By Susan LeDoux
Jesus used every day occurrences as teachable moments. Lakeshore Community Church, at 3651 Latta Road, Greece, NY, followed the Masters’ example with its “Eggstravaganza” to highlight the message of Easter Sunday. Jill Freese and her team used that cute bunny and those pastel eggs, those symbols of spring that have merged into our Easter season, to teach little ones about our risen Lord.
“I remember seeing the word “egg’ somewhere else,” Jill Freese, Lakeshore’s Children’s Director said, “and we decided to use it for our event because our event is more than just an egg hunt. It’s family fun time. We provide crafts for the kids to make. There are games for the kids to play.”
The annual Eggstravaganza is popular, drawing about 300 children and their families every year. Freese smiled and added that half the people who come are not members at Lakeshore Church. “We like that. That’s partly why we do this.”
All told, about 50 volunteers, both adult and teen, welcome all comers and provide a fun-filled morning for adults and children. After doing this for ten years, Freese and her team learned to hold the activities indoors. This, as anyone who lives in Rochester knows, is a wise decision in April. Aside from weather concerns — today was cold and rainy — when the eggs were hidden on the church grounds, some more aggressive children found far more eggs than did the more timid children. Instead, using pre-school/Sunday school classrooms indoors for various egg-related activities has proven to more popular.
One young mother of preschoolers with a precious newborn swaddled in her arms, said she likes bringing her children to this event because it is fun, safe, and “no one gets trampled.”
For example, in Room #1, the child is to pull a number out of a pail. He/she is then to find that many eggs and show them to a volunteer. The child returns the eggs and gets his/her card punched. Simple directions like that keep the children proceeding through all six classrooms as their card acquires more punches. At the end of the event, the child receives a bag filled with chocolate and candy.
This year’s event also featured an “Egg-scape” room for older kids.
Along the way, there are crafts and games. This year, at one table in the gym, the children created art with colored paper and foam stickers. At another table, the children created foam butterflies that declared, “He is risen.”
During the event, volunteers served coffee and cocoa from the café area in Lakeshore’s large atrium. At 12:15, families entered the auditorium where Freese drew lots for door prizes and led the audience in a fun game that left only two standing. The tied winners each received a prize.
She brought the Easter message home using a basket filled with eggs. As her junior helper drew one egg after another out of the basket — one representing jewelry, another candy, another money — Freese pointed out none of them were important until they got to the last egg. That egg held a small cross. That was the most important egg of all because it represented Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead after dying on the Cross because he loves us so much.
After a final prize for correctly guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar (815), parents and happy children left to celebrate Christ’s resurrection the following day.
For more information about Lakeshore Community Church, visit www.lakeshorechurch.org.