Participants will meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot at J.C. Penney at 4300 Tuscawaras St. W. Police will lead drivers on a fixed route.

CANTON The Rev. Amy Rozko is clergyperson, but she’s also a mom.


It was that parental duty that helped to inspired an idea for a novel way to share the good news of Easter.


On April 12, First Church of the Resurrection, where Rozko is co-lead pastor with her husband, the Rev. J.R. Rozko, will lead "Easter in the Streets" — a sunrise service with a twist.


"I was up at 4 a.m. with my son one night, and I started thinking, ’what if we had a parade of cars, a caravan of prayer and praise in the city?’" she recalled. "Easter is meant to be celebrated in the community anyway, not in buildings."


Rozko said she contacted some other church officials who liked the idea, and their churches, such as Canton Abbey, First Mennonite, Radial Church and RisingHope Church, plan to participate.


"It’s open to anyone," she said. "We would love to have this be a way churches in Canton can work together and bring the light of Jesus to our community."


Participants will meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot at J.C. Penney at 4300 Tuscawaras St. W.


Police will lead drivers on a fixed route beginning at 8 a.m. Members will pray while passing by some designated sites including Mercy Medical Center, Aultman Hospital, Canton Christian Home and First Church of the Resurrection, before ending at 9:30 a.m. at Malone University.



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"It’s an alternative to a traditional Easter sunrise service, and also we know a lot of churches are doing online services, so people could still be home by 9:30," Rozko said. "We’re hoping to bring encouragement to people in Aultman and Mercy, and we’re also passing Canton Christian Canton Home, with hopes to encourage believers confined there, as well as health care workers. We’re also intentionally driving through some side streets and neighborhoods, as opposed to staying on main roads."


The Rozkos suspended their church services in mid-March. Though some churches have made the news for defying orders to shelter in place, Rozko said there are creative means to worship.


"I think, for us, as we’ve thought about that as pastors, our idea is no one can stop us from worshiping," she said. "It isn’t something that can be stopped by anything. We’re saying, how does this circumstance bring more creativity to proclaiming the good news? We want to be respectful of our governor, and we want to be good citizens. We can be creative as people have always been through the centuries."


For most Christians around the world, celebrating Easter without some form of church service will be an unprecedented event.


"People are missing seeing their friends and fellow believers," Rozko said. "Just to see the solidarity of the body of Christ in a large group, would encourage people at this time, and remind them that time that even though we feel alone, we’re not alone. There’s hope to be had in sharing our faith with the world. There’s hope in isolation."


Advance registration is requested.


To learn more or to register visit easterinthestreets.com or visit Facebook at facebook.com/events/2513824532268485.


Or call the First Church office at 330-453-1719 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.