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Ceres area Christians come together on Good Friday
Christians from many Ceres churches gathered for a noon community Good Friday service to observe the death of Jesus on a cross.

The event was sponsored by the Ceres Ministerial Association and held at Village Chapel Free-Will Baptist Church.

Pastors who participated in the program included Adrian Condit of Village Chapel, Joe Holloway of Ceres Valley View Church of the Nazarene, Rob Hidahl of Central Valley Christian Church, Herb Henry of Richland Faith Assembly of God, Steve LaFarge of Grace Community Christian Church and Alvis Lassiter of Village Chapel.

Pastor Henry said that the cross has long been a popular symbol of "hope and love" in the western world but that while it's also controversial today, in the days of Paul's writings that the cross was a "horrifying and rebelling symbol" yet also "the power of God."

"Sadly today in America," said Pastor Henry, "the cross is meaningless among people. It's just an ornament to put around the neck. That's just about it. But Paul goes on to say...the cross is the power of God."

He then went on to ask the noon time crowd, "How can a symbol of horrifying death become a sacred and holy symbol, one that children will wear around their necks as well as mothers? One that marks the graves of our loved ones? One that speaks of hopeless salvation? The answer is the resurrection. Good Friday is only good - why?- because Jesus rose. You really can't commemorate Good Friday without validating that death."

Pastor Holloway read from Psalm 22 which prophesied the suffering of Jesus 1,000 years before the cross.

The event included the singing of the traditional Easter hymn, "The Old Rugged Cross" led by Dovie Condit Wilson who also sang "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power." Wilson said she was watching a movie about Christ's crucifixion and had to stop it. "I am forever amazed at what the Lord went through and yet I am so so thankful for the blood because ... when you're covered by the blood you can't be touched by the Devil."

Special music was also sung by Carol Usery ("God Exalted Him") and Ted Taylor ("Ten Thousand Angels.")

An offering was taken to be used on needs of persons in the Ceres area.

Pastor LaFarge introduced communion, saying the goal of the CMA is to unite fellow Christians in Ceres. He extended an invitation for other area pastors to join in as well.