Religious Leaders Adapt Holy Week, Passover Traditions To Pandemic Friday, Apr 10 2020 

Pathway Baptist Church in west Kentucky is trying something a bit different from their usual service. 

Pastor Mike Donald, standing on a makeshift stage in front of a giant outdoor movie screen, is surrounded by congregation members in cars, honking enthusiastically on just about his every word. It’s Sunday service, but at a drive-in movie theater.

“It’s a little different today, so how many have your animals with you?”

Honks.

“So, how many of you are in house slippers? You didn’t put on regular shoes today — you got your house slippers on.”

More honks.

With state orders against large public gatherings in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Donald decided to have his church’s past two services at the nearby Calvert Drive-In movie theater in Marshall County, Kentucky, one of a few drive-in theaters still left in the state.

For Donald, the idea just made sense.

“We met with the owners, and they thought it was a great idea. They said ‘We’ve had weddings out here, we’ve had rock concerts out here, but we’ve never had a service,’” Donald said. “It’s always about being innovative, and going to church at a drive-in is an innovative idea.”

It’s one of the many ways religious leaders are adapting as they head into Easter and Passover. But in west Kentucky, there’s also a history of church leaders defying such orders and guidance, in this pandemic and in past ones. 

State and local elected officials are pleading with church members to stay at home during religious holidays to prevent more outbreaks, where church services have already spread the virus. And religious leaders are trying to keep the energy of their services alive in a new world they’re unfamiliar with. 

Virtual Worship

Passover, which began on April 8, begins with the Seder feast. But instead of celebrating with others in her congregation, Laurie Ballew had her feast virtually, with services live-streamed online from places including Louisville.

“The virtual Seder just highlights the ritual components of the Seder without the meal,” Ballew said. “Then at one point, there’s a break and we have the Seder meal.”

Ballew is the pulpit chair for Temple Israel, a synagogue in Paducah, Kentucky. She said while some of the around 70 people in her congregation miss being with family and friends, adapting to having the meal virtually has been relatively easy. Adapting is something Jewish people are used to doing, she said.

“We can’t say that it’s always easy, but compared to what our ancestors had to adapt to, and what my own parents and grandparents had to adapt to, adapting to a virtual Seder is very easy,” Ballew said.

Many religious leaders in the Ohio Valley have adapted to the new restrictions given coronavirus, yet there are some who have defied warnings issued by state and local health officials, and some have paid a price. 

Hopkins County, with a population of around 45,500, has among the highest rates of  coronavirus cases and deaths in Kentucky. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear earlier this month said many of those cases are tied to a church revival service that did not practice social distancing.

Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. has been pleading for weeks against in-person church services and other public gatherings. But he also doesn’t want to disparage churches, as he considers them the “heart and soul” of west Kentucky. 

“I really think that right now we’re concentrating just way too much on the churches,” Whitfield  said. “I understand that, you know, from the governor’s comment that we’re looking at church, but we’re looking at birthday parties, or funerals or weddings or every other place that people congregate.” 

Personally, he gets what church-goers are feeling. He misses his local baptist church, too.

“Every Sunday before all this, we would have a time where you get up and just go greet everybody. Shake hands, hug, talk to one another,” Whitfield said. “That’s what I miss most about having that in-person service, which is that personal interaction.”

Governor Beshear initially asked on March 11 that churches forgo in-person Sunday services. 

First United Methodist Church Pastor Jeffery Rudy in Murray, Kentucky, did cancel in-person service for that Sunday. But it was a difficult decision, a decision his church staff only made the Friday evening before.

“We were going to plan to go forward with the service and just tell people ‘stay at home if you don’t feel comfortable,’” Rudy said. “But we had the wisdom I think of the community and the governor, and a bunch of our own church leaders. Our bishop made the recommendation.”

 Rudy says in retrospect, the decision is an obvious choice. Yet one church in Murray did have services that Sunday, and local health officials say that led to Calloway County’s first positive coronavirus case

Murray has a history of defiance even during past pandemics: a preacher was jailed during the 1918 Spanish Flu for refusing to close his church. 

Rudy said he doesn’t want to assume the reasons for why some church leaders are still considering in-person Easter services, but he urges them to reconsider.

“I just wish they would know that faith does not keep us immune to illness,” he said. “Especially knowing there has been evidence that gatherings in the church, like especially what’s happened in [Dawson Springs, Hopkins County] we have proof … and worship is not immune to the things that happen in human contact, such as the spread of this virus.”

Beshear is pleading with churches not to have in-person Easter services, and one county health department in Kentucky is warning that drive-in church services may not be safe. Rudy plans to broadcast his service virtually.

Where to get your Easter Meal Sunday, Apr 5 2020 

The question on many of our minds right now is how can we help our local community and get a wonderful meal for our family? We have gathered up the restaurants that are doing family-style hot Easter meals for curbside pickup and delivery.  Good food is important and being able to share that food with your family is what memories [...]

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Four Local Candy Shops For Easter Candy Wednesday, Apr 1 2020 

*Please note due to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic we are promoting stay at home and social distancing. You can see all our updated Spring, Easter, and social distancing posts here.  Best places in Louisville for Easter candy Are you looking to fill Easter baskets with special goodies? These local shops offer unique candy and homemade chocolates that will make this [...]

