Local churches begin seeing pews fill for Easter as many feel relief of trying times

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Millions of people around the world welcomed the arrival of Easter Sunday, especially in local houses of worship like Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cary. Senior pastor Wolfgang Herz-Lane said those who arrived early for the sunrise service felt relief after some trying times.

"We've gone through the 40 days of Lent, in preparation for that. We've had services all week on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, all leading up to this moment," he said. "With the pandemic, the last time we had a service like that was in 2019. We've been through two Easters where we celebrated, just online and had no people in the room, preaching to empty chairs."

As a leader of what Herz-Lane describes as a "hybrid church" where virtual services are also available for those who feel safer at home, he looks forward to seeing those who feel blessed and inspired after seeing welcoming faces will return when it's not Easter Sunday.

"If you think about the world today, with a war going on in eastern Europe and the mass shootings in our own country, the pandemic that keeps going on and doesn't seem to find an ending... There are so many things that weigh us down. So many things to get depressed about, apathetic about, but here is now new hope," Herz-Lane said.
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