2018-03-29 / Front Page

Son rise Easter service decades old

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

A more-than 30-year Easter tradition will continue Sunday with a “Son Rise service” at daybreak at Inspiration Point overlooking Glen Lake in Empire Township.

Jerry Pearson, who leads a summer Sunday morning service at Old Settler’s Picnic Grounds, will celebrate Easter by helping to lead the service starting for 7:25 a.m. at the landmark overlook.

The origins of the service go back more than three decades.

John DePuy, a member of Glen Lake Community Reformed Church, has been part of the service since 1985.

“I joined the church then, but it started well before my time,” he said.

Each Easter morning, a group gathers at the perch overlooking Glen Lake and Lake Michigan to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Turnout varies, depending on the weather.

“Sometimes it’s warm — sometimes cold. One year, I had to plow so we could get in there,” DePuy said.

Pearson recalls one year when a guitar player showed up prepared for the elements.

“She was wearing a snowmobile suit,” he said.

Those attending can expect music, singing and an Easter message that is sometimes delivered by the pastor at the Reformed Church. At other times lay people like Pearson and DePuy offer a sermon.

“Sometimes there’s a dozen, sometimes 20 or 30,” DePuy said. “There are some people who never step foot in a church. But they make it to the service year after year.”

Other times it’s seasonal residents who come north for spring break, which often coincides with Easter. Those who show up Easter morning will hear Pearson provide a sermon titled “Why, the Resurrection Is So Important.”

He sums it up with three letters — F, A and P.

F is for the “fulfillment” of scriptures; A for God’s “acceptance” of his son’s sacrifice and P for the “promise” that some day we will share in the Resurrection.

The 20-minute or so service will also include time for participants to provide feedback.

“It’s important to provide an opportunity for feedback,” Pearson said. “There’s a lot more to the Resurrection. I like to hear what people say and engage in dialogue,” Pearson said.

There will be music, singing and coffee and treats served.

But the best part of the service is watching the sun rise over the Glen Lakes — a metaphor for God’s triumph over sin and darkness.

“It’s so symbolic watching the sun rise on Easter morning,” DePuy said. “I can’t take credit for the scenery, the Creator made that. There’s something very moving about celebrating Easter there. For some, so much more meaningful than sitting in church.”

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