Easter is very near, and for those who observe the holiday it has great meaning. It’s a gathering with family around a table laden with a feast, watching a toddler eagerly hunt brightly colored eggs on a sunny afternoon, and heading to church for the annual Easter services.
There are many places of worship that hold services for this special weekend as there are different religions and beliefs that abound in Northwest Indiana. One of the religious entities, Calvary Church in Valparaiso, is no exception. This year, the message that will be given at the weekend services is “The Way”. What does that mean?
“When Jesus said, 'I am the way' he was talking about 'the way' to life; real life that starts now and lasts forever,” Senior Pastor Lionel Young explained. “We call this the gospel -a Latin word that simply means 'Good News.' The 'Good News' is that no matter how messed up our lives are, there is 'a way' out of the mess. In fact, because Jesus is 'the way' the earliest followers of Jesus were known as followers of 'The Way' (Acts 24:14). We will be unpacking this good news on Sunday.”
Pastor Lionel also said that the resurrection of Jesus would be talked about, which is typically the main topic at Easter Services. Good Friday is observed first. According to Christian belief, Jesus died on the Cross on a Friday. Mere days later, on Easter Sunday, he was resurrected and he walked among the living, having paid the price for human sins so that they may have eternal life.
“Through Jesus there is 'a way' to live forever. Jesus makes this possible for us to enjoy real life, now and forever. And this is good news we want everyone to know about,” Pastor Lionel said. Over 2,000 people are expected to attend the Easter weekend services at Calvary Church. Childcare will be available for infants through preschoolers during both of the Good Friday services and the very first Easter service. Full Rock Solid Kids Children's Ministries will be running during the remaining services on Easter Sunday. Attendees are encouraged to come to the earlier services to ease the crowds that are expected at the later services.
The times for the weekend services are as follows:
Good Friday Communion Services: 5pm and 7pm.
Easter Sunday Worship Services: 6:45am, 8:15am, 9:45am, and 11:15am.
For those who have never been to Calvary, it’s a wonderful church with welcoming members. The services include contemporary worship music played by talented artists and in-depth sermons provided by Pastor Lionel or other members of the pastoral staff.
“Our feel at Calvary is what we call ‘rooted’ and ‘relevant’,” Pastor Lionel said. It's rooted in something that happened 2,000 years ago, but it is relevant for our lives today. Don't expect a medieval experience, but we want to give people much more than they would get at a U2 Concert!”
Churches often get an unflattering reputation for being unwelcoming or “judgmental”. It is what keeps many people at home on a Sunday morning whether they want to admit it or not. But at Calvary, and many other churches and religious organizations, it’s not the case at all. It doesn’t matter who you are what you have done with your life, the only requirements that many a church have is that you show up, open your heart, and lend an ear.
“Come as you are. You will find our community to be very diverse. Young and old, rich and poor are here. We have people from all walks of life from stay-at-home moms to hipsters, various professionals, and those who work in the trades; students and community leaders, millworkers, and farmers--even a professional athlete or two! And at the end of the day all of us find our identity; not in who we are, but in what Christ has done for us.”
For more information on the Easter weekend services at Calvary Church, click here!