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By ASHLEY DONALDSON

For The Courier

Easter is one of the most important holidays on a Christian church’s calendar, with the entire week leading up to it filled with reflection, anticipation and celebration. With coronavirus restrictions now lasting well beyond the April 12 holiday, churches are having to think outside the narthex.

St. Marks United Methodist Church, 800 S. Main St., will mark this week’s Palm Sunday with a livestreamed service at 10:30 a.m. After the service, parishioners are encouraged to get into the spirit of Easter by using sidewalk chalk to draw palm branches on the walkways outside their homes. Words and phrases could include “Hosanna,” “Alleluia,” “He is Risen” and “Happy Easter.”

Then, from 2-2:30 p.m., all are invited to drive through the church parking lot to pick up a palm branch. From there, parishioners are encouraged to drive past Blanchard Valley Hospital and wave the branch, while praying for first responders. The “Palm Parade” continues back through downtown, with participants asked to drive past the courthouse and pray for our civic leaders.

On Easter Sunday, St. Marks will host a drive-in service at 10:30 a.m. in the back parking lot at Emory Adams Park. Just like a drive-in movie experience, participants will stay in their vehicles and tune into a designated radio station. Parishioners will get to hear and watch a live preaching and music broadcast.

The Rev. Dan Metzger said during this time, when many are feeling lonely or disconnected, faith extends beyond church buildings: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

For more details, visit St. Marks Facebook page.

Donaldson is a reporter for Social Findlay. She can be reached at ashley@findlaydigitaldesign.com.

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