The weather in Iowa often has us on our toes. This winter, however, has not left us on our toes but locked in our homes cured up by the fire. Our spring has either decided not to come or has been held hostage by old man winter. Normally this weather would not hinder the church or its activities, but with Easter being early this year the weather impacted many Churches activities. We at Paragon Church were no exception.
In our first year, we recognized that Grinnell was missing a church-based community Easter event. So we gathered some resources and partners together to hold our first ‘This is Easter’ event. We were blown away by what God did through that event and the response of the community. It was clear that this would become an annual community celebration for us.
The first of March hit and gathering resources and planning was finished. This is Easter was planned and set for Saturday the week prior to Easter. The time was quickly approaching yet Spring had not come. The weatherman was not on our side. Ice and snow were in the forecast. Old man winter forced us to postpone the event one week and pray that God would show us favor. The odds were against us. The forecast did not show snow or ice but wind and cold. The week prior was spring break both for the college and the community schools. Would the weather cooperate? Would people come? Are there event families left in town to come to the event? These were all questions tickling the back of our minds.
Finally, the Saturday before Easter arrived. We gathered at the park hands and vehicles full of crafts, food, and eggs. The wind was gusting, and the temp was quickly dropping. Yet we soldiered on. We worked feverishly to set up the activities, lay out the food tables, and scatter the eggs. We were just a few short minutes from the start of the event, and God answered all the questions that were scrolling through our minds. The community showed up. Hundreds of parents and their children began to flood the playground and the shelter house.
Suddenly the question was not would people come but do we have enough stuff for all of them. Despite the cold and with the first welcome from pastor Cody Hinton, the fun began. Cotton candy was spinning and filling smiling mouths, popcorn was flying, photos were snapping, and families were shivering together. With smiles, Ryan and Craig from Hy-vee handed out cookie after cookie and soda after soda. Eventually, the time came for the egg hunt. Pastor Daniel Clements and other volunteers strained to hold back the horde of little ones anxious to gather as many eggs as their little fingers could manage. With a shout, hundreds of tiny feet raced across the outfield looking to find many of the three thousand eggs sprawled
across the grass. Twice more this scene took place.
As much as mother nature tried to keep us down, as much as old man winter fought to prevent the celebration, This is Easter was an enormous success. Paragon Church is in awe of God and His overwhelming goodness, and humbled and thankful for the community of Grinnell. We look forward to many years of celebrating ‘This is Easter’ with Grinnell and the surrounding area. Hopefully in warmer weather.