Monday, April 1, 2013

First Congregational Church: Happy Easter!

Just yesterday, March 31st, the final Sunday of the month, Frostburg college students and locals alike celebrated Easter by returning home to spend time with family and attending Easter church services. Right here, Frostburg's very own First Congregational Church (Facebook), located on the corner of Oak and Bowery, right next to the A2Z Store (or Byrnes Store), held a moving and wonderfully entertaining service on Easter Sunday, filled with everything you would expect to see. Although the church has been here for an impressive 140 years as of this month, many students have never even been inside the church building, but the congregation is very accepting and welcoming of any who would like to worship with them.

The morning service, beginning at 10:45 AM, kicked off with the choir entering the room at the front where the raised platform was, accompanied by the playing of the organist/pianist, along with Pastor Ken Hamilton and coordinators proceeding up the aisle to the front platform. The pews had Bibles, hymn books, little pamphlets, and a huge number of attendees - it was a full house. There were cars parked on the side of the road, the parking lot was filled up, young and old gathered under one roof to celebrate a very special holiday together. Pastor Ken and Alison Shockley read verses from the Bible, the congregation sang hymns, gave thanks to the Lord, said prayers for the sick and those in need, but the best of all were the children that performed and sang for the adults.
Ashlyn Duncan singing
The children's performances were led by who the children referred to as Ms. Vicki, leading the children in a rather amusing little song. After the song, she held a puppet monkey named Brian in her left hand, and around Brian's neck was an easter basket carrying three plastic easter eggs. Inside the first egg were three nails, the second contained a cross, and inside the third was a hollow egg shell wrapped in white cloth. Each of these items were symbolic of what Jesus went through during the period between Good Friday and Easter - one nail for each hand and one nail for his feet, the cross for where He was crucified, and then the cloth around the hollow egg for how he was wrapped in cloth for his burial. The children then opened a large cardboard box, returning from it a banner with the words "He is risen" across it. Although Ms. Vicki intended for it to be carried to the ceiling by the balloons attached to it, physics wouldn't let her have her way. The second performance was by the young Ashlyn Duncan, who sung a song called "Remember" quite beautifully. Cameras were flashing and people were recording the entire time, it was really something special.

Ms. Vicki, Brian, and the children

The rest of the service was taken away by the choir singing their Easter Cantata, "It Is Finished," a six-part song with the lyrics put up on the screen so the congregation could sing along if they so desired. After Paster Ken had finished addressing the congregation and leading them in prayer, everyone opened their hymn books and sung the final hymn of the service as Pastor Ken and coordinators proceeded back down the aisle and stood by the door to say goodbye to all who had came that day. With that, the service was concluded and everyone began chatting and wishing each other Happy Easter. The children were especially happy because they were awarded some tasty little treats for their hard work that day in their performances.

Pastor Ken and the rest of the people of First Congregational Church leave the community of Frostburg with a message: "We are a welcoming ... student-loving ... God-loving church." All are welcome, so don't hesitate to spend a Sunday morning with the friendly members of this church.
Pastor Ken Hamilton

1 comment:

Morriskats said...

Hello, from one of the off-key singers who were sitting behind the author.

Thank you for this lovely and spot-on description of our Easter Sunday service. Especially love the last paragraph. Please come back and join us anytime!