A message from Rev. Annie

Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian,

Two years ago around this time I preached about leaving the safety of shore, heading to the deep end of the lake, and jumping in feet first – despite our hesitancy and fears.

And on Easter Sunday we’re going to do just that.

I’m guessing by now many of you have heard that we’re going to Promenade Park on Easter. Yes, it’s true, we’re leaving the safety of 300 West Wayne Street, heading to Promenade, and jumping in feet first into something new and different.  And I will admit, I feel a lot like the women on Easter morning – both excited and fearful.

Let me back up to the beginning.

When Promenade Park opened, I started to think about how neat it would be for First to have an Easter sunrise service there. Now, Easter sunrise isn’t very well attended, so we’d need to host it with other downtown churches. But I thought it might be a good way to attract people who don’t normally come to church since it’s in the park and everyone loves the new park. But after talking with some of the program staff about my idea, they said “go big or go home” . . . that we should do our 11:00am Easter worship service there – not sunrise. Well, this made me pretty nervous. Easter at the Park??! I wasn’t sure people would want to do that. So I kept delaying the conversation with the Session. (I should point out that we have the entire park reserved for the day – I didn’t want another church to snag my idea!)

But after the holidays I knew I couldn’t wait any longer, so I broached the idea with our new Ambassadors Committee and they loved the idea so much that they recommended to the Session that we go to Promenade on Easter, and the Session approved it.  So, we are worshipping on Easter at Promenade Park at 10:30am.  And yes, we are offering an alternative worship service here at 9:00am for those of you cannot go to the park. 

The idea behind this is similar to a fast-growing church in St. Louis that I watched from the sidelines. They always go off site for Easter, growing from a park in their early years to having Easter at Powell Symphony Hall, home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra! They “bill” their Easter worship as St. Louis’ worship service, and it works because they fill Powell Hall! Friends, we are “billing” this as Fort Wayne’s Easter service, hosted by us in the city’s jewel point of a park. We’ll have worship in the enclosed pavilion, which is a great setting with those glass walls, and have a big egg hunt following on the grounds of the park. We’ve secured our usual brass quartet so it still “feels” like us, but we’re also hiring a jazz quartet that can play before and after to jazz it up. The company next to the park is allowing us to park in its lot, and we’re in the midst of working out other logistics such as greeters, food, hospitality, set-up, more parking, and the like.

We need your enthusiasm.  Yes, it’s scary! Yes, it’s risky! Yes, it’s exciting! All of those feelings sum up how the women and disciples felt on Easter morning, too.  So we’re in good company.

And if you have any questions, comments, what-ifs, or what were you thinking, as always, come and talk to me.  And pray for a nice sunny day.


Pastor Annie

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