Burns Flat, Saturday, 4 April 10 a.m.
The sun was shining and the breeze was light, quite the blessing of great weather for hunting plastic Easter Eggs. Much planning had taken place under the chairmanship of Heather Spence as she coordinated supplies, helpers, and people just to walk around and tell others that God loves them.
By 10:00 a.m. this past Saturday morning, leaders were walking groups of children out to their respective starting points for the Community Easter Egg Hunt that originated in the late 1980’s with the United Methodist Church in Burns Flat, was quickly transferred to the Chamber of Commerce, and last year was adopted as a mission of the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
The children that arrived were not much interested in the history of the event but the two acres of colored eggs got their attention right away. Following a prayer by Tom Spence and a briefing by Heather Spence, guides took their groups to their assigned areas and hunting began shortly after 10:00 a.m.
Some hunted fast and some took their time but with almost 2000 eggs scattered across the acreage, every child found plenty of eggs. That translated into plenty of candy, tickets to pick gifts or candy from the “Bunny Basket,” hamburgers, pizzas, and soft drinks courtesy of Rudy’s and Gret’s, as well as some dollar coins, colorful erasers, and GOD LOVES YOU – LOVE ONE ANOTHER wristbands.
There were of course prize baskets and hollow chocolate bunnies and all of the stuff that has become associated with modern day Easter Egg Hunts; but there were also erasers shaped like a cross, Golden Books of Prayers for Children, God Loves You books, children and adult Bibles, and a gospel of John for every person that walked on the property, and many other prizes that said, “Easter is about so much more than the Easter Bunny can do for you.”
There were a few stickers in the field, fewer now as some participants took some home with them, but children and adults found the occasional thorn to be worth the trip.
There are many people and businesses and groups to thank for making today’s event a success. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church committed last April to adopting this event so the question of “Will there be anyone to sponsor this?” was answered a year ago and the church primed the well with a healthy contribution.
MODA, Great Plains National Bank, and Washita State Bank were early contributors. Rudy’s and Gret’s contributed just before the event, and at the very last minute, Walmart of Elk City donated some bicycles to the community, one of which was put up for a special type of drawing.
Neither children nor adults could enter themselves or their own children. All were asked to think of another child who could use a bike but could not afford it. Entries were for another child to be blessed by the blessing that the church had received from Walmart. Initially, there was only a girl’s bike available, but at the last minute; Tony Dorman of Burns Flat donated a boy’s bike.
Winners were drawn at 10:45 a.m. and will be announced upon delivery to the children.
While the real meaning of Easter lies in the love of God that was so great that he sacrificed his own Son to take away our sin; the Community Easter Egg Hunt sure was an example of the abundant life that we can know by believing that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead.
That’s good news on top of a wonderful event. The church encouraged all to worship God Sunday morning in one of our community churches.
How many people came to the event?
Over 200 Gospels of John were given away and some families only took one copy for the entire family. Best guess is about 250 people counting parents and helpers.
Will the church sponsor this even next year?
The plan has been to adopt this event, so the answer is most likely YES! Should another group desire to take on this event, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church would certainly be willing to discuss passing the torch, but only if that group has a passion for such endeavors.
Will there be stickers next year?
Between spraying and mowing the church is working to eliminate as many as possible, but this is Oklahoma and those pesky burrs put up a good fight.
Do I have to be a member to come to worship at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church?
Absolutely NOT!!!! You are most welcome to worship at the CPC. You will also find that the other churches in Burns Flat will welcome all who seek God and his kingdom.
What is the church’s position on the Easter Bunny?
Let’s start with the hollow chocolate ones first. Our position is that we eat those “ears first.” Enjoy the festivities of this part of this special day, but know with certainty that you were bought at a price. That price was the blood of Jesus. He lived and died as a man. He had to struggle with dying a terrible death nailed to a cross. He endured as much pain and anguish as you or I would. But now he is at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. That means that he knows what it is to live as a flesh and blood person. He has literally felt our pain and so much more. He died out of love for us.
So eat the bunnies and the Peeps and all the chocolate eggs that you want, but know in your heart that this special day is about a love that goes beyond what we can imagine.
God is love and we know God in the person of Jesus.