Easter Weekend Wrap-Up
Local churches celebrate Holy Week, Easter
by Staff Reports
Churches throughout Coweta County held a variety of services before and during Easter weekend.
Churches, families and organizations also held Easter egg hunts. First Baptist Church of Moreland “gave out over 10,000 eggs” at their egg hunt, according to Daniel Ausbun, pastor of the church.
Members of Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church in Roscoe placed flowers on a cross before the 11 a.m. service on Easter. The decorations included “large red blooms” that were “poinsettias that were in the sanctuary during the Christmas season to celebrate the birth of Christ,” said church member Debra Tarleton.
Holy Week also provided a range of worship experiences. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church observed Palm Sunday on March 24 with rejoicing, waving palms and processing around the church.
For the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services at St. Paul’s, there was a dramatic presentation of St. Luke’s version of the Passion Narrative. Instead of hearing a sermon, worshippers listened to a short piece of instrumental music as an opportunity to reflect on the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.
Cellist Richard Patterson, professor of philosophy at Emory University, was a guest musician at St. Paul’s on Palm Sunday. During Holy Week, St. Paul’s services included music by the parish choir, bell choir and St. Cecilia Singers – as well as Patterson; Terry Hinkemeyer, trumpet; Olivia Brown, flute; and Steve Moran, soloist.
On Good Friday, there was an early evening service at Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Lone Oak. Church members presented readings in the voice of characters from the biblical account of the crucifixion. They were Judas, Winston Skinner; Simon of Cyrene, Lisa Ferrell; Roman soldier, Ann Johnson; Mary, Sandy Wood; the dying thief, Lynn Skinner; and the centurion, Stephanie Strube.
Allen-Lee congregants tore pieces of black paper and placed them at the foot of a draped cross – symbolizing the leaving of sins.
Lent, the time of contemplation leading to Easter, began with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 13. The Community Lenten Services started that day – continuing weekly through Holy Week. A meal was served after each community service, and an offering was received for Coweta Samaritan Clinic.
The noontime ecumenical service on Ash Wednesday was held at Cornerstone United Methodist Church at Thomas Crossroads. Dr. Harry Barrow, pastor of Newnan Presbyterian Church, brought the devotion.
Several other churches held Ash Wednesday services later in the day. At Allen-Lee, Melanie Stanley-Soulen, the pastor, gathered the congregants around the altar for the imposition of ashes. She described Lent as “a time of repentance and of recognition of who we are.” She also talked about the increasing observance of Ash Wednesday in the South in recent decades and referred to “the events in our lives that become markers for us.”
Lent offers a time for people to allow God to “renew the parts of our hearts that have become hardened.” The observance of Lent results in “things that can only come from a heart that’s changed,” the pastor said.
The simple service at Allen-Lee also included a hymn and the reading of Bible passages by Strube, Nancy Lee and Winston Skinner.