Yesterday, Easter Day, the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave after his crucifixion on the cross, began before dawn at the Kuranui Beach park with a short service, and lasted until nearly noon. Though the activities were hosted by Thames Baptist Church, everything was open to everyone.
The Easter Dawn Service (or Sunrise Service) began at 6:00 with some songs and greetings, followed by a short sermon (mostly just reading of Mark 16) and more singing. Then we fried up some fish (snapper and king fish) and ate them on buns while standing or sitting around and just talking with each other. It was a nice fellowship time. We had several people from the community join us for this service and breakfast.
Then we broke away for a short rest. Andrew and I headed back home for a short relax, and then I headed to the Thames Baptist Church to help with the Easter Processional and Games. Linley and I were in charge of the Spring Bulb Dig, where the kids dug in a trailer-full of sand, looking for daffodil bulbs in small plastic bags. There were dozens of bulbs in the sand, and everyone found one and took home the bulbs they found. The kids really enjoyed digging in the sand, and even after they found a bulb, they still wanted to dig, which was fine when there weren’t others waiting.
Others from the church had others stations along Pollen Street (the main street in Thames). Some were at the north end of town and welcomed families, handed them a Find the Easter Eggs in Shop Windows form. There were small Easter eggs hidden in plain view in some of the shop windows, and the kids had to find the eggs and record in which stores they saw them.
Other adults oversaw the Easter Egg Decorating spot, where the kids got to decorate their own hard boiled and dyed eggs with paints, crayons, and glitter. Further along the route was the Egg Rolling Contest, where the kids rolled boiled eggs to see who could get their egg to end up nearest the nest placed in the lawn.
Back at the church around 9:45, everyone met, and awards were given out for the best decorated bicycle, buggy, bonnet, and scooter, as well as the winners of the best decorated egg, and the nearest rollers of the boiled eggs.
Our regular worship service began at 10:30 and was a great time of singing and communion. Andrew rode his bicycle into town to join me for the service, after he had slept for an hour or so.
After church, Andrew and I went home and discovered that all four of our neighbors were here. Usually, only our farmer neighbor (David) is up here, but this weekend, everyone came up for the day. We visited with each of them and gave them a jar of our freshly made feijoa jam. (We made over two litres, nine jars, of feijoa jam.) Then we went back home and slept a couple hours.
Easter Sunday with Thames Baptist Church was a lot of fun, as well as focusing on the reason for our faith.