Church plans parade in new neighborhood

Tom Sack from Family Church of Lawrence prepares for the Palm Sunday Parade, which will take place this weekend. The procession starts about 9 a.m. at the church, 1601 New Hampshire St.

The Palm Sunday celebration at Family Church of Lawrence won’t be a typical service held inside the church building, 1601 New Hampshire St.

Instead, parishioners will march through their neighborhood in a Palm Sunday parade, complete with palm branches, a man dressed as Jesus and a live donkey.

“This really is an educational experience for the kids of the church, and we wanted to bring the rest of the church people together as kind of a fellowship and worship and praise,” church member Tom Sacks said.

Tom and his wife, Debbie Sack, presented the idea to their pastor, the Rev. Ron Channell, about a month and a half ago. The Sacks had previously attended a church in Leavenworth where the parade re-enactment had been an annual event, and the couple thought Family Church of Lawrence would benefit from hosting something similar.

Before the church recently moved to its New Hampshire Street location, its members held services at myriad sites: schools, golf clubs and dance studios.

“This is the first time we’ve had an actual church building in Lawrence … so it seemed like a good time to have (the parade),” Debbie Sack said.

She said the church invited all of the churches within six blocks of Family Church of Lawrence to participate, and members of the church will post fliers and invite community members. The event also is a way to for the church to introduce itself to the neighborhood.

“We’ve been in the community for seven years, and we’re truly excited to be in this new location,” Channell said. “It’ll really give us the opportunity to serve our community on this side of town.”

Sunday’s event in Lawrence will re-enact what occurred the Sunday before Easter, when Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey during what is known as the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. As he entered Jerusalem, people laid down branches of tree.

In the parade, a church member dressed as Jesus will ride a donkey and will be led by another church member dressed as a disciple. Participants in the parade will carry palm branches with them to represent the celebration of Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem.

Before the parade begins, participants will meet inside the church at 9 a.m., where Channell will briefly talk about the meaning of Palm Sunday.

The parade will start in the church parking lot at 16th and New Hampshire streets. It will go north on New Hampshire to 15th Street, then west to Massachusetts Street, then south to 17th Street, then east to New Hampshire Street, and then back to the church.

A continental breakfast at the church will follow the parade. And a Palm Sunday service is set for 10:30 a.m. in the church sanctuary.

All members of the community are invited to participate in this Sunday’s events.