Celebrate Easter outside of the traditional setting

Not in the mood for a traditional Easter service on Sunday? Don’t have a home church?

Two out-of-the-ordinary venues will, as in past years, be used as sites for Easter celebrations: one at the band shell at Lakebottom Park and the other at the Columbus Civic Center.

The Lakebottom service begins at 11 a.m., and is sponsored by Calvary Chapel.

“Our desire is to invite people out who, for various reasons, don’t go to church,” said the Rev. Mark Swift, Calvary Chapel’s pastor. “There are a lot of hurt people in Columbus.” In this context, Swift means people who have been hurt spiritually by church leaders or fellow members. He is also aware that many in the Columbus area don’t claim a church home, and wants to welcome them, too.

Technically, Sunday marks the fourth annual service at the park; but the first was moved to the church sanctuary because of rain. The past three years have seen people intent on attending, as well as curiosity seekers.

“Some people are walking around the park and stop with their dogs and listen,” Swift said. The service will include kids’ programming, and live music.

All week, Swift kept an eye on the weather report.

“There’s a slight chance (of rain) but I think we’ll be OK,” he said. “Our main intent is to let the whole community know that Jesus loves them,” Swift said.

The weather won’t be a factor Sunday at the Columbus Civic Center, where Kingdom Metropolitan Worship Centre will sponsor a service at 11 a.m. This is the congregation’s third service at the South Commons venue.

The theme is “Resurrecting Hope in Challenging Times.”

“Kingdom’s dynamic Easter service facets experiencing the love of Christ in a non-traditional way, with excellence displayed throughout, and a realistic message for everyone,” the Rev. Marshall S. McGill, senior pastor, said in a statement. “While holding church services in a steeple-topped building is the norm for most, we want to once again offer a comfortable and non-threatening environment for people who are curious about church, and for those who would simply like to assemble together with people from diverse walks of life.

“On this special day, we will all have one thing in common. We want to glorify God, so instead of bringing the people to the church, we are bringing the church to the people.”

Kingdom Metropolitan normally meets in the former Circuit City building on Airport Thruway.