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The first new beginning PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 March 2018 14:51

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By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times

Easter Sunday is a little more than a week away, and churches all over the world will soon be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One of those churches is Liberal’s New Beginnings Church (NBC), and after a successful Christmas Eve service, the local church is looking to build on that success with a similar Easter event.
The Easter celebration kicks off on Good Friday with the New Beginnings’ annual CrossWalk starting at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of the Walmart on East Tucker.
Participants in the CrossWalk will carry a cross down Kansas Avenue as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection and risen glory.
Sunday will have a variety of fun for both adults and children.
“Some of it’s depending on the weather as to whether we have hot chocolate or sno cones,” said children’s pastor Cory Barnett. “We’re going to have face painting, cotton candy. We’re going to have a picnic for the family. We have the knockerballs from the fair. We have some inflatables from Jump For Fun. We’re going to have a kiddy train. We’re going to have a photo booth so you can get your Easter pictures taken.”
Of course, no Easter service would be complete without a lesson, and Barnett said NBC’s will have one of those as well.
“It’s not all just fun,” he said. “We’re going to share the message of why is Easter what it is. It’s not about the bunny even though we’re having an Easter egg hunt. Some people ask why do we do what we do, and the main thing is in Matthew 18:5, it says, ‘Whoever welcomes a child like this in My name welcomes me.’ It also says in John, ‘Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends.’”
Barnett said NBC is showing children and families they are loved and cared for, and the church likewise wants families to have a good time.
“We want them to celebrate, and Easter is a time of celebration because that’s when Jesus rose from the dead,” he said. “It’s not a time to be sad and dreary, but to be excited. If we had a child that died and came back to life, we would invite all of our friends, and we would have a party.”
Through events like the recent Christmas Eve service and the upcoming Easter Sunday service, Barnett said New Beginnings is trying to reach out in an attempt to reach the unchurched.
In one of his recent sermons in NBC’s children’s church, Barnett said he gave an illustration by wearing a knockerball, and this Easter, the church hopes to make a similar point with its message.
“One of my points was just because I’m wearing this, it doesn’t change who I am. I may change how I act,” he said. “Whether I’m wearing jeans or a suit, I’m the person who I am. Because we do these things, it doesn’t change the message, the message of Jesus Christ. What it does is it attracts people that wouldn’t normally go to church and share with them the message of Jesus Christ.”
Barnett said the hope for this year’s Resurrection Sunday at NBC is that it will not be a one-time thing for those who come, but rather it will attract and build relationships of the long-lasting kind and connections as well.
“The children of today are for more sophisticated than when I first started in children’s ministry, which was in ‘87,” he said. “They go through challenges that I never dreamed that I’d be dealing with.”
In his three plus decades in children’s church, Barnett said Easter services have had quite an impact on young people.
“Some of the kids I’ve had over the years, I’ve had them not even want to go home,” he said. “They wanted to stay in church because they knew there was someone there that loved them. They knew there was somebody there that cared.”
Barnett said this demonstrates the message from Proverbs 16:18.
“‘A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers them into the presence of the great,’” he said quoting the verse. “When you show a child you care about something they care about, then you’ve captured their heart, and then you can be a positive influence in their life.”
Barnett said Easter Sunday at New Beginnings likewise gives families an opportunity to do something for the day – as a family.
“Not only do they come to church, they have time together as a picnic,” he said. “They have time with the party afterwards. It’s about showing them that they can have fun in church, they can enjoy it.”
Those who come to New Beginnings for Resurrection Sunday will need to register their children. That registration starts at 10 a.m. at the church at 1021 N. Western Ave. Barnett said registration is done for a couple of reasons.
“One of them is safety,” he said. “If there was ever an accident or something, we want the children to be safe, and we want to be able to get hold of their loved ones, their family if they need be. The other thing is they’re going to wear different colored wristbands so that we know that children belong in a certain age group, again for the safety of the children. We want them to be safe and have a lot of fun.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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