Jesus greets worshipers during the Sunrise Service at Two Lights.
Remembrance and greeting
With the moon setting, the sun rising, birds singing in the trees and the incoming tide breaking on the rocks at Two Lights, our worship on Easter Sunday morning was a dawning of new life in many ways.
The Sunrise Service, hosted by the United Methodist Churches of the Casco Bay Cluster and the Cape Elizabeth Church of the Nazarene, offered the traditional lessons of Jesus’ resurrection, but on this Easter morning, we also heard a remembrance directly from Mary Magdalene. It was a stirring perspective we often don’t hear.
Mary, portrayed by the Rev. Dodie Sheffield of the West Scarborough UMC, told how she had become a follower of Jesus, only to see him arrested, tried and sentenced to death. But following the crucifixion, she told in detail and with great emotion how she found the empty tomb and witnessed the miracle of the resurrection.
And when Mary had finished with her vivid remembrance, the sun began to rise above the ocean’s horizon and Jesus, portrayed by Mark Braun, came walking from the far end of the Two Lights outcropping of rocks. One by one, he greeted each of the nearly 80 worshipers, and even some of their dogs. It was a solemn moment.
Following the 6 a.m. Sunrise Service, a sanctuary service was held at our church, welcoming many regular members, but also many family and friends.
A special time of learning for the children and reflection for adults came during the Children’s Story portion of the service when the Rev. Ruth Morrison got her hands a little dirty and became a gardener.
To tell the Easter story, Ruth gathered the children in front of the altar and brought out a shallow planting pot. With a large spoon, she asked the children to fill the pot with black soil she had in another container.
As she told the story, Ruth asked the children to help her add a small open container, which would serve as a tomb, a large rock, three crosses, weaved together with palm fronds, and small pebbles for the base of a hill.
Finally, Ruth had each of the children scatter some grass seed and fertilizer over the scene and soaked it with water. “Now,” she told the children, “we’ll watch it grow.”
During Sunday School, the children added to their lessons of new life by again learning about elements of the Easter story from Carol Hubbard and then coloring cutouts and images of butterflies.
Thank you to everyone who contributed flowers and plants for display in front of the altar as memorials our loved ones.
And also thank you to everyone who purchased Easter cakes from Katie Hackett and the United Methodist Women. A total of 40 personalized cakes were made by Kathie and the UMW and proceeds will go toward scholarship money for Camp Mechuwana.
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