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Easter in the Park draws hundreds

Posted: April 21, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 21, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Joining Christians around the world in celebrating the faith’s holiest day of observance, about 300 people from across the Santa Clarita Valley took part in an Easter in the Park service and breakfast Sunday morning at Dr. Richard H. Rioux Memorial Park in Stevenson Ranch, hosted by His Way Church. 

It was the first such event organized by the Valencia-based congregation, said Mike Valdez, associate pastor.
“The turnout has been great and we couldn’t have asked for better weather,” said Valdez. “It’s just a gorgeous day.”

His Way Church pastor Daniel Lawrie delivered a sermon focusing on the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection, calling Christ’s life and death a “healing moment” for the world. He began by sharing a story about a scar he received on his elbow while playing football as a teen, telling guests that while the human body has the capacity of healing itself of physical scars, only God can cure the “soul scars” people carry in their hearts.

“Jesus loves you,” Lawrie said, “and he has the scars to prove it.”

One congregation member talked about her personal experiences growing up with a physically and verbally abusive father, an alcoholic who repeatedly beat her and her siblings. As an adult, a woman who identified herself as “Becky” said she became resentful and felt cheated out of the paternal love absent from her childhood.

“I prayed for God to help me understand, and something miraculous happened,” said the woman. “God revealed to me that I was his little girl and that he was my father and that I am loved and have always been loved.”

In past years, His Way Church held brief Easter sunrise services, but this year organizers decided to make it a morning-long event, providing the Easter services along with a catered breakfast and children’s activities including face-painting, arts and crafts, a moon bouncer and an egg hunt. Families learned about the event through flyers and billboards.

“We have families from Valencia, Canyon Country — from all over the valley,” Valdez said. “Our goal was to make this a community-wide event.”

His Way Church, 23679 Wiley Canyon Road in Valencia, formed about 14 years ago when two separate congregations merged, Valdez said.

“Today was an opportunity to reach people with the message of the gospel of Jesus,” said Valdez.

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