There will be special music, flowers, luaus and decorations. There will be greeters wearing smiles and offering handshakes at the doors. There will be services as the sun rises beyond the church walls at beaches and parks.
It’s all part of the Easter Sunday celebration on Kauai. It’s the one day of the year more people will attend services than any other, even Christmas.
And church leaders will be ready with messages to share their belief that “He is Risen!”
“Easter is the Super Bowl Sunday for the Christian faith so we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and eternal life with him,” said Matt Higa, Kauai New Hope Christian Fellowship pastor. “We celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord; it gives us faith and hope that we, too, will resurrect with him in eternal life.”
The church, for the 12th year, will have a free concert and luau for an expected 1,500 people on Sunday at the War Memorial Convention Hall at 9:30 a.m. There will also be an egg hunt for kids.
Pastor Jed Young of Kapaa Missionary Church said they have an Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. on the beach at the Mokihana of Kauai and a 7:30 a.m. breakfast at the church. Easter services will be at 9 a.m. at the church. There will be a special hula music children’s program and an inspirational message.
“It’s just a great celebration of what Christ did and what he offers to us,” Young said. “His Resurrection proved everything that he says was true: that he was the son of God and he offers forgiveness.”
King’s Chapel church in Hanamaulu is once again putting on its free annual “Indestructible Life: The Musical,” 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Minister Vickie Franks, directing the play with help from husband Pastor Steve Franks, said they’re expecting to attract more than 600 people for the two shows.
“I hope they will be able to experience the Gospel story of what Jesus said for us and it will open their eyes,” Franks said.
A cast of about 80 has been rehearsing for the 90-minute show that features plenty of song and dance, group and solo performances, as it tells the story of the life of Jesus Christ, played again by Aiwa Brun.
It will recount his ministry, many miracles and messages, his time with his disciples and his death and resurrection.
It’s the fourth year of the musical on Kauai, and it’s a lot of work, Vickie Franks said, but the story is life-changing.
“It always comes together in the end,” she said. “God always brings it together.”
Franks said the Easter musical is another opportunity to share their faith with those who might not otherwise attend a church service.
“It’s entertaining and it shares the message,” she said. “It points back to the story of what Jesus did.”
And what the Bible says Jesus did that makes him different from any other religious leader is that he rose from the dead. The Resurrection that will be celebrated Sunday is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.
One Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 64 percent of American adults believe Jesus rose from the dead, while 19 percent reject it and 17 percent are not sure.
But whether they believe the Resurrection happened or not, many will attend church Easter Sunday. A LifeWay Research survey found that 41 percent of Americans plan to attend church, while 39 percent said they don’t plan to be in the pews Sunday morning.
Pastors say Easter Sunday is an opportunity for Christians share their beliefs.
“Christians who automatically attend church on Easter should be mindful of their many friends, neighbors and family members who haven’t ruled out the idea of attending,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “It may be that a personal invitation is what would make a difference to them.”
Another study, by the Public Religion Research Institute, found that more than 90 percent of Americans say they believe in God or a universal spirit, and nearly 40 percent report weekly attendance at a worship service.
Some Kauai churches offering special Easter Sunday services include:
– Breath of Life, 6:30 a.m., Courtyard Marriott, Kapaa;
– Crossroads Fellowship, sunrise service, 6:30 a.m. at the foot of the cross;
– Calvary Chapel Lihue, 7 a.m., Nawiliwili Beach Park, followed by a pancake breakfast, egg hunt and beach baptism;
– Lihue United Church, 6 a.m., Lydgate Park (south end, Kamalani Bridge side);
– St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church, 8 and 10 a.m. services with the St. Michael’s choir and sermon by Father Bill Miller.
One Kauai couple, Tory and Natasha Taylor, said they’ll be praying and praising on Sunday. They attend God Can Christian Center which meets at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.
“It means a lot of things: family, teaching the kids about Easter,” Natasha Taylor said.
“For the most part it’s celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus,” Tory Taylor said. “On the third day he rose. It’s a day to thank him for dying for our sins.”
Allison Davis of Hanamulu, Natasha’s mother, said what Easter means for her is that Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day.
“He died for our sins so we are totally forgiven of our past, present and future sins,” she said.