Easter Experience - a Big Church event
Over two days, our church welcomed 130 local schoolchildren to experience Holy Week depicted at six 'stations' set around the building.
After a question and answer session with Chris, and split into groups of six, the children moved around the scenes. Palm Sunday was first, then the washing of the disciples' feet. The last supper became the favourite because there was bread to eat!
Gethsemane was a night time scene depicting aloneness. Using play dough, the children expressed how they feel when lonely. On to the Crucifixion with the cross, crown of thorns and purple robe. Here the children had the opportunity to pray.
Suddenly loud, lively music pervaded the church. Resurrection! All the children gathered around this beautiful scene as Chris told the story. There were some very thoughtful answers to his questions.
Over all, the children were quite knowledgeable and throughout the days had some challenging questions, like this one 'If Jesus had to die, and say it didn't happen as it did, would he have had to kill himself?
While enjoying refreshments (and leftover bread) the children were asked to comment on what they had experienced. Here is a selection of what they said:
- It was real from the beginning.
- Learned stuff about God and Jesus.
- I learned things I didn't know before.
- I enjoy the Garden and the Meal best.
- Some of it was quite sad.
- It was fun.
- God is alive and Jesus is alive.
- At the cross I had memories of people in my family who have died.
. . . and finally, one girl stood seriously thinking what to say. Suddenly she exclaimed 'Hallelujah!' Asked if she was serious, she said that was the word that came into her mind.
All the teachers gave very positive feedback, commenting on excellent organisation and saying it was a fun and interactive way to tell the Easter story. They were all sure that the children had enjoyed the Experience.
And those of us involved in it, Chris, Kathy, Janet, Helen G, Jenny, Aline, Lin and June, all very tired by the end, had that quiet assurance that good work had been done.