The Church in Southern Illinois Talks Easter Sunday and New Group Backyard Information

MARION, IL – Easter weekend is expected to bring joy to many churches after services were canceled last year.

Some churches are using this time to meet people where they are during the pandemic.

The First Presbyterian Church in Marion, Illinois will host an outdoor service this year with social distancing, masks, and activities.

Pastor Wade Halva’s church is preparing for a better Easter than last year.

Newly built garden beds for the church’s new community garden.

“Last year, Easter looked like I was three feet from my laptop in the sanctuary with my kids running the sound system and everyone else muted on zoom,” Halva said.

There’s more going on in this church these days. Halva said they were busy building a special garden in the back of the church.

It’s a partnership with that Expansion of the University of Illinois and the local Salvation Army for growing produce.

“The food from this will go to local pantries because fresh food is one of the challenges for local pantries,” Halva said.

“Some of it will go into our blessing box, it’s right here so people can take what they need.”

Their blessing box, which was installed last June to help during the pandemic, is replenished about two to three times a week.

Blessing box

The First Presbyterian Church of Marion, the Illinois blessing box, sits on her lawn.

“There will always be people who are injured, there will always be people who can help people through the injury and who know who you are at a given moment,” said Wade.

“Offer your neighbor, your friends, the neighbor on the street what you have.”

Halva said they just want to meet people where they are.

The garden is expected to be completed by May 1st.

It is also used as a teaching garden for 4H-Illinois and the expansion of the University of Illinois.

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