Strong turnout for Easter church services

Religious leaders hope that the message of Christ's resurrection can carry throughout the year

Posted: Apr 21, 2019 11:49 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Christians around the world are using this weekend to celebrate Easter, and local churches are busy holding services for worship.

At St. James Lutheran Church, Leonard Johnson is seeing quite the crowd, even bigger than past years.

"Altogether, we had two services. There were over 400 people here, which was amazing."

And he doesn't mind the influx.

"It's time to bring them back to the church. Put a little church back into the people."

At Trinity Lutheran, Pastor Dan Gerrietts is also busy with worship.

"Our first two services on Easter are typically pretty full. The 9:30 is every seat possible, even saw some folding chairs that were out. That's the first time I've seen that in my time here for a service."

Holidays like Easter and Christmas may be the only times some people go to church all year, and Pastor Gerrietts says it's a chance to reach them.

"We have a great opportunity on holidays like this to tell the good news. To tell the good news of God's love for people. And that does sometimes cause them to come back, because we all need to hear that good news in our lives."

Outside of holiday services, Pastor Gerrietts says there have been some changes in attendance, such as not as many people showing up for earlier services as there were a generation ago. While Trinity has had a radio ministry for over three decades, the church is implementing other ways like video streaming services to reach those that may be busy for other life events.

"Culture is always changing, but the message doesn't change of Christ's love and the power of his resurrection. The ways we get that message across has to change and evolve as culture canges. And that's been going on for 2,000 years. It's really no different now than it ever has been."

Even if you don't always attend church regularly, Johnson shares this message:

"God doesn't forget you. He's with you all the time, everyday."

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