Through a Glass, Darkly: Church Provides Easter Service, Communion to HOTO Residents Through Patio Windows

Joe LaTour (left) of Spring Valley Community Church in Ava delivers Communion through patio windows to HOTO residents. HOTO staff worked in conjunction with the church to distribute elements to the healthcare center residents. Others in the photo are (left to right) Woan Chuei Ricciardelli, Dan Ricciardelli, and Darla LaTour. Photo: Michael Boyink/Herald

by Michael Boyink / mike@douglascountyherald.com

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”  1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV

Across the nation, the story was the same. 

COVID-19 related shelter at home restrictions meant that traditional Easter services couldn’t be held.

For many, technology was the answer. Smartphone apps and online video conferencing software like Zoom, Facebook Live, and Microsoft Skype stood in for decorated church buildings. 

But technology only goes so far. For some communities – like the residents at Ava’s Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center – an online Easter wasn’t a workable solution.

Instead, members of the Spring Valley Community Church in Ava gathered on the back patio of the facility while residents sat inside, observing proper social distancing. 

The church members led HOTO residents in a short worship service, a message, and then administered Communion. HOTO staff delivered the elements inside while Joe LaTour, one of Spring Valley’s Pastors, led the service from outdoors.

After delivering Communion to residents sitting in the dining hall, the church group went window to window to give Communion to residents not able to leave their rooms.

“HOTO staff heard the residents heart and that they wanted Communion,” said Belva Tarrant. “So I got some from others at Spring Valley and we made it happen. It was a blessing to be there and we were happy to help.”

Belva Tarrant of Spring Valley Community Church delivers an Easter address to residents of the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center through the patio windows. The church also provided communion, working together with HOTO staff to deliver the elements to residents.
Photo: Michael Boyink/Herald