Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

April 1, 2013

Sunrise service draws crowd to Cross

Effingham Daily News

---- — More than 100 people braved a chilly Easter morning for the annual Sunrise Service at the Cross of the Crossroads in Effingham.

Don Thoele said it was the least he could do.

“It’s a small sacrifice for us to stand out here today after what Jesus did for us,” said Thoele, of Effingham.

Christians around the world are celebrating what believers say is the resurrection of Jesus shortly after his crucifixion.

Thoele said he wondered what motorists passing through the area on nearby Interstate 57/70 might be thinking if they noticed the group of about 100 people huddled together against the cold at the foot of the Cross at the Crossroads during the service.

“People see the Cross and the people out there,” he said. “You can’t help knowing it’s Resurrection Sunday.

“This service is a great witness for our community,” he added. “We were out there standing witness quietly as people drove by.”

The service was conducted by Darin Hansen, director of the Oneighty youth ministry associated with New Hope Church in Effingham, and his daughter, Bethany, who provided music before a brief message.

Darin Hansen said he tailored his message toward those who already believe that Jesus is the only son of God.

“Most of the time at a service like this, the people are already pretty devout believers,” he said. “My main thing today was just to spread a message of encouragement and hope, because we kind of live in a bleak society.”

Hansen referred during his message to what Christians believe is the immanent return of Jesus.

“It may be a little chilly today, but it is nothing compared to the coming glory,” he said.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.