On Sunday morning at 7, Sandy Lusk will observe the religious holiday at Friendship Plaza in downtown Cartersville. Sponsored by Shiloh Baptist Church in Taylorsville, the community service, which the Cartersville resident calls inspiring, will feature gospel singing and a message by Pastor Lillian Beavers.
“To me, it just brings the entire meaning of Easter front and center,” Lusk said. “The pastors just relay a beautiful message. The whole congregation is so into it. They appreciate it. They applaud. They praise God. They are there for the meaning of ... Easter. Every year that I’ve been, when they get through, it’s just about when the sun comes up over Wall Street and it really is a nice feeling. It makes you think, ‘Well, I’ve started this day just like I was supposed to.’
“I think it just adds a whole different atmosphere. If you’re not in the comfort of a cushioned pew, it might be cold. Some people bring blankets because you never know what the weather is going to be. They have the depot open and they have coffee for people and people just get to congregate and network. It’s just good fellowship, in the true meaning of Easter. I’ve only been, I think, two or three [years] but I wouldn’t miss it. I would love to see this entire plaza filled with people. ... Once you experience it, I guarantee you will not want to miss it the next year. ... It will be a moving service and anybody that attends it will definitely be blessed to be there.”
While Lusk is celebrating Easter Sunday at Friendship Plaza, Carolyn Carder will be worshipping and viewing the sunrise with her family on the top of Stone Mountain. The 7 a.m. service is one of two nondenominational offerings presented by the Stone Mountain Sunrise Association.
“This will probably be about my sixth or seventh year that I have [attended],” Carder said. “We usually try to leave here about 4:45, 5 o’clock, something like that. It is early but it’s really a cool, unique, moving experience so it’s worth it once a year. ... And we allow an hour to hike it but it doesn’t take that long either normally. Of course it’s dark when we start out and we use flashlights or headlamps, something like that.
“[The service is] a special celebration of Christ’s resurrection for us as Christians, that’s just very meaningful. And it’s an opportunity — you’re sitting on the top of Stone Mountain and you just have a beautiful perspective with the sun rising and there’s really nothing to impede the view and the sun comes up and hopefully it’s clear and a beautiful morning. Of course when the clouds are layered and you have all the colors that are diffused, that’s pretty awesome too.”
Along with the scenery, Carder said the opportunity to worship with a wide range of people adds to the overall experience.
“It’s just a gathering of all types of people from all walks of life there for one purpose and that is to worship the Lord, to celebrate the resurrection and the life that we are promised through [Christ]. And it’s just a wonderful time of celebration,” Carder said. “Sometimes it’s really cold and sometimes it’s really pleasant and warm.
“And sometimes it’s rather painful because it’s so cold, especially if there’s a little rain and a lot of wind, but it is just a unique, special time. And even when it is uncomfortable, it’s just a very small sacrifice to do something a little bit different and unique and something special out of the way that’s not the typical, normal, everyday, ordinary thing that we do.”
For more information on Easter-related activities throughout the county, view today’s Family & Living page in The Daily Tribune News.