Year of Sundays

Year of Sundays

Easter Sunday was a bust. Unfortunately not the kind you can put pasties on.

When I first heard about Easter Sunrise Service at the Cemetery, I was expecting something spectacular. I mean, why else would you haul ass out of bed at 5:30AM on a perfectly decent Sunday morning?

I expected to see the sun rise over the magnificent city of Portland, Oregon.

Instead it rained cats and dogs.

I expected a somber, intimate service.

Instead there was a huge crowd and a table of free Hostess Donettes.


I expected an A Capella men’s chorus or a campfire-like sing-along.

Instead there were the Crystal Gayle Vibrato Sisters who wouldn’t recognize a key if it jumped up and bit them in the auto-tuner.


I expected a sermon so ripe with mystery and awe that I would seriously begin to question my lack of faith.

Instead I got “He is risen indeed,” and confirmation that faith and I are still aren’t speaking to one another.

I expected an insightful, intellectual bible reading.

Instead I got the Road to Emmaus, one of the hardest passages for a non-believer to hear without rolling her eyes.


I expected reverence for the dead.

Instead the only dead person mentioned was Jesus.

I expected to be reminded of my own mortality.

I simply… wasn’t.

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posted May 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Well now I don’t feel so bad about not going to sunrise service with my husband and focusing on my kids. This Jewish girl is staying in bed!

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posted May 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Sounds very uninspiring. Unfortunately-that’s generally the case on Easter Sunday in my experience-even at my own church which I love. I find the rest of Holy Week so much more spiritual-baptisms on Easter Vigil, kissing the cross on Good Friday, washing of the feet on Holy Thursday . … .Easter Sunday is for the folks that go because it’s Easter Sunday and that’s what they are supposed to do. Meh.

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posted May 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Oh Amanda, I’m sorry for your disappointment… I wish I had know those were the things you were expecting, I would have warned you to look elsewhere. We have an Sunrise Easter service every year here in Colorado Springs, held in the Garden of the Gods. While it is majestic to see the sun come up and glow on the unnatural-looking naturally-red rocks we have in the park, the service is not designed to be intimate or much of an outreach (IMHO) to the nonbeliever. Instead, it has the feel of an insider “mega-church” meeting, just done outside and very early.

While Easter may be the most important of Christian Holy days – though certainly not the biggest celebrated commercially (Christmas trumping it, of course) – oddly, it is not often treated as the chance to draw in outsiders to the faith. To me many Christians make the mistake of seeing it as a chance to draw together as a community instead of reaching out to the non-initiated to show them WHY the day is so special to the faith. It seems obvious that this would be the focus, but instead we get pastors calling out the insider tome: “He is Risen!”, and expecting the congregation of (assumed) believers to reply “He is Risen, indeed!”.

If the basis for the Christian faith being the “True Faith” to followers is due to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, honored on Easter Sunday, you would think very public services (like Easter sunrise services) would be dedicated to reaching out to those who don’t know/understand that message first, and that the celebration of membership in the faith would come second.

This Easter, I purposely avoided going to an organized service. I’m in the process of trying to find my new church home, and struggling with the definition of how what I believe doesn’t fit with modern-day “Evangelistic Christianity” – but I didn’t want to risk not cementing the importance of the day for myself by being exposed to something that would feel phony/ring false. Instead, I found a quiet place, listened to Zoe Keating’s cello instrumentals, prayed and meditated on what Easter means to me.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’ll find a new church that clicks with me the way The Bridge did for you (I hope I do – I wish The Bridge was here – it sounds perfect!), but I’m realizing I’m OK if that doesn’t happen. To me, the most important thing is not where I go to meet with God, but that I make a point to meet with him to worship and work on our relationship. I think that’s what God wants, too. I don’t believe that God cares if you go to the mega-church or just study with friends – God just wants our hearts, however we bring them to him.

I look forward to hearing about all the adventures/churches/religions to come, and wish you the best in finding your place spiritually. :)

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