To celebrate the most sacred of Christian holidays, several churches will offer activities in addition to their Easter Sunday worship services.
At First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill, festivities begin today with a Spring Egg-stravaganza from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be an egg hunt, pony rides and health screenings.
Also, the church will host composer/pianist Joseph Martin in a 90-minute concert of his favorite sacred music, along with the church's 90-voice chancel choir, at 5 p.m. Sunday. An offering will be collected.
The church is at 9344 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. Call (352) 683-2605.
Great Life Church, 7321 Sunshine Grove Road, west of Brooksville, will present an Easter cantata, No Greater Love, at 7 p.m. today and Sunday.
"It's a depiction of how Jesus came and gave his life on the cross and, of course, rose again," Senior Pastor Steve Bilsborough said about the musical drama, which will be presented by the church choir.
There will also be a multimedia presentation with testimonies from church members.
"We'll have literal testimonies of people telling of the difference God has made in their life since they've come to know him," Bilsborough said. "We're hoping the people of Hernando County who don't attend a church or don't understand that the love of God is based not upon religion but upon a relationship with Jesus Christ will come to understand him in a greater way."
There is no admission charge for the 45-minute program; nonperishable food items for the food bank are welcome. Call (352) 293-7673.
Other Palm Sunday offerings include a classical music concert, featuring Edward J. Buerkert on the violin and Diane D. Buerket on the piano, at 6 p.m. at Hope Community Bible Church, 13241 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.
There is no admission cost. Call (352) 686-6020.
First Baptist Church of Weeki Wachee, 8092 Toucan Trail, Spring Hill, will host the Gulf Ridge Quartet in concert at 11 a.m. Sunday. Call (352) 686-0747.
On Friday, the Hernando County Family YMCA will host its annual Good Friday service, beginning at 9 a.m. Several local ministers will officiate.
"I love doing this event, because it brings the C (for Christian) in YMCA to life," said Olivia Matles, branch operations director. "It's been a tradition to have it every year for the past 22 years to celebrate when Christ rises from the dead."
Each year, about 225 people from all denominations attend the event, which is co-hosted by the West Hernando Christian Ministerial Association.
The YMCA is at 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Call (352) 688-9622.
Grace World Outreach Church will begin its Spring Community Eggstravaganza at 9 a.m. March 30 with an Easter Funday Easter Egg Hunt for kids through age 12. Children should bring their own baskets for the free event.
There will also be a carwash, for donations, and a huge yard sale. Hot dogs, hamburgers and snacks will be available for a nominal fee. Donations will be accepted for pony rides, face painting and balloon characters.
"This event is to be a blessing to the community and to help raise funds for some of the youth and their upcoming ministry events," said Pastor Donnie Lewis.
The event will run until 1 p.m.
Grace World is at 20366 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. Call (352) 796-3685.
Ridge Manor Community United Methodist Church, 34350 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor, will have an Easter Weekend Party for children through 10 years of age and their adult supervisors, beginning with registration at 10 a.m. March 30.
The three-hour, outdoor event will include an egg hunt with prizes, relay races, three-legged races, an egg toss, a bean bag toss and wheelbarrow races. There will be a bounce house, crafting and egg decorating, and concessions will be available.
Children should bring a basket for eggs. Call (352) 583-3770.
Spring Hill Baptist Church will host a free Easter Eggstravaganza from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 30, designed for toddlers through children age 12.
"We have doubled the amount of eggs to 10,000 and will be offering different hunts for different ages," said Chris Wheeler, the church's youth and family pastor.
The free event will include the hunts for candy-filled eggs, gospel crafts, a 20-foot inflatable slide, a 400-square-foot bounce house and a 33-foot inflatable obstacle course. There will be sack races, egg races and carnival-type games. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided for parents.
"We expect this to be a good old-fashioned, fun-filled day for the entire family," Wheeler said.
Spring Hill Baptist is at 3140 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Call (352) 683-5685.
Northcliffe Baptist Church is planning a Really Big Easter Party for children through fifth grade and their parents from 10 a.m. to noon March 30.
"We're looking forward to a special day at Northcliffe celebrating the meaning of Easter," said Darlene Hurst, minister of children.
Dozens of volunteers will ensure the safety of the children as they help them find thousands of candy-filled eggs and participate in other activities.
"This has been a lot of fun for the children and parents of Spring Hill for the past three years," said Hurst. "This year's party promises to be even more fun with bounce houses, face painting, snow cones, popcorn and prizes for the children who find the golden eggs."
Everything is free.
The church is at 10515 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill. Call (352) 683-5882.