On Good Friday, the promise of renewal — and in-person Easter observances

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Notre Dame rector Patrick Chauvet, second right, stands as part of the Maundy Thursday ceremony, while cellist Marina Chiche, left, performs in Notre Dame Cathedral, Thursday, April 1, 2021, almost two years after a massive fire ravaged the Gothic cathedral. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) —

While many locally attended Good Friday services, others were preparing for the sort of Easter celebration they may have missed out on last year. At City Serve, it was all about the groceries for Easter dinner.

17’s Robert Price was there.

This might look like celery and this might look like milk but it’s really the spirit of Easter, the first Easter that we’ve had since — you know when. Since everything shut down a year ago.

The first holiday casualty of 2020’s COVID-19 shutdown was Easter: The Christian faith’s most important observance wasn’t cancelled, but neither was it celebrated in the manner to which we’ve grown accustomed. Easter went underground, in a manner of speaking, with church services cancelled or relegated to live-streaming, and family gatherings downsized and discouraged.

But Easter is a time of renewal — both in the religious and the secular sense. Trees are blooming, beaches are warming and one year later, one year after life as we’ve always known it went on lockdown, most Houses of Worship are open as well

But not just in the usual sense. Church-sponsored outreach never went away but it didn’t thrive either during the past year. It’s revving up now.

That was the case at City Serve, a collaborative network of churches and community leaders, where on Good Friday they were giving away food boxes — Easter dinner for families to prepare themselves.

Robin Robinson is the F Street CityServe’s engagement director.

{ROBIN ROBINSON / CITY SERVE}

That rebirth in our community, I think we’re going to start to see it just like we see the green grass spouting up, we see it in the stuff beginning to happen around us. There’s a power in spring …

and we have a lot to celebrate this year that’s for sure. Taking nothing for granted, which is exactly where we were a year ago — taking everything in our lives for granted.

They’re not back all the way, Robison said — their single Sunday church service is still outside, in a tent, but it feels close — close to returning for four indoor services on Sunday.

Over at the Blessing Corner on Union Avenue, it’s a similar feeling of imminent reemergence.

They’re giving away some 700 Easter baskets and Easter bags on Sunday and — here’s a big deal — opening up for indoor services as well, soical distancing as best they can.

Blessing Corner director Bonnie Turner is ready.

{BONNIE TURNER / BLESSING CORNER}

Well, since Covid this is our first in person where community members can come in and join us for Easter services. We help so many people over here where we are. Although we’ve been serving them, we’ve been doing it from somewhat of a distance.

So, on this Good Friday, on this Easter weekend, a lot of people are looking forward to face to face communication, face to face celebration. At City Serve, Robert Price, 17 News.

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