Jonathan Storment, preaching minister at Highland Church of Christ, will kick off his new series, “Jesus Throws The Best Parties”, by throwing a party April 20.
Following the 11 a.m. service, Highland families, friends and neighbors are invited to celebrate Jesus and the gift of life with food, music and community.
In years past, Highland has had a neighborhood picnic, but this will be the first year the picnic will fall on Easter Sunday. The idea for the Easter party came from Storment’s new series about the parties Jesus went to throughout the gospels.
“Somewhere along the way, churches stopped being known for celebrating the gift that is life,” Storment said. “But this really is the essence of Jesus’s ministry – everywhere he goes, a party breaks out.”
Highland’s party will be full of bounce houses, Easter egg hunts, several different bands and free T-shirts as part of the celebration. Brandon Scott Thomas, Highland worship minister, hopes a lot of people will attend, but realizes the possibility that Easter Sunday could interfere with some families’ plans.
“What if Highland families made different plans that day,” Thomas said. “Instead of traditional Easter lunch? We all can get together to welcome people from the neighborhood.”
Storment said the church has a good relationship with neighbors in the surrounding area and Easter is a great opportunity to reach out to the community. Flyers will be handed out door-to-door.
“A lot of people don’t have kids or spouses or people to share Easter with,” Storment said. “And if the church is called to be anything, it’s a new family.”
In addition to welcoming the neighbors that live near the church, Highland wants to use the party as a way to reach out to university students who have plans to be in Abilene for the holiday.
“There are a lot of college students who don’t go home for Easter,” Thomas said. “We’re hoping this would be fun way to feel plugged in at Highland but also doing something beyond eating. Students can really reach out into the community.”
Storment said the whole point of the party is that everyone is invited, no one is left off the list.
“We believe Jesus said this world and this life matters,” Storment said. “We are going to look for the things that are worth celebrating. We want to invite as many people as possible. We don’t know who’s going to show up. God mysteriously draws people and we just turn on the lights.”