We asked the ministry staff to share their most memorable Easter recollections! Here's what they said about special Easters-past:
I was five years old in 1965—the middle of the “Mad Men” era. Easter was still a “formal” family affair—women wore hats and gloves and men wore suits and ties, often with a fedora. I can still see (in my “minds eye”) my parents looking very young (and thin!), my sister in her white patent leather shoes, and my brother and I trying to get comfortable with our “clip-on ties.” The day centered on church, a big meal with extended family members, the obligatory viewing of my grandfather’s most recent 8mm film of recent travels, and a sugar induced “coma” from loads of Hershey’s chocolates, jellybeans, pies, and cakes. But this Easter was especially memorable because my siblings and I each received a “duckling” as a gift from our grandparents. I named mine, “Charlie.” And the great thing about this (at least for my parents!) was that the ducks lived on my grandparents’ property for a number of years, so we had these great pets to visit without any of the responsibility for caring for them. (It’s also the reason why duck is not on the Easter menu of my family!)
- Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake, Interim Senior Minister
Every year when we were little, my mother would find an Easter brunch or celebration for us to go to. We would get new outfits: clothes, shoes, etc. (One year I got a new sea foam green trench coat!) Cousins that I hadn't seen all year would join us and we would storm the hotel or brunch place with our fabulous South Side of Chicago selves. I don't remember eating lots of candy, but I do remember Easter being like a glamorous family reunion. I’m grateful that my mother is here now in New York City with me. Together, we are continuing the tradition.
- Pastor Bridget Kelso Anthony
When I was Director of Worship at Hollywood Presbyterian Church in 2010 for Easter Sunday we were going to have two identical Worship Services. We completed the Good Friday Service, in which we stripped the front of the black-draped sanctuary of all furnishings and carried the Christ Candle out of the church leaving the worshippers in darkness while the chimes rang 33 times, one for each year that Jesus lived on the earth. Immediately I started making preparations for Resurrection Sunday. We were to have two identical services with pipe organ, worship band, handbell choirs, adult and children choirs and a special dance offering. One of the members of Actor's Coop, Andrea Kim Walker, had choreographed a beautiful dance piece for six children to perform to an a cappella CD of "Were Your There." The children had worked very hard to bring excellence to the performance and in the first service, in front of about 1100 worshipers, from the sound booth the music began. All was beautiful. The well rehearsed dancers were in perfect unison as they stretched their limbs in full extension and even lifted the body of Christ as they laid him in the tomb. In the congregation there was great anticipation for the climactic verse: "Were you there when he rose up from the grave?" And that's when it happened. Sitting in the front row I could hear that the CD had a glitch. The recording ground to a halt just before the first line of the final verse. I looked at my dear friend who accompanied the Carol Choir and said, "I know what I have to do" and stood up in my pew as I belted out the familiar verse to the best of my ability in front of 1100 people (without a microphone). Soon Kimmie the choreographer started belting out a harmony (she had an excellent voice) while the well-rehearsed children continued the dance, not missing a beat. In the second service the booth had resolved the CD problem but the pastor said in his message, "I wish you all could have been here for the first service -- Eric saved Easter." I certainly knew that I had done the right thing that Easter Sunday!
- Eric Alderfer, Director of Children's Ministry
When I was little, my Mom and Dad and two brothers and I would spend Easter Sunday afternoon at my Grandfather’s house where all the extended family would gather for a steadfastly Lutheran over-cooked Easter ham. My Grandpa had a big back yard where we would hunt for eggs with our cousins. Then if the weather was right, there was a field not far from there where we could fly kites. But what stands out the most about his old suburban house where my dad and aunts and uncles grew up was the particularly exciting basement. There he had old toys that we didn’t have at our house, like a hot wheels track and an Apple II computer. So after dinner we would escape downstairs away from the boring adult conversation to try and build the most elaborate race tracks, and we’d try our hand playing pong and learning how to program BASIC.
- Chris Whittaker, Director of Music