April 16, 2006
Easter Sunday is a time when many people celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and today many churches started early Sunday morning with their celebrations.
Sunday’s Easter Sunrise Service brought out members of Belmont Baptist church and Sojourner's United Church of Christ to Belmont Park.
Both congregations came together to try to recreate, or at least try to experience what happened that first Easter morning. Easter Sunrise Service was sponsored by Belmont Baptist Church.
"[The goal is] to celebrate the resurrection," said Reverend Anderson of Belmont Baptist Church.
“It's like this outdoors to remind us all that Christ is not to be found just within the walls of churches and in separate communities," explained Rev. Jim Bundy of Sojourner’s United Church of Christ.
This was the first time the two congregations worshiped together and according to the reverend Anderson and Bundy, the pleasant weather made the experience even more enjoyable.
“It's great to be outdoors and to be with other people from other congregations around Charlottesville,” said Rev. Bundy.
At First Baptist church in downtown Charlottesville, Sunday’s Easter celebration was commemorated with a praise team as just one part of today's service. As the celebration continued, many reflected on what Easter means to them.
“I have meaning in my life and my life will be a benefit to others," said Atalaya Sergi who attended Easter services at First Baptist Church.
Phil Jackson, who also attended First Baptist, said, "It's just a great time to come together with family, to celebrate the blessings that we have."
They are blessings that Jackson says bring out many people who don't normally attend worship services.
“This happens to be one of those Sundays when you see more people than usual, but it's good to see people in church in general. There's no ill will there. It's just great to see people in church,” said Jackson.
Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.