Good Friday services will be held today at:
• Cornerstone Fellowship of Livermore, 348 N. Canyons Pkwy. at noon and 6:30 p.m.
• Lynnewood United Methodist Church, 4444 Black Ave., Pleasanton, at 7:30 p.m.
• St. Augustine Catholic Church, 3999 Bernal Ave. at noon and 1:15 p.m. A “cross walk” through Pleasanton from St. Augustine to St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church. 4001 Stoneridge Dr., will start at 4:30 p.m., with a final Good Friday service at 8 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton.
• Trinity Lutheran Church at 1225 Hopyard Rd. in Pleasanton and Our Savior Lutheran Church at 1385 S. Livermore Ave. in Livermore at 7 p.m.
• Valley Community Church, 4455 Del Valle Pkwy. at 3:30 and 7 p.m.
These will be followed by Easter morning services on Sunday.
“Easter is much more than egg-hunts, chocolate and bunnies,” said the Rev. Heidi Hester (pictured), pastor at Trinity Lutheran. “Easter brings the hope of tomorrow into the world.”
She continued: “These days, our communities seem to focus simply on all the negativity that flows freely without regard for humanity. There is so much anger, hatred and fear we need a place to come to counteract that, and our places of worship are and should provide that sacred spot, especially during Easter.
“Easter is a day that all Christianity celebrates that death does not have the last word. Easter proclaims that fear and anger and hatred have been replaced with grace and love and hope that surpasses all we can imagine.
“It is at Easter time that we rejoice that God's abundant love is a gift with no strings attached for all who need to find an abundant love and hope in this world.”
Added Steve Ingold, Livermore campus pastor at Cornerstone Fellowship of Livermore: “Jesus, the son of God, came to serve us in the most amazing way possible as He stepped in and humbly took the consequences of our poor life choices to the cross on a Friday. Then on Sunday, He defeated death for us.”
Ingold continued: “In the gospel of Mark, we read these powerful words from Jesus: ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
“If we believe that Jesus came to the world as a humble servant and conquered death as the risen king, how do we react to what Jesus said? How do we apply these words to our own lives? What does this mean for us in our communities and neighborhoods?
“This is what we hope to discuss and discover together at Cornerstone Fellowship.”
Heath Hardesty, lead pastor at Valley Community Church, said that the undeniable reality of Easter is that something happened that left an impact crater in history.
“And that ‘something’ was the resurrection of Jesus, the opening of his grave, and, as a result, our graves,” he added. “The claim of the Christian faith is not just that something happened 2000 years ago, but that resurrection reality is present now, validated by the countless followers of Jesus whose broken lives have been brought to life by the love of God.”
Hardesty continued: “Easter reaches into the deepest hopes of the human
Heart, that death does not have the last word, that mercy and justice kiss, and that love wins. It is as the poet George Herbert said, ‘Death used to be an executioner, but the gospel has made him just a gardener.’
“And that gospel (literally, the ‘good news’) is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In short, Easter is a historical reality and the solution to our greatest
problem, one which satisfies the deepest hungers of the human heart.
“That is a momentous claim, certainly one worth honestly looking into.”
Valley Community Church also will hold a Bunny Hop Egg Hunt from 10 a.m.to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Inklings Coffee & Tea, 530 Main St. in downtown Pleasanton. Children 10 years and younger are invited to participate.