SAINT AUGUSTINE – The 17th annual Easter Sunrise Service begins at 7 a.m. April 16 on Vilano Beach, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As dawn approaches volunteers from The Church at Vilano and the community will be preparing the beach for worshipers to arrive. Leading the service will be Pastor Sam Schlegel of TCAV, and the Praise Team from First United Methodist Church.
Beginning at 7a.m. this 45-minute worship service will include songs, scripture readings, a message, and an interpretive dance. The service will have traditional and contemporary music with the message of living with joy and hope found through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who conquered death on a Roman cross. At 6:30 a.m., music will be played on the beach for those wanting to meditate as they prepare for worship.
Due to the beach sand replacement project, vehicles are not being allowed on Vilano Beach, and the beach ramp is closed to traffic. An experienced parking team will direct cars to appropriate lots and spaces. People should be prepared to come early and walk to the beach. Cars needing to drop off passengers may use two traffic circles near the beach walkovers. Late arrivers must use the walkways over the dunes. Attendees may want to bring chairs, blankets, sunglasses, cameras and friends. Restrooms are at the beach pavilion.
Access to Vilano Beach is off Coastal Highway (A1A north), 2 miles due east of the main public library on North Ponce de Leon (US-1). At the traffic light at the east end of the Usina Bridge, turn right and head south. On the right, park at Publix, on Poplar Ave., Vilano Rd., Anahma Dr., Loja St. and at Beaches of Vilano restaurant near the pier. Handicapped parking is available in these areas. Pedestrians will find the worship service on the east end of Vilano Road.
Interpretation for the hearing-impaired will be available. Counselors will also be present to talk after the service with any worshipers. If water conditions are suitable, ocean baptism may be held for those desiring immersion to profess their faith in Christ. Interested persons should contact Pastor Schlegel.
Donations to help with expenses will be graciously accepted at the welcome tables. The church would like to thank the many faithful volunteers and local businesses who are helping in this Easter sunrise service by donating their time and skills. Other volunteers wanting to help with set up at 4:30 a.m. should contact Pastor Schlegel.
Special thanks to: SJC Beach Services, Scott Sweet (sound), Mark Martin (Anastasia Baptist traffic team), Jayce Ginn and 1st United Methodist Church Praise Team; Heather Corry (interpreter); St. Augustine Dance Conservatory; Darrell Smith (trailer); Bucky Wright (ACME Barricades); Max Usina (North Beach Utilities); Vilano Publix, Beaches at Vilano, & Big Kahuna Cafe; Glenn Styron, Sacha Martin(photographers).
The Church at Vilano meets every Sunday at the North Shores Community Center, 120 Meadow Ave., 1/2 mile north of the traffic light in Vilano Beach. Worship begins at 11 a.m. preceded by Bible study at 10 a.m. (If bad weather prohibits the sunrise service on the beach, a smaller, 7a.m. service will be held in the community center.) You are also invited to prayer and Bible study each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Church House at 121 Meadow Ave. For more information, visit Facebook, call Pastor Schlegel at (904) 808-8304, or email email@example.com.
*Note: For any logistical changes due to sand replenishment by the Corps of Engineers or to the weather, see www.facebook.com/churchatvilano ; the St. Augustine Record/staugustine.com, and local news websites.