Christian Church Invites Crowds in for Easter Service

DULUTH, Minn. — Easter Sunday might mean egg hunts and chocolate for some, but for others it’s also a time to get back to the roots of the original story, and teach it to others as well.

“This felt incredibly good I mean coming on the heels of the trauma we’ve experienced over the past couple of years due to covid, it feels incredibly good to be together again,” Michael Gatlin, Senior Pastor said.

Gatlin was so happy to be back in front of a crowd on Sunday morning. A Christian church, the vineyard had a full house for the Easter services, and those who attend either for every Easter or every Sunday say it’s a great place to be.

“I think we just love the, it feels like family, I mean we see, we’re made friends with people we wouldn’t normally hang out with, and all kinds of socio, economic, groups,” Dave Franzen who attends the church, said.

“Whatever walk you’re on in life, it’s just a nice welcoming place that makes you just want to keep coming back for more,” Shannon Franzen, who also attends the church with her husband said.

And the crowd of people made Gatlin’s Sunday service even more meaningful.

“I think maybe for the first time in a way that, idk there’s so much joy and people in the room, almost brings tears to your eyes to walk into a room full of people like that that we haven’t experienced,” Gatlin said.

Easter means something different to every person, and each religion has a different way to honor the time of year, but for Christians, getting back to the foundation of the holiday is what it’s all about.

“I think it’s kind of owning how incredibly crazy the story of Easter is, how it freaks everybody out, the way that we reduce it to bunnies and chocolate and eggs, just points to the fact that this is such an unbelievable thing,” Gatlin added.

Those in attendance agree that it is an important day and message to highlight.

“[It] gives us hope that, death isn’t the end for all of us, that we have a future, that we’re going to see loved ones, and that we’re going to be united with god forever,” Dave Franzen said.

“Yeah it’s a wonderful celebration and remembers me of what Jesus did for me and everybody on the cross,” Shannon Franzen added.

So to celebrate with Easter eggs and brunches is part of the holiday, but to remember why it is celebrated is also important.

“So the way that we get back to that is we kind of enter into that story again, faith begins with remembering the past, and then that ignited a little bit of imagination for what could be,” Pastor Gatlin said.

Vineyard Church offers services every Sunday morning at 9 and 11.

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