Friendship churches place focus on Easter as Holy Week begins

Although Easter is seen by many as just another holiday when families can get together for a time of relaxation and connections, several Friendship churches are creating an expanded focus this year as to what they view as the true meaning of the holiday celebration.

Pastor Kevin Palmiter of Followers of the Way – Nile Community Church at Friendship and his wife, Patty, display samples of the some 200 yard signs which are being placed throughout the town by the What God is Doing in Friendship ny alliance of churches to focus attention on the true meaning of Easter.

The What God is Doing in Friendship ny alliance of churches has been placing yard signs throughout the community, proclaiming that “God Created Easter FOR YOU.”

This year’s observance is on the last weekend of this month, preceded by Holy Week which starts this weekend, with participating Friendship churches gathering individually and together for various activities.

Palm Sabbath will commence Holy Week services at 11AM tomorrow at the Followers of the Way – Nile Community Church, a Saturday Sabbath-observing church at 4095 State Route 275.

Palm Sunday services will be observed at regular worship times this Sunday at other Friendship churches.

A communion service will be held at 6:30PM this coming Wednesday, March 27, at the Bible Baptist Church at 43 West Main Street.

Followers of the Way then will hold Resurrection Sabbath observances at 11AM on its regular meeting day next Saturday, March 30, followed by a free community meal at 1PM.

The following morning, the public also is invited to gather for Easter Sunday sunrise services at 7AM at either the parking area at the intersection of County Roads 31 and 31-A, or at the Bible Baptist Church. Both groups then will join together at the Baptist church location for a free continental breakfast.

Easter Sunday services will be held at regular times at Friendship churches, except for the United Church of Friendship at 31 East Main Street, which will meet at 9:30AM, rather than its normal 11AM start.

Pastor Kirk Kirch of the United Church of Friendship, an alliance participant, said the joint focus is designed to highlight Christian beliefs that “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died, was buried and then was resurrected three days later as an atonement, or forgiveness, of sins for everyone who believes in Him.

“When a believer dies, he or she will receive eternal life in Heaven with other family members and friends who also have placed their faith in Jesus,” he stated.

“God created this opportunity,” according to Pastor Duane Broadwell of the Bible Baptist Church, “so that all may join Him forever, upon physical death, despite our sin and without continually offering animal blood sacrifices for such sins, as occurred in the Old Testament before the resurrection of Jesus.”

Pastor Kevin Palmiter of the Followers of the Way notes that although Friendship church denominations may have different practices and beliefs in some areas, the basic foundation of a Bible-believing church is the same in that Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whose coming to earth was prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible and chronicled in its New Testament.

Christians comprise the largest and most wide-spread religion in the world at nearly one-third of its population, he said, and are able to come together in celebration of basic tenets such as the birth of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross at Calvary, burial, and resurrection for sins of a believer.

This, in contrast with other religions, means that one is accepted into Heaven after death purely through a belief in Jesus Christ, rather than striving to achieve good works or being a good person, Palmiter said.

Churches in the alliance suggest that non-churchgoers seek to identify a church at which they feel comfortable with its preaching, along with activities at which they feel they are able to carry out God’s purpose for their lives.

Individuals who want to learn more about the Christian faith and the understanding that “God Created Easter FOR YOU,” should contact the pastor at a local Bible-believing church, the church leaders note.