Church hosts hands-on Easter experience

Sequim Gazette

More than 80 volunteers are preparing a one-of-a-kind event before Easter called “Experiencing the Passion.”


The hands-on, self-guided tour inside Sequim Bible Church features 11 events in Jesus’ life starting with the Last Supper and ending at the empty tomb where Christians believe he rose from the dead. People can walk through the exhibit anytime between 3-8 p.m. April 5-6 (see box for more details).


Lavina Johnson, coordinator of the event, said she and others have worked on preparing the intimate experience for more than year and have sent out promotional materials to 80 churches across the North Olympic Peninsula.


She discovered the program from her son-in-law, who shared it with her after using it in his Fairfield, Calif., church for several years.


The Rev. Dave Wiitala, pastor for Sequim Bible Church, said hosting the event is a thrill.


“Your walking, self-guided tour of ‘Experiencing the Passion’ will be a blessing to you,” he said.


Each event allows people the opportunity to see and hold items similar to a crown of thorns Jesus wore and the nails used to hang him to the cross.


“You never know the impact an item will have,” Johnson said.


She said the walk-through is quiet and meditative, and there is time to reflect and scripture provided with each scene.


Volunteers have worked a lot on details of each scene, such as adding the smell of lamb roasting at the Last Supper.


Johnson suggests parental advisory for two of the scenes: Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion.


Wiitala said they decided to add the empty tomb from which Jesus is resurrected, to end on a hopeful note.


“It ends with the glory of resurrection, which is incredible,” he said. “This could have a good impact on someone’s life.”


Counselors are on hand for the event and child care is available for children 3 and under.


A complete walk-through takes about 30 minutes. Contact Sequim Bible Church at 683-4135.


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