BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Easter is just a few days away and several local churches are ready to welcome new and current members for services.
Ahead of the Easter services, members of First Presbyterian Church in Maumee gathered on April 6 to prepare Easter meal bags for Mosaic Ministries.
“We have a partnership with Mosaic Ministries, so Thanksgiving and Easter, we provide meal bags for those families who are in need in South Toledo,” said Stacey Tolbert, First Presbyterian’s director of engagement.
Inside the meal bags were things like a ham, cornbread mix, peanut butter, jelly, instant potatoes and canned goods. It was an opportunity for the people of First Presbyterian to live out their mission to “love first” close to Easter.
“We want to teach our kids – especially our kids – to have that mentality, to love others by serving, to reach out to the community, to give of our resources to help provide for others who are in need,” Tolbert said.
The meal bags are not the only thing First Presbyterian will be doing for Easter.
“The week of Holy week, we have Maundy Thursday service at 6:30 p.m., which is kind of like the Last Supper was remembered on Maundy Thursday,” Tolbert said.
On Good Friday, the church will hold a candlelight service at 6:30 p.m.
Three services will be held on Easter Sunday, including a sunrise service at 7:00 a.m. at Side Cut Metropark Peace Garden, where the community is encouraged to bring chairs and dress appropriately for the weather.
The other two services will be at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m. at First Presbyterian, 200 E. Broadway St., in Maumee, with a resurrection Easter egg hunt held in between.
“Kids have an opportunity to find eggs, but also tell the Easter story through the resurrection Easter eggs,” Tolbert said. “It has little pieces that just visually tell the story for little ones.”
First Presbyterian will also be participating with the other churches of Maumee Churches United in the Way of the Cross procession on Good Friday, April 15, starting at First Presbyterian at 2:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will be participating in the pilgrimage on Friday. The church will also hold a Good Friday service at noon which will be livestreamed. The Easter Sunday service at 10:00 a.m. will also be livestreamed on the website, stpaulsmaumee.org.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church will hold a Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at noon before the Way of the Cross and Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m. after the pilgrimage. The church will also hold an Easter vigil Mass at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, and three Easter Sunday Masses at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
Search-lite Community Church, Cornerstone Church, Cass Road Baptist Church, Calvary Church and Maumee United Methodist Church will also be participating in the Way of the Cross.
Maumee United Method-ist Church will also be holding a Scrambled Egg Holiday Event on Saturday, April 16, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
“We were trying to think, what could be a fun and unique way, other than just a normal Easter egg hunt, that could be a little more distanced?” said Rachel Barkholz, co-children’s director at MUMC. “That’s where we came up with the scrambled egg hunt.”
The church will decorate six different rooms based on different holidays throughout the year. The church will then use story boards in each room to tie those holidays to Easter and the children will be able to collect eggs in each room.
“It will be more of an open house style, so they can come 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, any time in there. We’ll stagger the groups as they go around,” Barkholz said. “We’re prepared; we have thousands of eggs.”
At Maumee United Methodist, there will also be refreshments, crafts and games in the family life center following the egg hunt. Three different worship services will also be held at the church on Sunday at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:15 a.m.
“We always want to welcome everyone, even if it’s not our church,” Barkholz said. “We just want to welcome people to have their time with Easter worship.”
For Holy Week, several churches in and around Maumee will be holding Easter services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Faith Community United Church of Christ will have a 10:30 a.m. Easter breakfast followed by service at noon with communion. CedarCreek will offer services at the South Toledo, Whitehouse and Perrysburg locations along with an online option. St. Paul’s Lutheran offers in-person, drive-in or online services and will hold services on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.