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Christian community marks Good Friday

Area believers marked Good Friday on Friday ahead of the celebrations of Easter on Sunday morning. At the Coldwater United Methodist Church, Julie Outlaw offered music for gathering and after, music for “going forth,” and Donna Green sang “Rise Again” prior to the welcome of host Rev. Steve Young. There was prayer and more songs and scripture reading from Forgotten Man Ministry Chaplain Dave Brown, prior to the first part of the message from Rev. Jim Erwin, who would after head to Bronson for the traditional “Way of the Cross.” Erwin talked about the paradox of Good Friday, for example, how Jesus, after being severely beaten by the Romans, struggled to carry a 50 pound crossbar, yet was able to carry the weight of the sins of the world. And with the vision of the cross, crucifixion being one of the most terrible cruelties ever designed by man and intended to inflict lingering torture before death, Erwin noted how non-believers would be hard pressed to see how Christians could perceive it as part of victory. It may seem as foolishness to some, he said, but “to those of us who are believers, it is the power of God.” Rev. Shayne Looper presented the second part of the Good Friday message, noting, “The cross is God’s implement to heal the world.” Chemotherapy, he said, kills everything, but God’s power kills sin without killing the patient. “The cross removes the cancer of sin,” he said. “We can trust the King who died to save us.” Rev. Emily Beachy offered prayer, “We seek your saving grace, God of Christ  Jesus, for all those who on this Good Friday are lost among their doubts, sins, griefs or fears.” She included prayer “For those who suffer gravely from the cruel abuse of their friends and family, and all who suffer because of the apathy and neglect of respectable people,” and “For those who suffer abuse at home or at work, and the many children who suffer from the bullying or rejection of their peers.” Her prayer included “For those who in their suffering have no faith to support them, and any whose once-vibrant faith seems to be ebbing away under stress.” Rev. Dave Pierce gave the message at the offertory, with Greg Brayton performing “Lamb of God,” and Pierce also provided the benediction, as the service closed with, appropriately, “The Old Rugged Cross.” The event, as was the Good Friday service at the Coldwater Church of the Nazarene on Friday evening, staged by the Coldwater Area Ministerial Association (CAMA). Offering recipients Pierce said the offering goes in part to the Branch Area Food Pantry, which feeds the needy, including children. Always in need of food, funds and volunteers, they are at 279-0966. The other part of the offering goes to the coming “Ignite Your Faith” program with John O’Leary, a message of overcoming adversity and spiritual healing. O’Leary is at risingabove.com. Area believers marked Good Friday on Friday ahead of the celebrations of Easter on Sunday morning. At the Coldwater United Methodist Church, Julie Outlaw offered music for gathering and after, music for “going forth,” and Donna Green sang “Rise Again” prior to the welcome of host Rev. Steve Young. There was prayer and more songs and scripture reading from Forgotten Man Ministry Chaplain Dave Brown, prior to the first part of the message from Rev. Jim Erwin, who would after head to Bronson for the traditional “Way of the Cross.” Erwin talked about the paradox of Good Friday, for example, how Jesus, after being severely beaten by the Romans, struggled to carry a 50 pound crossbar, yet was able to carry the weight of the sins of the world. And with the vision of the cross, crucifixion being one of the most terrible cruelties ever designed by man and intended to inflict lingering torture before death, Erwin noted how non-believers would be hard pressed to see how Christians could perceive it as part of victory. It may seem as foolishness to some, he said, but “to those of us who are believers, it is the power of God.” Rev. Shayne Looper presented the second part of the Good Friday message, noting, “The cross is God’s implement to heal the world.” Chemotherapy, he said, kills everything, but God’s power kills sin without killing the patient. “The cross removes the cancer of sin,” he said. “We can trust the King who died to save us.” Rev. Emily Beachy offered prayer, “We seek your saving grace, God of Christ  Jesus, for all those who on this Good Friday are lost among their doubts, sins, griefs or fears.” She included prayer “For those who suffer gravely from the cruel abuse of their friends and family, and all who suffer because of the apathy and neglect of respectable people,” and “For those who suffer abuse at home or at work, and the many children who suffer from the bullying or rejection of their peers.” Her prayer included “For those who in their suffering have no faith to support them, and any whose once-vibrant faith seems to be ebbing away under stress.” Rev. Dave Pierce gave the message at the offertory, with Greg Brayton performing “Lamb of God,” and Pierce also provided the benediction, as the service closed with, appropriately, “The Old Rugged Cross.” The event, as was the Good Friday service at the Coldwater Church of the Nazarene on Friday evening, staged by the Coldwater Area Ministerial Association (CAMA). Offering recipients Pierce said the offering goes in part to the Branch Area Food Pantry, which feeds the needy, including children. Always in need of food, funds and volunteers, they are at 279-0966. The other part of the offering goes to the coming “Ignite Your Faith” program with John O’Leary, a message of overcoming adversity and spiritual healing. O’Leary is at risingabove.com.

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