,” he added. “In these dark times, we have a Living Hope found in Jesus Christ. Though we can’t gather, we can still express His hope to a world that needs that message right now.”

At New Heights, the plan all along was to debut a video series this weekend: “The Day God Died.”

Whiting visited Israel in January to film the five messages for the series.

“The idea is that all of us, when we read stories from history, they become more real if we visit the locations of where that history happened,” Whiting said. “It becomes more real when you can see the places rather than just read about them.”

The series is “kind of almost a documentary style,” Whiting explained. “Helping people learn the truth of the bible in a little bit different way.”

At Living Hope Church, Frazier said he will ask that we all keep reaching out to each other.

“To all followers of Christ, just pray and be responsive to the needs around them,” he said. “Reach out to people who are in need right now. Be that hope. Be that expression of hope to friends, neighbors, and family. Pray for the leaders of our country.

“Together, we’re all going to get through this, just by being a good neighbor.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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