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Sunrise service sees nearly 100 attendees in governor's gardens

Sunrise service sees nearly 100 attendees in governor's gardens

April 22nd, 2019 by Gerry Tritz in News

About 100 people attended Sunday's Easter Sunrise Service at the governor's gardens. The annual service is hosted by First Presbyterian Church and is open to the community.

Photo by Gerry Tritz /News Tribune.

About 100 people celebrated Easter as the sun rose Sunday at a worship service in the governor's gardens.

The Easter Sunrise Service has been sponsored annually by First Presbyterian Church since 2001, and is open to the community.

The service was led by the Rev. David Henry, associate pastor of the church.

"Scriptures teach us that early in the morning on the first day of the week, women went to the tomb where they had laid the body of Jesus to anoint it for burial and found it empty," Henry said. "And so we come here to this garden early on Easter morning to remember their trip to the tomb."

Tom Hickman, who has been a member of the church for 23 years, said the service is always special to his family. Sunday's service, he said, was chilly, but not cold or rainy like some have been.

"The sun's coming up, birds are chirping. It's lovely," he said.

"My wife lived in Hawaii for a few years, and they did a sunrise service on the beach, and when she heard our church was going to offer sunrise services, she just had to come," he said.

At the beginning of the service, Henry told a personal story to the group of about 100 people.

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"My mother died just this past Friday on Good Friday," he said. "We have a 5-year-old grandson, and his father is a Presbyterian pastor also, and just yesterday as they were talking about Easter, he knew his Grammy had died. He asked his father, 'Since tomorrow is Easter, will Grammy be alive again?' And his father told him, 'Yes, but not here on this earth. On another realm."

Hickman said Henry's story was "very inspirational to me, and I think everybody else."

The service lasted just more than a half hour and featured singing and readings of the traditional Easter Bible verses.

Henry said the annual event started with mostly just people from First Presbyterian, but is growing in the community. He said the Easter service, as well as other First Presbyterian services are always open to everyone.