Easter is here and many churches in the Shoals are preparing for traditional Sunday services.
Some churches are trying something different to celebrate Easter, though, putting a new spin on the traditional Easter egg hunts and services, such as the helicopter egg drop planned by Faith Church of Florence.
“One of the cores values of our church is outreach,” said Steve Huskey, lead pastor of Faith Church. “Really, this Easter egg hunt is an extension of that core value. We’re just trying to put this on to show that we’re here and that we care about them.”
Huskey said the church is planning to drop 10,000 eggs in two different drops at the 2 p.m. event today.
The one-hour event will include free food, bounce houses and slides for kids along with a special section for toddlers, other activities for children ages 3 to 10 and the helicopter drop of more than 10,000 filled eggs.
“I feel like we have a profoundly life-changing message, that Jesus is alive,” Huskey said.
“We’re communicating in a way that is relevant to this generation. There are a lot of churches in a lot of corners, and we just want to communicate to everybody. We want to make this message for everybody.”
Other churches in the area are sticking to simpler approaches while also looking to draw in members of the community, such as the Cowboy Church in Colbert County’s Easter egg hunt at 2 p.m. today and a 6 a.m. sunrise service Sunday at the church’s arena in Leighton.
“At the cowboy church, we’re a church done simple,” said Wendell Olive, lay pastor of the Cowboy Church. “We’re trying to reach out to those people who usually don’t attend or who have never been to church.
“Keep it simple, that’s what we strive for.”
Olive said the church conducted a Death, Burial and Resurrection program on Good Friday with several speakers and a children’s program.
Our Lady of the Shoals Catholic Church in Tuscumbia also had several programs earlier in the week, ending a Holy Saturday vigil today and Sunday masses at 10 a.m. and noon.
“The whole week is too important for us to even put an importance on any day,” said Theresa Holt, secretary for Our Lady, on the importance of Holy Week for the Catholic church.
“We have Holy Thursday services, Good Friday services, Holy Saturday vigil, and Sunday masses. It’s a busy time.”
Several pastors in the area agreed with Holt that this is one of the busiest times of the year for Christians, and also said it’s important not to forget the reason for the holiday.
“It’s just the uniqueness of Christianity, that we have a risen savior,” said Mike Pope, senior pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Florence.
“Our savior is alive; he is with us through the power of his holy spirit.”
Pope said First United Methodist Church isn’t looking towards community outreach but instead towards Jesus.
“We’re focusing that day on what Christ has done for us,” Pope said. “Then, we’re looking to use that spirit the rest of the year.
“Easter Sunday is unique here because we focus on the worship of the risen savior that gives us the ability to minister the rest of the year.”