This Easter, Cheyenne Mountain area churches are coming together to celebrate the holiday in a united fashion.
Several southwest Colorado Springs churches have partnered to host a community-wide Easter Sunrise Service at 6 a.m. April 21 at the Myron Stratton Home, 555 Gold Pass Heights.
Broadmoor Community Church United Church of Christ, Chapel of Our Savior Episcopal Church, Pikes Peak Metropolitan Church and Stratmoor Hills United Methodist Church of Christ are hosting the event. Chapel of our Savior Rev. David Dill is guest speaker.
All four churches are invested partners in Westside Cares, a local nonprofit that provides crisis human services in the city’s Westside neighborhoods through food pantries, The Lord’s Dinner, financial and medical assistance, and housing referrals.
Last Easter, three of the sponsoring churches gathered in the Broadmoor Community Church’s (BCC) Meditation Glen to celebrate the holy day. The partnership arose from these churches sharing a desire to be a community of Christ, said BCC Rev. Anne Cubbage.
Though the participating churches are within a few miles of each other, there were no Easter sunrise service occurring in the area. The partnering churches wanted to change that, Cubbage said.
“All churches have partnered in other ways with one or another, but not as a full worshiping group,” Cubbage said. BCC and Chapel of our Savior collaborate on a children’s choir program.”
Cubbage recently relocated to Colorado Springs from Cape Cod, Mass., where she conducted successful annual community sunrise services, so she decided to present the idea to the other congregations’ leaders. She invited pastors to collaborate on this year’s service and said everyone seemed excited about the idea.
The service will be held at the Myron Stratton Home, a centralized location designed to represent all corners of the community. The Myron Stratton Home, which provides housing, services and grants for those in need in our city, has donated its space for the service.
Cubbage believes this partnership will benefit not only Cheyenne Mountain neighborhoods, but the community as a whole. “The hope is that it will be simply one of several opportunities to join our Christian brothers and sisters in worshiping together,” Cubbage said.
An Easter sunrise aervice starts early in the morning and is timed so attendants can watch the sun rise as the service is conducted. The service usually follows a church’s normal service format and can include hymns or a praise band, dramatic scenes and the Easter message. Some churches re-enact Jesus Christ’s Good Friday death followed by his resurrection.
“The Easter sunrise service reminds Christians of the long wait from the crucifixion and death of Jesus on Friday through the Sabbath to the early Sunday morning visit to the tomb by the women of Jesus’ group, where Jesus’ body had been placed,” Cubbage said.
“Their plan was to care for the body with spices and oils. When they arrived, the large rock in front of the tomb had been rolled away and they were told that Jesus had risen; he was no longer there.”
The sunrise service is free, and participants are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair and dress warmly.