University of Virginia Students to ‘Meet the dawn’ on Easter Sunday
By Bill Bray, ASSIST News Service Special Correspondent
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (ANS -- March 23, 2016) – In a surprise move by University officials, a student-led group is being allowed to “meet the dawn” on the historic grounds of the University of Virginia this Easter. A joint University and Community Easter sunrise service will be held at the University Amphitheater 7-8 a.m. on resurrection Sunday, March 27.
“This is what we have been praying for all year,” says Debra Yarde of the community-based Operation Esther Prayer Circle. “This gives all students of every nationality, race and ethnic background a chance to hear the Easter story along with their peers and the whole community.”
Yarde organizes the annual welcome for students from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by African American churches. The students come each summer on a Mandela Fellowship grant from the U.S. State Department. She is with Overseas Students Mission.
Donuts and coffee will be served for early arrivals on Easter morning and in case of rain, the service will be moved to the UVA Chapel.
Student worship leaders for the event include Joe Jenkins, Peter Hartwig, Lauren Bennett and Katie Howell. Vince Croce will give a testimonial and George Morris, the UVA football program chaplain, will lead a homily. Morris is with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Community support for the event is being organized by Michael Guthrie, a local businessman and president of Roy Wheeler Realty. It includes many businesses, churches and members of the UVA Grounds Fellowship – a coalition of Christian ministries that serve the University that was founded by Thomas Jefferson. Contact Michael Guthrie for details, 434-951-5155.
Photo captions: 1) Debra Yarde. 2) UVA Amphitheater. (Photo: Dana Goldstein). 3) Bill Bray.
About the writer: Bill Bray, 68, is an author and Christian journalist who specializes in missions and student ministries. He contributes frequently to ASSIST News Service and welcomes interaction with our readers. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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