Easter Event Draws New Library Visitors
1st Celebration Points Children to the True Meaning of the Holiday
April 2, 2012 - They didn't have colorful candy to unwrap or pictures to take with a fluffy, white bunny, but dozens of kids at the Billy Graham Library's Easter event did get Good News.
by Tiffany Jothen
Each year, boys and girls spend Easter Sunday scouring the ground for plastic eggs filled with tiny toys or bite-sized candy. But on Saturday, the Billy Graham Library had them focused upward, teaching them the real meaning of the holiday.
Its first-ever Easter celebration offered an alternative to egg hunts and jostling for jelly beans while sharing the love of Christ with children and adults alike.
Cheryl Reid of Lenoir brought her three children – Olivia, 3, Emma, 6, and Aaron, 9. Aaron said his favorite part was story time where he learned “how Jesus resurrected.” He looked forward to taking the Library tour, and Cheryl said she plans to bring her girls back in July for another children’s event.
“We want to be relevant and draw younger families,” Promotions Manager Sonya Johnson said.
The Library began planning the free event back in January and opened registration in February. It was booked less than two weeks later with 100 kids on the list.
“I think that speaks to the fact that people are looking for something like this,” Johnson said.
Brandy Mendoza watched as her nephew, 5, and son, 7, joined other kids under a white tent on the lawn for a craft called Resurrection Eggs. They decorated white paper bags, then filled them with plastic eggs, each with a picture and Scripture verse inside to remind them of the resurrection story.
“It’s good for them to have something related to the Bible and Christ,” Mendoza said. She and other members of her church came from their hometown of Maxton, two-and-a-half hours away.
Eight-year-old Briana also came with her church, Bethel Baptist in Kannapolis. Her church group, Princess of Virtue, aims to share the Gospel on a child’s level. Briana learned during craft time that “Jesus died for our sins.”
Author Beth Ryan of Nashville, Tenn., joined in the festivities to read her book, The Flowering Cross. Kids crowded onto wooden benches on the patio to hear her story, then asked her to sign their own copies of the book. As she signed, she asked each child if he or she planned to invite someone to church or pray for someone on Easter.
Many participants said Saturday marked their first visit to the Library, and several stayed for the entire day with plans to take the tour, “Journey of Faith,” which follows Billy Graham’s ministry.
Johnson isn’t sure if the Easter celebration will become a Library staple, but based on turnout, “it could easily become something we do year after year.” If so, Johnson foresees larger scale celebrations down the road.
To be notified of next year’s event, call 704-401-3256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Library, located in Charlotte, N.C., is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Library website here.
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