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Photos by Shawn Paris // Willow Brook church pastor
On April 4, the Willow Brook church (Boonsboro, Md.) held a special outdoor event celebrating Christ’s resurrection at the Mt. Aetna Retreat Center (Hagerstown, Md.). The weekend event was part of a larger “comeback” initiative as the church looks to rebuild and grow in a future after COVID-19.
“There were two motivating factors for holding this event,” says Shawn Paris, pastor of the Willow Brook church. “The first one is obvious, to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on the third day. The second reason was to bring our church family together in a safe, exciting, and memorable way. We accomplished both reasons.”
About 65 church members attended the resurrection event which included a worship service, brunch and socially distanced activities and games. The service was held in the outdoor amphitheater and included singing, testimonies, a drama performed by the Willow Brook Pathfinder club and a short devotional. Later in the day, the younger children participated in an outdoor Bible scavenger hunt.
The event also featured an outdoor escape room for teens and young adults. The escape room consisted of four mysteries surrounding the death of Jesus that needed solving. Each mystery required a decoder to help solve the mystery, which in turn gave one of four keys needed to unlock the escape room.
“It was such fun to watch all the children, teens and collegiates working together to solve the mysteries,” says Paris.
“Sunday wasn’t just any other morning, it was special,” says Lisa Andrews, member of the Willow Brook church. “This beautiful Easter morning was spent with my church family uplifting our voices in praise to God for the sacrifice of His Son and the resurrection. Seeing my daughter enjoy the service and be a part of it with her Pathfinder Testify drama group brought a big smile to my face. Spending time in nature with God, singing songs, listening to special music from a flute as well as the birds in the trees, hearing testimonies, watching the Pathfinders and listening to Pastor Shawn’s words was a blessing and renewed my spirit. I am grateful that we have hope in our risen Savior. I can not wait to thank my Heavenly Father in person one day soon.”