Good Friday initiates weekend of faith

By William P. Thompson

A number of Portales churches are set to celebrate Christ’s resurrection this weekend and some traditional Easter holiday events are taking place around town. Dick Ross, pastor at First Baptist Church said he’s not into the holiday trappings like Easter bunnies and hunting for eggs.

Ross said he’s keeping Easter at First Baptist Church centered on Christ.

“The Easter message will be “Christ is Alive,” Ross said. “Some families will gather after church for an Easter egg hunt at someone’s home.”

Reverend Harry Riser of First United Methodist Church said he’s not turned off by Easter eggs.

“The egg was a symbol of resurrection for the early Christian church,” Riser said. “Just looking at an egg, one might think it is dark inside, but new life comes out of it. We find it hard to believe that new life comes out of old life, but that is the message of Easter.”

Riser said First United Methodist isn’t holding anything back for it’s Easter celebration.

“We will have quite a bit of music (at the 9:30 a.m. service on Sunday,” he said. “Our handbell choirs will perform and the ENMU (Eastern New Mexico University) brass quintet will perform. We just try to make the day as beautiful as we can. The church is just beautiful with all the lillies inside.”

Games involving Easter eggs will be staged at First United Methodist for children immediately after the 9:30 a.m. service. Riser said a special sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. Sunday will feature quite a bit of singing.

Pastor Kelly Fulfer of Trinity Family Center (an Assembly of God church) said he’s preparing an Easter Sunday message called “The Tomb.”

“Christ is alive. He came out of the tomb. He could have just left the tomb and left it closed, but the tomb was open for us to see,” Fulfer said. “The message is going to be about living the kingdom life.”

Fulfer said he’s not going to deny anyone Easter fun.
“I’d like to work on a big Easter egg hunt for next year,” he said. “I’m out to reach people who don’t understand Jesus, but they understand the Easter holiday.”

No community-wide Easter egg hunts are planned, but the Portales Wal-Mart is hosting an Easter egg hunt at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The following are some of the local Easter events scheduled:

• First Baptist Church, 100 S. Avenue C – Services 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday

• St. Helen’s Catholic Church, 1600 S. Avenue O – Stations of the Cross, 3 p.m. today (Friday), Lord’s Passion, 7 p.m. tonight. Easter vigil, midnight Saturday. Easter service (English) 8:45 a.m. Sunday and Easter service (Spanish) at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

• First United Methodist Church, 200 S. Avenue C – Good Friday service, 7 p.m. tonight, Sunrise Sunday service, 6:30 a.m. and Easter service at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

• Trinity Family Center (Assembly of God), 601 S. Avenue B – Easter service at 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

• Church of Christ, Third and Kilgore – Service at 10 a.m. Sunday.

• Victory Life Church, 801 W. 18th Street – Service at 10 a.m. Sunday.

• Victory Life Coffee House – 605 W. 18th Street – Showing of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” at 7 p.m. Saturday.