Churches explore the message of EASTER

Death doesn’t have the last word.

It’s the dominant message of Easter.

The Rev. James Forbes, the retired pastor of Riverside Church in New York, once said: “The story is given so people can find a reference point for the deeper issues of life. It is about hope — that in the midst of life, there will be darkness, despair and death — but that is not the end of the story.

“There is grace in the universe. There is a ray of hope.”

The following events to commemorate Easter are among those being held in the Chattahoochee Valley:

North Highland Assembly of God: 7300 Whittlesey Blvd. Easter egg hunt with 16,000 eggs, 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Toddlers through college students may hunt for eggs. Includes prizes. Call 706-561-7777.

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church: 1502 Broad St., Phenix City. Holy Saturday service at 8 p.m. today (first Mass of Easter); 7 a.m. sunrise service at St. Patrick’s School, 3910 Lakewood Drive. Easter Sunday Mass at the church at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; and 7 p.m. Spanish service. Call 334-298-9025.

Faith Tabernacle Community Church: 1603 Floyd Road. Easter play and Easter Egg Hunt, 3 p.m. today. Easter Day services begin at 10 a.m. Call 706-569-0606.

Upatoi United Methodist Church: 13730 Macon Road. Sunrise service, 7 a.m. Sunday. Additional services at 9 and 11 a.m. Call 706-561-4471.

The Church of Columbus: 2001 Double Churches Road. Easter Service and Balloon Launch, 10 a.m. Sunday. Call 706-571-0919.

St. Luke United Methodist Church: 2204 Second Ave. 8:25 and 10:55 a.m. Sunday (main sanctuary); 9 a.m. (Ministry Center); and 12:20 p.m. (Turner Chapel). Call 706-327-4343.

Miller Road Sanctified Church: 5303 Miller Road. Bilingual (English and Spanish) Easter service, 10 a.m. Sunday, preceded by breakfast at 9 a.m. Call 706-563-7267.

Abundant Life Full Gospel Outreach Church: Easter Festival noon-3 p.m. today at the East Columbus Family Life Center, 6001 Buena Vista Road. The event is free. Call 706-561-8900.

Mountain View Baptist Church: 2569 Jeff Davis Road, Thomaston, Ga.: The 16th annual “Watch the Lamb” Easter drama at 7 p.m. today and 6 p.m. Sunday. Call 706-648-6224.

East Highland United Methodist Church: 1301 17th St. “A Gathering at the Cross,” on the church lawn, 8 a.m. Sunday. The Rev. Daryl Brown of St. Paul United Methodist will be the guest preacher. Call 706-322-6085.

Kingdom of Faith: Passion Gospel Play, 6 p.m. Sunday at the East Columbus Family Life Center, 6001 Buena Vista Road. Sponsored by V.W. Haynes Ministries. Call 334-298-8815.

Midland United Methodist Church: 9100 Warm Springs Road. Family Easter celebration and spring barbecue 11 a.m.-2 p.m. today. Includes barbecue lunch for $6; hot dogs for children; a bake sale; and an Easter egg hunt. Call 706-561-6998.

Easter Sunrise Service: Lake Heath Park, 7 a.m. Sunday. The rain location is Striplin Terrace United Methodist Church, 4170 Striplin Terrace Drive, off Miller Road. Sponsored by seven north Columbus congregations. Call 706-323-2925.

Churches in Orthodoxy (Eastern Rite) will celebrate Easter this year on April 19. Easter for Western and Eastern churches rarely coincides. Columbus’ Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church has the following services for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Pascha (Easter): 10 a.m. Divine Liturgy Sunday, followed by a fish luncheon at noon; Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at 10 a.m. Thursday; the Passion and Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ at 6:30 p.m. Thursday; the Service of the Royal Hours at 9 a.m. Friday; the Service of the Unnailing from the Cross at 3 p.m. Friday, followed by Lamentations at the Tomb at 7:30 p.m.; the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at 10 a.m. April 18, followed by Nocturns at 11:30 p.m. and Matins and the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection at midnight April 19; Easter Vespers at 11 a.m. April 19; a Pascha luncheon will follow. For additional services Monday-Wednesday, see The location is 4612 Gilbert Ave.

Allison Kennedy can be reached at 706-576-6237.