Churches to light luminaries for Easter

The First Congregational Churche in Hadley

The First Congregational Churche in Hadley GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 03-30-2024 11:39 AM

HADLEY — At least three churches in Hadley and Amherst will be lighting luminaries to brighten the exterior of their buildings and remind passers-by of this weekend’s Easter services, while also collecting canned food for local food pantries.

An initiative of the First Congregational Church in Hadley, Christian Education Director Shannon Stilla recently reached out to other churches in the region about placing the luminaries on display Saturday evening.

Stilla wrote in an email that an invitation was extended to all local churches and that the Hadley church will provide the necessary supplies to any other churches that would like to participate last minute.

At the Hadley church, the idea is congregants will provide a canned food donation with their luminary, which serves as a weight to hold the bag, with an LED tealight candle inside, to light the sidewalk.

In addition to the First Congregational Church, Stilla expects that Wesley United Methodist Church, also in Hadley, and the South Church Amherst will be participating.

“We envision a coming together across different denominations to demonstrate that the love of God has no boundaries and how we can work together in unison for the betterment of our community,” Stilla wrote.

In a written appeal to other churches, Still wrote, “Families love to go out looking at Christmas lights together, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we gave them another opportunity on this eve of holiest days to drive around and see the love of Jesus being shared amongst our community and local churches.”

— SCOTT MERZBACH

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