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Louisville Easter Egg Hunt – Social Distancing Tuesday, Mar 31 2020 

Let’s have an Easter Egg Hunt from our cars! It’s a window egg hunt! We invite you to join our Louisville Easter Egg Hunt – social distancing style!  If your business or family would like to participate in this Louisville Easter Egg Hunt, you can tell us where you are and we will add you to a giant map of [...]

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Easter Fun at Home Tuesday, Mar 31 2020 

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Easter 2020 events will not take place like they have in the past. But, we have plenty of ideas for Easter fun at home! Many parents are wondering what to do at home that can still be a fun experience for Easter. Holidays are about spending time together so as long as you can [...]

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Fish Fry in Louisville – Lenten Fish Fries Wednesday, Feb 19 2020 

Where are fish fries in Louisville? Louisville loves fish fry events for Lent. There are many churches and organizations around the city that offer lunch and/or dinner on Fridays during Lent. Some have other entertainment on those nights, online ordering, cake wheels and more. Click here for a list in Oldham County   Lent for the year 2020 is celebrated/observed from February 26 [...]

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Kentucky Derby Easter Egg in Food Network Magazine Friday, Mar 30 2018 

Kentucky Derby Easter Egg

How do you represent Kentucky with an Easter egg? With a Kentucky Derby Chick, of course!

I was extremely honored to be invited to contribute the Kentucky egg for Food Network Magazine's United States of Easter Eggs feature in their April 2018 issue. 

Kentucky is many great things, of course, but I have traveled many places and know for sure that Kentucky is definitely one great thing to almost all across America and beyond: horses and the iconic Kentucky Derby. I created this little egg as a representation of that beloved culture.

Kentucky Derby Easter Egg

To create the Kentucky Derby Chick, I enlisted the help of my crafty better half, Craft E Magee, and we experimented with a few techniques to give us the perfect hat shape and size for an egg. Then, we did on a smaller scale what we've done together many times on a larger scale. we created the derby flair with feathers, silk flowers, and tulle. You can see the full tutorial on making the hat here: DIY Mini Kentucky Derby Hat.

Kentucky Derby Easter Egg

Look at all of these fabulous eggs representing The United States! I am astounded by the creativity of fellow craft bloggers. You can see each egg with links to all participating designers at foodnetwork.com/eastereggs.

Kentucky Derby Easter Egg

Which state egg is your favorite? It's hard for me to have a clear favorite when there are so many great designs!

Happy egg creating, DIY'ers!

~julee~

Candy Filled Paper Mache Eggs Wednesday, Apr 2 2014 

Paper Mache Easter Eggs

What’s your favorite Easter treat?  I have a firm belief that all Easter eggs should be filled with chocolate.  These cute paper mache Easter eggs can be filled with small chocolates, jelly beans and fun trinkets.
Due the drying time on these, you’ll need to plan accordingly.  However, they have a good getting-your-hands-gooey vibe that kids love.  Plus, you have to rip them open to get to the goods inside.

Paper Mache Easter Eggs

Supplies Needed:  Water balloons, liquid starch, tissue paper.  Also, candy or trinkets to place inside.
Start by cutting your colored tissue paper into 1 or 2-inch squares.  If you’d like to add polka dots to your eggs, use several sheets of paper at once through a paper punch.

Paper Mache Easter EggsPaper Mache Easter EggsPaper Mache Easter Eggs

Inflate a balloon to your desired size.  Brush on liquid starch.  Leaving the balloon’s tie uncovered, wrap a solid sheet of tissue paper cut to size around the balloon to give it a solid base.  Brush on the liquid starch as needed to keep the paper on the balloon.  Then, add the squares of paper one by one around the balloon, again, brushing on the starch as needed to keep the paper down.  Do not brush hard or the paper will rip.  You’ll only need enough starch to affix the paper.  The more starch you use, the longer it will take to dry.

Paper Mache Easter Eggs

Once the paper is fully dry, use a pin to poke the balloon, holding on to the tie as it deflates.  The balloon should pull out easily.  From the hole in the top, cut a small slit in the balloon just large enough to place your treats.  Cover the slit with a small piece of tissue paper, and affix it with the liquid starch. 

Paper Mache Easter Eggs

To remove the treats inside, the paper on the egg must be torn.  Fun!

Paper Mache Easter Eggs

Happy Easter crafting, DIY’ers!

~julee~

Watch the video as I demo how to make paper mache eggs on WDRB in the Morning:

Egg Carton Easter Chick Tuesday, Apr 1 2014 

Egg Carton Easter Chick

A little egg carton chick to hide some chocolate Easter eggs = Cuteness overload.  Seriously.  And while these egg carton Easter chicks are perfect for kids to put together, adults will have just as much fun helping – at least I did.  And the best part of all is that you probably already have all of the supplies needed for this one.

Egg Carton Easter Chick
Egg Carton Easter Chick

Supplies Needed:  Paper egg carton, yellow paint, tape, colored paper, feathers (optional), black marker.
1) Cut two egg holder pieces (do these have a technical name?) from the carton.  2) Paint.  3)  Attach the two pieces together with a piece of tape to create a hinge.  4)  Use colored paper to make the beak, feet, and wings (or use feathers for wings, as shown).  5)  Draw on a pair of eyes. 6)  Fill with candy and give to your best peep.

Egg Carton Easter Chick

Happy Easter crafting, DIY’ers!

~julee~

Watch the video as I demo how to make recycled egg carton chicks on WDRB in the Morning: