Christians around the world came together on Sunday, April 21 as they celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the rebirth of hope within the world. This year Orthodox Christians will share the April 28th date with their other Christian brothers and sisters. The Orthodox Christian Churches utilize the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar utilized by the Western Churches and this year Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate the holiday one week later than their Western colleagues.
Here on Marco Island thousands of residents and visitors alike made their way to the beach to enjoy a wonderful sunrise service that was coordinated by a number of volunteers and local churches. Whether they walked, drove a car or came by boat, worshipers were sure to enjoy a wonderful service and an outstanding musical presentation on this special day.
This year Jennifer Orr joined with her family, neighbors and friends to travel by boat to those services. “We were lucky to be on a bigger boat this year. It was pretty choppy, as the remnants of a storm system had passed through on a day before,” said Orr.
“Our Sunrise Service for Easter continues to grow with the generosity of our many sponsors and especially with the cooperation of the JW Marriott and the Madeira Condo Association which so generously assist us with logistics and access,” said Mike Siegfried, a longtime volunteer and committee member with the Presbyterian Church.
Easter marks the beginning of the spring season, when vegetation begins to green, the aroma of flowering plants and trees begin to fill the air and baseball gets ready to consume the American pastime.
The purest meaning of Easter is the celebration of Christ’s rising from the dead and his assertion into Heaven. His resurrection serves as the foundation for Christianity. It represents a second chance for humanity and an opportunity for all who believe to follow Him when the time comes to sit with the Father in Heaven.
We were saddened over the weekend to learn of the senseless bombing which occurred outside places of Christian worship and hotels in the small island nation of Sri Lanka. The last I read the death toll was over 321 with injuries topping 500.
Officials continue to warn of further possible attacks and cautioned residents and visitors to be on high alert. Those same officials say these coordinated attacks may be in retaliation for the crazed and senseless killings of Moslems at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that resulted in 50 dead and another 50 wounded.
These are especially trying times throughout the world and we certainly need to work better together in the efforts to bridge the gaps of understanding, both nationally, internationally and right here in our community.
Islanders throughout the year certainly show their humanity for those in need and have led by example in many ways. Couple that with the wonderful efforts of organizations such as the Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Knights of Columbus, Meals of Hope and so many other outstanding groups who help those in their times of need, all of which reflect the foundations of Christian values that Christ preached in an effort to guide us to a better world for all.
The shame of all this is that we should be concentrating on these good thoughts and deeds not just on one or two days, but for 365 days throughout the year.
I’m not so naïve however to believe that everyone around us might share a similar mindset, so we as a nation and a people must continue to stay strong in an effort to protect our values and our beliefs. We must always remember that it isn’t about bunnies, hams or candy, but instead carries with it the hope for redemption and the appreciation of sacrifice which was made for us all.
I Goofed and Need to Own up to it
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine that lives in the Villages in Central Florida called to inquire about a news article regarding a consultant coming south to assist in finding a new police chief for the island. Paul Sireci, who had just assisted the City of Wildwood in finding a suitable candidate to fill their open vacancy was named in an article in the Villages Daily Sun.
I inadvertently goofed and referred to the source as The Villages News, sorry, my mistake.
I would like to make it absolutely clear on who was hired to assist the city in seeking to fill the position of police chief, as my initial article lacks some clarity. The city has entered into a contract with the Florida Police Chiefs Association under the STARS Program (Selection, Training, Assessment, Recruitment and Support), as stated in the article. As of this writing, Mr. Sireci has agreed to be part of a team which will consist of at least one additional retired police chief. All compensation for those services will flow through the contract with the Florida Police Chiefs Association STARS Program.