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Easter services rallied Christians throughout the community
April 4, 2018

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MUNCY - The emphasis was on Holy Week as Church sponsored events literally took the message of Christ's death and resurrection to the highways and bi-ways.

A Good Friday service, sponsored by the East Lycoming Ministerium, was held at the Beacon UM Church on Second Street in Hughesville. Attendees were welcomed by the Rev. Jane O'Borski, followed by scripture readings and musical selections by various vocalists and choirs.

Special music was provided by the Beacon Handbell Choir with organist Lana Force accompanying congregational hymns.

Seven segments, listed as words from scriptures, outlined events leading up to Christ's Crucifixion. They included "Father, forgive them,' "Today you will be with me in Paradise," "Woman, here is you son,' "My God, why have you forsaken me?" "I am thirsty," "It is finished," and "Into your hands I commend my spirit." Readings were given by pastors Dan Cale, Connie Waugh and Robert Ingraham.

Vocalist and choirs rendering songs appropriate to the season included the Clarkstown and Beacon UMC Choirs. Moreland Baptist Church was represented by Trish Woodling, Beverly and the Rev. Robert Ingraham who sang, "In Christ Alone." The Rev. Dan Cale of the Hughesville Friends Church accompanied himself on the guitar as he sang, "Rise Again."

On Saturday afternoon, a pilgrimage reenacting the trek to Golgotha's Hill for Christ's crucifixion, included a four-mile journey of three hours that began at Lime Bluff Park in Wolf Township. It then proceeded south along Route 405 to West Penn Street, past the cemetery and ending at the Muncy Methodist Church. There, the cross was planted and a short service held.

Early on Easter Sunday morning, atop Taylor Hill where a panoramic view of peaks and plateaus prove God's handiwork, approximately 55 persons attended the 7 a.m. Sunrise service near Picture Rocks. Of that number, a dozen indicated it was their first time in attendance.

A consensus of some was that these services have been held annually for 55 to 60 years. This year's event was sponsored by the Picture Baptist Church and the Picture Rocks and Tivoli United Methodist Charge.

UM Pastor William Danis led the singing while Pastor Jerry Uppling gave the message. Uppling referred to Barabbas, and wondered what the incarcerated thief and murderer thought at being released while Jesus, who'd done nothing wrong, took his place. Uppling questioned the gathering if humanity remains comfortable where we're confined, instead of accepting the forgiveness and freedom offered by the gift of God's son on Calvary.

Although the sun did not rise Easter Sunday morning 2018, the Son of God had risen centuries ago. It is estimated one third of the world's population are believers of the Christian faith.

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