Churches making changes so that worshippers can enjoy Easter holiday services

DECATUR, Ga. — Decatur-based megachurch Newbirth has changed its family life center into a mass vaccination site. The church is adapting to what is needed in the community right now.

Newbirth’s pastor, Dr. Jamal Bryant, thinks it is a good idea for the church to provide vaccines. The community also agreed, as appointments at the church were booked much quicker than anyone imagined.

“We requested it. The response has been absolutely overwhelming. I take delight in the cross-generational response, from baby boomer to millennials, that signed up to be a part,” said Bryant.

The church was allotted about 1,800 doses to give out, but can only administer 475 each day. It will take about a week to go through their supply.

In addition to running a mass vaccination site, the church is preparing for their big Easter service.

The large service will look a little different this year, but the message will still be the same. They are planning on holding services in the parking lot instead of the sanctuary.

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“We’re honing to do a pull-up parking lot service for people to come and practice safe social distance and worship from their cars. We’re putting up screens and a sound system everywhere, activities for young people, but also being mindful that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic,” said Bryant.

The outside service trend has caught on, and will be done by other churches in the area.

St. Peter Chanel, a Catholic church, will also be offering an outdoor Easter service.

“Many people are making their way back and to those — part of the reason why we’re having the outside Mass. There’s some people still a bit hesitant being in a confined space, so this gives them an action to participate live in person,” Pastor and Monsignor Peter Rau said.