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SATURDAY SALUTE: Churches on front lines keeping us connected

SATURDAY SALUTE: Churches on front lines keeping us connected

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A hearty Saturday Salute goes this week to the churches of central Nebraska that have been working so hard to keep their congregations connected and to provide services to their communities throughout the pandemic.

With Holy Week this week, many of them were able to hold in-person services, but many church activities are continuing to be conducted online, using Zoom, Facebook and other resources. From online streaming of worship services to Zoom small group meetings and regular phone calls to stay in touch, churches have been making sure that the isolation that has been necessary to stay healthy doesn’t tear their church families apart.

And some of us who weren’t computer savvy before the pandemic have learned with the help of friends and church staff members that they can stay in touch.

It was especially important that the church members who live alone have regular contact with someone from their churches to make sure they had what they needed to stay healthy, physically and mentally.

Churches also have been at the forefront of making sure that the most vulnerable in the community have enough food, medical care and help with paying their bills.

As we come together this Sunday to celebrate Easter, let’s continue to be careful with masks, social distancing and hand washing, but let’s rejoice at the opportunities to gather together that have come with the availability of vaccines and the decrease in spread of the virus.

GILT takes a virtual stage

We also salute the volunteers who again are bringing the Grand Island Little Theatre to life, even though GILT’s first performance in more than a year is a “Zoom-style” play available for us to watch online.

Five local actresses can be seen from their homes in a reading of “Birthday Club.”

The reading, which was recorded in late February, may be viewed through 11 p.m. April 8 on GILT’s website -

Cast members are Rachel Connelly, Jeannee Mueller Fossberg, Mindy Smidt, Liz Boyle and Kristin Johnson. The play reading was coordinated by Steve Spencer.

GILT hopes to present an online variety show fundraiser in May, and possibly return to in-person productions in June. When the pandemic arrived a year ago, Spencer had finished a couple of rehearsals of a show called “This Random World.” When live theater returns to GILT, rehearsals finally might resume on that production.

Our community needs the fine arts and with the local high schools putting on productions this spring and GILT offering this online play reading, there are signs that our theater community soon will be able to return to its regular schedule.

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