Easter Brings Unexpected Opportunity For South Florida Church Leaders, Musicians

This holiday weekend won’t be the same, but locals are making the most of it.

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Easter weekend is looking a little different this year in South Florida and across the country. Just ask Richelle Williams, senior pastor of Jesus People Ministries International.

“It is gonna be very different for us,” Williams said. “We’re not gonna be congregating together to see the faces and to experience the tradition of what we’ve been so used to for years, but... God is still faithful and he gives us creativity, you know, on how we can make it work.”

Her congregation has spent weeks preparing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

“We emailed all of our church family members, ‘hey send us in some pictures of your kids,’” she said. "[The focus is] on how we can make that look like Easter, even though we’re not together.” 

Local musicians are turning to social media this weekend too.

“Our jobs were the first ones to get cut,” said singer Nikki Kidd, who would otherwise be crooning at a seafood brunch this Sunday.

A month ago Kidd had five gigs a week, now she has none. From quarantine she takes requests online at home and posts details for a digital tip jar. It helps cushion the financial blow.

“Obviously it’s not the same amount of income I was making before, but to keep some kind of a flow coming in for at least some of my little bills or at least to be able to go to the grocery store and pick up something," Kidd said.

Josh “OneTrack” Rubin would usually be booked as a DJ for events this weekend. But instead, he’s posting free nightly jam sessions on Instagram Live. He’s doing it as a tribute to first responders and others working on the front lines.

“I said, ‘what can I do to bring them joy?’” Rubin said. ”Yeah, we’re not working, we’re out of business, and look at all these other people that are out there working hard for us: the nurses, the doctors, the people of Publix and Walmart.”

Pastor Williams finds a lesson in social distancing.

“The church is not just in the building that we come to, the church is in us,” she said. “We the people of God, we put the church together and so even though we can’t congregate one on one, we definitely know the spirit of what resurrection means, and so we’re excited that we get to still celebrate that.”

Her church will host two Facebook Live services at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. for Easter Sunday.

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