PCI’s Head of Creative Production James McCormick, who along with Rebecca McConnell of Purple Rain, PCI’s Digital Media Consultant, commissioned the animations prior to the lockdown, explained the thinking behind the 2020 Easter initiative. “Over the past couple of Easters we have generated our own original content through blogs and video devotionals to tell the Easter story and to allow people to talk about what Easter means to them,” he said.
“This year we asked Laura Crossett, an animator from Magherafelt, to create three animations in a simple flat graphic style, that are around a minute long, that tell a key part of the story through a specific piece of scripture. We are asking PCI’s followers and friends on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to share these simple seasonal messages.”
The first animation went live on Palm Sunday and was based around Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, which is taken from Luke 19:27-38, and you can watch it below.
Other animations will follow on PCI’s social media platforms launching at 7pm on Good Friday (Luke 23:44-46) and 3pm on Easter Sunday (Matthew 28: 1-6).
Last year’s social media campaign, ‘Easter means Everything’ saw over 33,000 Facebook views with statistics showing that the videos were viewed for over 12,000 minutes. On Twitter, total impressions were 8,721 with a total of 1,249 Twitter media views. The videos were also uploaded to PCI’s Vimeo channel with a collective 833 views.
Welcoming the initiative, Moderator Dr William Henry said, “I understand that since our Sunday services ceased, PCI’s followers on Facebook have grown by nearly 20%, which is great to see. As times change, we often need to find ways to accommodate change that sometimes would have seemed unthinkable just a short while ago.
“One thing that does not change, however, is God’s ultimate plan for humanity that reaches its peak at Easter. I spoke about this ‘peak of hope’ in my Easter Message, and it is the hope that we have in Jesus. The Apostle Peter exclaims, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1:3).
“In my message I wrote, ‘This hope that we have in Christ is not wishful thinking. It is not based on circumstances, or the strength of ambition. It is given to us through the resurrection of Jesus and this is why we believe the peak of hope is seen at Easter. Peter connects an event from 2000 years ago with what happens in our lives today. That is why he writes of a living hope that has a life all of its own. Significantly, at this time, this means that we can have hope even in the chaos and uncertainty of lockdown life. To have this hope is the reason many of us decided to follow Jesus.’ In sharing these special animations, let us pray they will speak to people, drawing them to our Lord Jesus Christ, as we remember and celebrate His death and resurrection at Easter.”
You can read Dr Henry's Easter Message here.