ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - This will be the 88th Easter Sunrise Worship Service for the churches in Atlantic Highlands and the surrounding towns. For the past 30 years, I have organized this event as the pastor of Central Baptist Church. In January I wrote to the Area Association of Community Churches (AACC) that I would like to lead this last service as my farewell to the community since I will be retiring from Central Baptist Church on Sunday, June 28, 2020.
Every year we write in our church bulletins that, “in case of inclement weather, we shall meet at Central Baptist Church.” For 30 years we held our Easter Sunrise Service at the Hofbrauhaus parking lot and when that restaurant closed, we moved to the Atlantic Highlands Gazebo. We met when Easter was early in March and the trumpet players were so cold that they could not play their instruments. We met when the wind blew the sheet music away and it looked like it was going to rain any moment, but it held off until we finished the service.
This year the inclement weather has finally arrived. It is called coronavirus. We looked at different ways to hold the service at the Atlantic Highlands Gazebo and each came with their specific problems. We thank you for your suggestions.
Therefore the 88th Easter Sunrise Service will be livestreamed from the sanctuary of Central Baptist Church at the traditional hour of 6:30 AM. You can watch online at https://www.facebook.com/centralbaptistchurchah. If you don’t see the streaming video right away, please scroll down until you find it.
It is going to be the same worship and preaching team that you have seen in years past at the Easter Sunrise Service. The greetings and the Bible reading will be done by SaraGrace Stefan and Christina Stefan. Samantha Talmage will lead the singing and sing a solo. Ginny Hancock-Stefan will play the piano and I will preach. Larry Russell will oversee the livestream and ensure that you can worship with us from the safety of your home. It will be the Hancock-Stefan farewell to the community that we love, where we were blessed to serve the Lord Jesus Christ as we served you, where we raised our children, and where we have been loved by this community.
In spite of our restrictions, Jesus greets all of us with these words: “Do not be afraid!” This message is continued in Revelation 1:17 when he says to the beloved disciple John, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the living one. I was dead and see I am alive forever and ever and I have the keys to Death and Hades.”
We hope you will join us online on Easter morning at 6:30 a.m. as we celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection is true in good weather and in inclement weather.
In Christ's resurrection power,
Pastor, Central Baptist Church, AH