Easter brings churches together in person for first time in months

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

VERONA, Wis.– The parking lot at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was full of cars and people for the first time since November.

Nearly 300 people preregistered and took a health survey before attending Easter service at the church’s Verona campus Sunday morning.

“It’s a long time coming and we’re just really glad everybody is here,” Pastor Dara Schuller-Hanson said.

Like others, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church transitioned to virtual services for the past year. It’s something they’ll continue to do, but Schuller-Hanson said there’s nothing like being in person.

“It was such a joy to be here, to be able to speak out words and have people respond and see people’s faces and hear the singing,” Schuller-Hanson said.

Betsy Johnson is helping coordinate the return. She said all of the common protections against COVID-19, including masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing make today and future Sunday services possible.

“Even though things in Dane County have changed, at this time, our task force has decided that’s going to be the best for us. Moving forward, we’ll discuss it,” Johnson said.

Also a member of the church, Johnson said it feels amazing to celebrate Easter with her community again.

“It’s just so nice, especially on this day,” Johnson said. “That’s not lost on us that this is the perfect day to be gathering for the first time.”

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will continue to host services under the tent at its Verona campus throughout the Summer. Starting next Sunday, they will invite groups of 50 people inside for the first time since last year.