The Season of Easter
Inviting your guests to what is coming up next at your church is an important part of welcoming and evangelism. Easter affords an opportunity to welcome large numbers of new faces to the Next Big Thing with your congregation.
When to teach Easter is a fundamental question for churches who see high attendance numbers on Easter Sunday but do not offer formational time on the Feast Day.
At Building Faith, we are ever mindful of the church calendar. It is through these seasons that we “live and move and have our being.” The season of Easter (Eastertide) lasts 50 days! For most of us, however, the charm seems to wear off after about 3 weeks. There are some practical ways for reversing this trend. For example, a 50 Days Activity list from St. Chrysostom’s in Manchester, UK.
Below, Elizabeth Ring offers her suggestions for living into the Easter season!
Like many churches, we have a tradition of an Easter egg hunt for children. It’s one of those things that we just always do, though no one knows when it started. Also like most churches, our attendance doubles on Easter morning, and we have many folks joining us for the first time, but for some reason we cancel Sunday School, and all we show visitors about our church is an egg hunt, which does nothing to tell the Christian story. So last year some of us started wondering aloud about how to send a better message on Easter.
Easter is O-V-E-R, and now we are in to school testing, spring vacations, recitals, end of the year concerts, playoff games, exams, preparation for VBS, and some are already getting ready for camp. Wait. I want to celebrate the fifty days of Easter.
Sharing the Easter story with young people is a great joy. These books, with text and images, tell the death and resurrection of Jesus in appropriate ways.
Our annual Easter Egg Hunt is under attack. Not from parishioners or clergy who question the religiosity of the tradition, nor from the expense of filling plastic eggs with candy, stickers, and tiny toys for a quickly increasing number of children. No, we’re under attack by local wildlife, who after many years of oblivion have suddenly discovered that once a year St. Barnabas holds a smorgasbord served in odd plastic ovals.
Over the years, I have seen churches of all sizes compel the “Easter Crowd” to return the following weekend and eventually become part of the congregation. With some pre-planning and strategic intent, you can improve your odds at getting back the people who, otherwise, you might not see again for another year.
During the Middle Ages eggs were not allowed to be eaten as part of the Lenten fast. So Easter Sunday became a day to celebrate with the eating of eggs. Children used to go house to house, singing and begging for eggs. They were paid in hard-boiled eggs, dyed with vegetables such as beetroot (red), spinach (green), onions (yellow)and tea (brown).