Leaders at Central United Methodist Church in Mooresville hope the church's Easter event next Sunday will get families talking.
The church's annual Easter egg hunt isn't new, but church leaders are expanding it this year to reach out more to the community.
Children will still search for eggs and enjoy Easter treats. This year, however, the church is adding a "multisensory" experience called "Journey to the Cross," in which parents and children will talk about what they read, see and experience as they walk through stations inside the church.
"We've never done anything like this," said Debbie Smith, director of Christian ministries for the church.
The walk-through will consist of five stations depicting themes beginning in the biblical story of Palm Sunday and ending with Jesus' resurrection, Smith said.
"We want to give them that element they can do as a family," Smith said.
The walk-through engages all the senses. The first scene illustrates Jesus coming into Jerusalem, and children and parents will be asked to look at pictures of people on a poster, imagining which faces theirs might have mirrored if they had seen Jesus that day.
Families will then walk through a room lit with a black light, where words describing sins and negative attitudes will glow.
"It will drive the point across that we're all sinful," Smith said.
Subsequent scenes will illustrate Jesus' broken body, Jesus' being called "the light of the world" and Jesus' suffering and atonement for sins.
Activities on the walk-through will include digging in dirt, breaking a glow stick and dropping stones into water.
Families also will be given questions to talk about as they walk through the scenes.
The groups will end by singing children's songs together with other participants. Each family will receive a book at the end to guide family devotions at home.
Smith said the walk-through is not scary and is geared for children of all ages. Church leaders hope families will take time to participate together.
"The purpose is to help families go through this together to stimulate conversation about the true meaning of Easter," Smith said. "It will give families opportunities to talk about it."
Afterward, children will search for Easter eggs on the church grounds. All children will receive a goody bag, and families can enjoy free hot dogs and drinks at the church.
The community Easter egg hunt will be from 2 to 4 p.m. next Sunday at Central United Methodist Church, 214 N. Academy St., Mooresville.