PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- After empty churches and preaching from a computer, churches return to in-person services this year for Easter.

"Easter is simply the celebration of death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It's actually the core of everything we believe in as a church," said Christ's Church of the Valley Senior Pastor Ashely Wooldridge.

They also believe in the sense of community, which was stripped away last Easter when COVID protocols forced Wooldridge and others to preach from a computer.

"It was tough as a pastor," said Wooldridge. And it wasn't the same experience for a believer.

"It's just not the same. It's just like watching a football game at home and going to a stadium full with people watching," said Steven Eynon. He said Easter is their Super Bowl, and CCV will hold services this year indoors, outdoors, and online.

"We just wanted to be as accommodating and open to everybody because we want everybody to feel welcome," said Wooldridge.

And that goes for face coverings; they're optional though they will provide them and hand sanitizer at the door.

"Personally, I don't have any fear," said Eynon. The changes are enough for Eynon and his family. "I think we took steps we needed upfront so that we can kinda live in this moment now."

Pastor Wooldridge is confident that the community will return to their house of God. "I think that's what people are missing," said Wooldridge. "Not only do I think people are missing it, I think that's what people need."


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