by Rev. Dr. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister

Your leadership at BCCUCC is working hard to find creative ways to make Holy Week and Easter special this year. Like everything during the pandemic, they are going to be different. But that doesn’t mean they cannot be especially meaningful. I am excited to share with you our plans and hope you will choose to participate as much as possible.

Easter Hats – This CEYM event is happening THIS Saturday (March 20). Andrea has invited all of our church school families to join her for an Easter Hat making workshop and parade. This outdoor, physically distanced activity should be fun and help prepare our young families for Easter. More information is found in last week’s eBridge newsletter. And don’t worry if you’re too old to participate, video footage of this event will be incorporated into our Easter morning worship!

Palms – Did you miss your palms last Palm Sunday? I did! This year we have once again ordered palms with the plan on having them available for pickup for everyone who wants one (or a few!). We will then be incorporating these palms into our Palm Sunday All-Ages Worship service (see below). From March 26-28 we will have a tub located outside the Education Building in front of the Rainbow doors, for anyone to come by and pick up your palms. We will have both eco-palms and traditional straight palms available. We will also advertise later how to keep your palms alive and fresh for the big day!

Palm Sunday – March 28 is Palm Sunday. Do you remember our virtual Palm Sunday celebration last year? It was the first service we included families and children to participate virtually. We will be doing it again this year and anticipating that things will go even more smoothly than last year! We have a great service planned and will even be teaching everyone how to make palm crosses out of the palms you can pick up at church. (Psst…you need the traditional straight palms for this!)

Peaceful Pause & Prayer – Our semi-weekly morning meditation series will shift to EVERY DAY during Holy Week. Monday through Friday at 8:00am I will host a half hour meditation focused on the themes of Holy Week. This series can be viewed live or anytime after it airs, both on our website and on Facebook Live.

Tenebrae – We certainly missed hosting our Tenebrae service last year. This year, the deacons did not want to pass up this opportunity. They are currently busy working with the Worship Tech Team to put together a virtual Tenebrae service on Holy Thursday, April 1st, at 7pm. Parts of this service will be done live and other parts prerecorded. There are some great plans coming together. If you hope to attend, don’t forget to bring your communion elements as Linda and I will be offering communion as a part of the service.

Sunrise Service – We are going to do it! We are offering a brief in-person outdoor sunrise service on Easter morning, Sunday, April 4th. The service is going to be held at 6:15am at the church on the back terrace overlooking the Barrington River. We are not advertising this service in town or partnering with other faith communities to make it happen. We will be keeping this service small as to stay within RI COVID-19 guidelines.

All attendees must:

  • Pre-register – We need to know how many and who is coming so we can be prepared and have proper contract tracing should we need it. Register via this Signup Genius link, or by contacting the church office.
  • Stay physically distanced – All families must remain 6 feet away from all others at all times.
  • Wear masks – Even if you have been vaccinated, EVERYONE must wear a mask.
  • Not sing – Sadly, there will be no singing. However, humming is allowed :).
  • Not socialize – Of course you can say “hello” and such, but no shaking of hands, hugging, or even lingering around too long after the service will be a problem. We are still in a pandemic with people getting sick and dying every day.

This service is acting as a test on how we might handle in-person services in the future. Attendees will need to follow these guidelines. If we cannot, it hinders our ability to offer in-person worship in the future as the pandemic continues.

Online Easter Morning – Have no fear if you are not comfortable attending our in-person sunrise service or just don’t want to get up that early. Linda and I are going to be hosting our regular online 10:00 service on Easter too. We have some fun things planned for this service including videos of some of our children’s activities and even some sharing from some of our seniors. We hope you can join us for this service even if you wake up for sunrise!