In a time of uncertainty for many, members of Remnant Church in Terre Haute worked Friday to help families have as normal an Easter holiday as possible.
In light of the church's uberpopular Easter egg hunt that annually features more than 10,000 candy-filled eggs and dozens of prizes being canceled, lead pastor Branden Norman said he and fellow church members still wanted to spread the joy of Easter.
"We [church members] were talking and asked ourselves if we can't do the Easter egg hunt, then what can we do?" Norman said.
A lot, apparently.
To go along with the Monday-Wednesday-Friday food distribution the church has been doing in partnership with Vigo County School Corp., Norman and others packed additional bags and loaded families up on bread, candies, coloring books, fresh produce, Gatorade and honey buns, among other things.
The church also handed out a dozen fresh eggs with egg-coloring kits, giving families the option to still have an egg hunt in their homes.
Norman said car after car filed through the church lot. So many, in fact, the church had to call local law enforcement to come help direct traffic.
Once cars reached the church lot, families were greeted by a giant Easter bunny with a custom-made face mask. Norman said the bunny was a hit.
"Almost every car that came through had kids in it and they were pumped to see the Easter bunny," Norman said. "Parents were angling to take pictures of the bunny from their cars, and the kids were waving ..."
"It was making, for some, '2020 The Virus-Easter' pictures."
But more than just for laughs, Norman said the Easter bunny sported a mask to make a point.
"I had someone make that mask just so we could put in on the bunny and show everyone that if the bunny is staying safe, they should too," Norman said.
Not lost on Norman is the uniqueness of these unprecedented times and the challenges COVID-19 and Gov. Eric Holcomb's stay-home order present.
But instead of handing out gospel tracts or taking any more overt measures to preach the Easter message, Norman said living and treating others as the gospels say you should will ultimately be what people remember.
"The love of God working though everything we do as a church is big enough," Norman said. "The best thing we can do for the gospel is to live it and do what it says to do.
"And for a few hours on Friday, that's exactly what we were doing."
Reporter Alex Modesitt can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TribStarAlex.