Pastor Ken Reynen, who led the service, said their early-morning
outdoor service brings the Bible's story of Easter to life.
"The Easter story basically takes place outside in a garden setting
near the tomb where Jesus was buried, and the women came early in the
morning to anoint the body, so that's why we have it early in the
morning," he said.
In addition, Reynen said that the outdoor service makes worship very
open for newcomers or non-Christians.
"It takes all the barriers down in terms of all the inhibitions people
might have in going through a solid door," he said. "It's just a very
open setting and we want to be as open as possible."
The service included musical performances from the different
congregations that share Grandview's church space. Sun Hee Han from the
Disciples in Korean congregation sang a soulful song about Jesus in
Korean, and a group of worshippers from the Brotherhood in Armenian
congregations sang two upbeat songs in Armenian.
"We do as much as we possibly can together," Reynen said about the
different congregations. "We are enriched by each others backgrounds and
Sitting on lawn chairs or blankets, worshippers at Brand Park settled
beneath birch trees and nodded their heads to the music even if they
didn't understand the words.
"I think the service is just more representative of the city and
touches all sorts of nationalities," Karlyna Macey said after attending
the service. "It's a different atmosphere, and I like it."
Grandview Presbyterian Church has been hosting the outdoor Easter
service for more than 40 years, and will continue hosting it for years to
come, 40-year congregation member Roseann Clausen said.
"It's just a wonderful service," she said. "Even when it's cold and
miserable, people just love it."