Buds on the trees are just starting to emerge, and wild birds are returning from their winter migrations. That’s springtime in the Valley.
Many people also observe annual expressions of faith and community as Easter and Passover both take place on dates near each other this year.
Pastor Jim Tarr of the Cornerstone Christian Center said about the outdoor service pre-recorded for online Easter morning viewing, “We wanted to make it very special, as our church family hasn’t been able to get together Sundays for a month.”
“It was quite windy,but the air became calm just as we started recording,” he noted, “We feel that as Jesus’ Last Supper took place during Passover, our religions are connected.”
The Center is also working with Slow Groovin’ BBQ and Lift Up to provide free family Easter meals and a bag of Easter Eggs to the first 200 families who drive to the church at 11 a.m., Sat., April 11.
The Chabad Jewish Community Center, led by Rabbi Mendel Mintz, recently broadcast an informative class on how to lead a Passover Seder. Chabad is also offering an entire Passover Seder menu home-delivered.
Mintz described what the holiday means to him, his family and the congregation,” Passover is about finding real freedom, freedom from what is holding us back in life, the obstacles we build around us. Passover is a reminder that we can accomplish and succeed at whatever we wish. To truly feel our heart and soul shine without hindrance.”
The eight-day Passover festival commemorates Israelites escape from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is also known as Pesach (which means “to pass over”), because Jewish homes were passed over as the last of the ten plagues killed Egyptian firstborn children. Passover takes place on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, whenever that falls.
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary. It takes place the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of Spring.
Reverend Laurie Bushbaum of Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist said, “We are now living in an unusual time. We are physically isolated from each other, not knowing exactly what is coming towards us. To help us stay connected and spiritually grounded, While many of us feel varying stages of fear and anxiety, I hope that you can also use the quarantine time to re-ground yourselves, to center deeply on that which sustains you.”
She also asked people to “sit and just listen to the bird singing in the tree while taking deep breaths, gaze at Mt. Sopris and ponder the mystery of time and the formation of the earth.”
Lead Pastor at The Orchard Daniel Self explained why his church and many others are streaming Easter services over the internet, “Not only are people watching, but sharing and inviting as well.There are a lot of people looking for hope and wisdom in this season and we’ve been divinely resourced with both.”
Pastor Darryl Reeves of the Crystal River Baptist Church said the church will have a drive-in service, “Those who choose to attend church must drive into the parking lot and hear the sermon and music from the car, with the window down.”
At the Aspen Jewish Congregation, Rabbi Emily Segal said, “Passover connects us to our families and communities and to Jewish people world-wide and through the generations, reminding us to fight for the vulnerable and the downtrodden, reminding us of the resilience of the human spirit, and reminding us of who we are as people and as a community.”
And Rabbi Itzkah Vardy of the Neshama Center explained that this Passover is similar to the first one, as then and now, we are combating a “plague. People should recognize that we have the power in our hands to overcome this challenge. How? We need to stay home.”
At the Marble Community Church. Pastor Jon Stovall explained what Easter means to him and his community, “Easter means new life coming to our community and the world. It also brings joy and hope that God gives us with the newness of life.”
Pastor Josh Vanderhyde of Faith Lutheran Church said, “We have been saying to one another that the first service we are able to have together in person again will feel a lot like Easter.”
Aspen Jewish Community Center: 544-3770
Aspen Jewish Congregation: 925-8245
Basalt Community United Methodist / Thomasville Community United Methodist Church: 927-4098
Carbondale Community United Methodist Church: 963-4461, Streaming
Church At Redstone: 963-0326
Cornerstone Christian Center: 927-3889, Streaming
Crystal River Baptist Church: 963-3694, Drive-in
Faith Lutheran: 510-5046, Pre-recorded service and a “watch party”
Marble Community Church: 963-1464, No internet access
Mid Valley Baptist Church: 963-1718
Mountain Life Calvary Chapel: 926-3880, Recording and live streaming
Neshama Center: 925-9568
The Orchard: 963-8773, Streaming
St. Vincent’s and St. Mary of the Crown Catholic Churches: 704-0820
Two Rivers Unitarian Universalists: 989-9680, referring to Foothills Unitarian.