As we joined the congregation early last Easter morning, our flip flops smacked the aged wooden floor loudly. My children, still sporting pajamas and raging bedheads, had already descended upon the donut holes and hot chocolate. They giggled wildly at their mutual good fortune of extra sugar before proper breakfasts. The pianist played a traditional hymn softly in the background. All the assembled heads turned at once to take in our ragtag crew, and then someone spoke.
“Happy Easter!” my neighbor said, with a smile.
“Happy Easter!” we replied. The church was our community pool deck. The congregation consisted of our friends and neighbors. Our Easter finery was “come as you are.” The sun rose over our homes’ rooftops, while Blossom, the neighborhood cat, stretched out under a picnic table bench serving as a pew.
My neighborhood Bible study organized a sunrise Easter gathering last year. Our leaders kept it very simple, asking ladies in the Bible study for help. The result was an informal, joyful way to start a day of celebration of the risen Christ.
If you want to try organizing an event like this in your neighborhood, think about these simple steps.
1. Establish a time and place: We chose sunrise at our pool deck, which allowed people who attend a more formal service at church on Easter morning to still take part.
2. Ask people for help providing things like:
- Music or song sheets. We are fortunate to have a talented piano teacher and some great singers in our neighborhood!
- Refreshments, like donuts and coffee. Keep it simple and sugary!
- A children’s message or object lesson.
- Scripture reading of the Easter story.
- A short Easter message.
- The offering of opening and closing prayers.
3. Send out invitations.
4. Enjoy a sweet celebration on Easter morning!
Happy Easter from NBS2Go!
If you’ve ever planned an Easter-themed event in your neighborhood, share a helpful tip in the comments!
Erica Rountree is a freelance writer and the communications director at Action Ministries Inc. She lives and works in Marietta, Georgia, where she’s a member of a neighborhood Bible study and mama to two girls who constantly outsmart her and drive her to drink sweet tea.