Thursday Apr 21 2011
Bayside Church to hold services at Power Balance Pavilion
By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
More than 20,000 people are expected to attend Bayside Church this Easter Sunday, but not in Granite Bay. The church, which normally sees about 17,000 people in seven different services each weekend at its Granite Bay campus, will be holding one community-wide event at Power Balance Pavilion to celebrate the Easter holiday. “What we’re really hoping for is a lot of community involvement, so people from around the region will come and worship with us,” said Mark Miller, community relations director for Bayside Church. Organizers of the event hope to garner support for three regional causes: homelessness, books for children and victims of human trafficking. “Easter is the greatest example of the lengths that Christ went to in order to rescue us,” said Ray Johnston, senior pastor at Bayside, in a statement. “We want to be people that go to great lengths to bring rescue to those around us.” Miller said according to local FBI officials, the Sacramento region ranks as one of the highest metropolitan areas for human trafficking. Bayside will be working in partnership with Courage to be You, a nonprofit group that helps young victims receive counseling and rehabilitation, to help build a home for young girls rescued from human trafficking. Bayside is also asking attendees from around the region to bring socks and blankets for the homeless to collection areas at the arena. They will be collaborating with Placer and Sacramento counties to help distribute the goods to those in need. The church is also working with Reading Partners, a local nonprofit organization that helps improve literacy and brings community members to underserved public schools. Attendees can volunteer their time and donate 45 minutes per week to mentor first through third graders in the region, Miller said. “The message of Easter is hope, and we are going to provide that to some of the most needy folks in our region,” Miller said. Attendees can expect an array of entertainment including live music from national Christian recording artist and Bayside song leader Lincoln Brewster, as well as some special words from Olympic athlete and World War II POW Louis Zamperini. “What we’re trying to do is really put our faith into action and make a difference in our community through the message of Easter,” Miller said. Events are expected to kick off at 8 a.m. with a “tailgate” breakfast, and Miller advises attendees to arrive early. About 1,500 children are expected to take part in an Easter egg hunt at 9 a.m., where 5,000 eggs will be hidden, Miller said. The service begins at 10 a.m. and will last about an hour and a half, Miller said. Toby Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.