Burns Flat, Oklahoma, 26 March 2016: The sun was shining, the wind was light, and helpers were plentiful as the final preparations were made to host the Community Easter Egg Hunt.
For the third consecutive year the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma hosted the event. Thousands of eggs, hundreds of prizes, candy a plenty, and hunters galore were all in place by 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
Following a prayer of thanksgiving, hunters were grouped by age and led to their respective areas and then the fun began. Thousands of colored eggs full of prizes and surprises filled hundreds of baskets to overflowing. Children and adults alike enjoyed the event.
But wait a minute—a church is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt, really? I though the church had a different Easter message. Not sure if that is a dichotomy, an oxymoron, or a paradox? Don’t decide until you hear a little bit of the story.
Three years ago the Cumberland Presbyterian Church stepped in at the last minute and with the help of several donors, put on an Easter Egg Hunt that had previously been sponsored by the now defunct Chamber of Commerce and then by various individuals. It was not going to happen otherwise.
Then, the real story began. The church session voted to adopt the Easter Egg Hunt as a ministry.
Hold your holy horses! Hunting Easter Eggs is not about the real Easter story. Why is a church adopting this pagan pageant for kids? Why indeed?
Does this church not know that the world is invading Christianity? How could they do this?
Actually, the world is not invading Christianity. Christianity is invading a lost world. The truth that Christians carry is being marched in to community after community around the world. That invasion has been underway for 2000 years.
It is not carried out with tank divisions and air strikes but with messages of how much God loves you. In addition to the many prizes the children received, they also received a Gospel of John, stickers with a message of love, and pencils proclaim how much God loves us.
Heather Spence, the missions committee chair, engaged every helper with not only specific assignments, but the charge to convey the love of God in every encounter. Robert Wascom and Don Foust roamed among the children with stickers and pencils and messages of “God loves you.” Susan Manuel and Nora McCullough took names of children that might be blessed with a bicycle. Adults and children put in names other than their own of children that might not ever have a bicycle otherwise. Two bikes were delivered shortly after the egg hunt concluded.
Many worked for weeks in advance stuffing eggs and staging donations among them were Alice Callahan, Dora Westreicher, Buffy Westreicher, Victoria Glover, and Tom Collins.
This event truly reflected the generosity of the community. Linda Wascom was the donation coordinator. Among the many donors were Burns Flat Auto Service Center, Washita State Bank, R-N-R Roofing, Heavenly Bodies, L&S Equipment, The Shop, Crown Geochemisty, Inc., Keith’s Butcher Shop, MODA, Advance America, Burns Flat City Hall, Great Plains National Bank, Bessie COOP, Rystic Star, Rudy’s Superette, Gret’s, Walmart Elk City, and many individual donors.