By Jason KUROSU
It is not unusual for churches to enjoy larger crowds for Easter Sunday services. Brent Kuszyk, director of Communications for La Crescenta Presbyterian Church, concurs.
“We had a really good turnout this year,” said Kuszyk. “It was definitely up from last year.”
Perhaps it was the holiday alone that brought out the more casual churchgoers. But no doubt a number of them were intrigued by one facet of the church’s Easter celebration.
Following Good Friday services, the congregation rolled a 600-pound boulder before the sanctuary doors, sealing it until Sunday’s Easter service, when it would be rolled away. This symbolic recreation of the resurrection story not only brought in the congregation but engaged them in the meaning and significance of the day.
Created by church member Paul Hofmann, the boulder, made of wood, plastic and other synthetic materials, certainly drew its share of attention.
“I saw a lot of people drive by who couldn’t help but look,” said church secretary Nancy Thomas.
The boulder’s predication for attracting attention was not lost on the church. It worked on Thomas when the church first unveiled the Easter boulder idea 15 years ago.
“I drove by the church and saw it. It wasn’t until eight years ago that I woke up one morning, thinking, “It’s time. I need to go to church,’” recalled Thomas.
With the boulder firmly imprinted in her mind, Thomas chose to attend La Crescenta Presbyterian, eventually becoming the church’s secretary.
With the success of this year’s Easter celebration, the boulder may be making appearances in future years.
“I think so,” said Kuszyk, when asked about the possibility.
Regardless, its ability to simultaneously grab people’s attention and engage them in the meaning of Easter may ensure its return.
“Before, we were laughing and joking when we unloaded the boulder from the truck,” said Thomas. “But after the sermon, it wasn’t funny anymore and the seriousness of it all really set in.”