The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Message of hope, faith at Sunrise Service


April 25, 2019 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The Teen Challenge choir opened the service.

Over 120 people gathered at Mannel Park on Sunday morning, watching the sun rise and celebrating Easter with a message of faith and hope.

Sponsored by the Shafter Kiwanis Club, the event attracted the crowd from many denominations and churches in the area.

Teen Challenge entertained the gathering with a collection of songs to start the service. There was also coffee and donuts for everyone to enjoy. Judy Goad of Shafter Christian Fellowship and the Shafter Chamber of Commerce thanked attendees for coming, and introduced the speaker for the service, Mark Scialabba, pastor of the Congregational Church of Shafter.

Goad said, "It is wonderful to see such a good crowd gathered together to celebrate this day." One of those in attendance, Maria Marquez, said, "I love this service. It doesn't matter what church you go to, everyone is here to worship and celebrate our risen Lord."

Pastor Scialabba spoke of the scene that took place as Mary went to the tomb to help prepare the body of Jesus after His death. "Mary went, not expecting a miracle, but mourning the death of her Lord," Scialabba said.

Jamie Stewart | the Shafter Press

Pastor Mark Scialabba of Shafter Congregational Church delivered a message of hope and faith.

He went on to describe the scene that was depicted in the Bible, with Mary being visited by two angels who asked her why she was sobbing. "Mary was still in the dark and didn't realize what had taken place. It wasn't until Jesus appeared to her and called her by name that she realized what miracle had happened," said Scialabba. "She then ran to the disciples and told them what she had saw and that Jesus was alive."

Scialabba said that Mary was told to go tell what had happened, as we are told to do the same. "We are told to spread the news of His resurrection and His saving grace. This morning we celebrate a miracle that makes it possible for all who are willing to accept it, an eternity with the Lord and His people."

Pastor Justin Medlock of Shafter Christian Fellowship thanked everyone for joining together for the special service and also thanked all who had put in so much work to make the event happen.


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