Easter Sunday 2009 my wife and kids and I joined friends at the Hollywood Bowl for a huge city-wide Easter Service.
After a one year hiatus, Easter at the Hollywood Bowl is back, meeting Sunday morning March 31, 2013.
This is a free event, open to the public. Here's a link to the event website with more information.
Parking was - and is - free, but we decided to park on Cahuenga (pronouced Co-wang-a) a few blocks away to avoid the "stacked parking" in the lots around the Bowl.
Walking towards the Bowl, a large white cross nearby was visible. This cross was erected as part of the original "sunrise service" held at the Hollywood Bowl every year since 1921.
Walking up Highland: if you go, give yourself enough time to park, walk in, and get seated.
The entrance to the Hollywood Bowl with the Easter Cross on the hill above it.
My wife and kids (and I) heading in.
And if you've never been to a church service, or haven't been in years, this was an outstanding place to connect, or re-connect, with the central truths of Christianity.
Everyone was given a program with the words to the songs and the order of the service.
When we attended in 2009, the event was sponsored by Bel Air Presbyterian Church, who's mission statement is "Making Los Angeles the greatest city for Christ." More than just hosting a large event, the church is also committed to serving the city of Los Angeles - prisoners, the poor, children at risk, homeless individuals and families, single mothers - through a dozen of different ministries.
This year Bel Air Presbyterian is co-hosting the event with Christian Assembly Church of Eagle Rock.
Francis Chan, formerly of Simi Valley and now ministering among the working poor in urban San Francisco, will be speaking.
Never heard of Francis Chan? According to a wikipedia article: as a pastor, speaker and author, Chan "gives away about 90 percent of his income, doesn't take a salary from his church, and has donated most of his book royalties, which have totaled about $2,000,000, to various charities. Much of it goes to organizations which rescue sex slaves in foreign countries. Furthermore, in 2008 it was reported that his church [Cornerstone Church] would give away 55% of its income to charitable causes." Wow.
The cover to the program from 2009. True then. True today.
The Easter Service was very moving, very emotional. The music was outstanding - focusing on the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The church choir, the live orchestra, and the contemporary band ... all volunteers, yet really helping focus our attention on Jesus Christ and the hope of the resurrection.
The message was relevant, thoughtful, and challenging.
The service was a real cross section of Los Angeles: singles and suburban families, kids and seniors, those in coat and tie next to those wearing shorts and sandals, aspiring actors from Hollywood next to executives from Century City. Sitting next to us was group of staff and those "in the program" who had come over from the downtown Union Rescue Mission.
My wife in pink with our kids and friends afterwards, next to an amazing old apartment building on Cahuenga in Hollywood, where we parked.
photo credit: Vintage L.A. Facebook Group
The photo above is from Easter Sunday, 1948.
Even though we're no longer living in Los Angeles, we're so very glad Bel Air Presbyterian and Christian Assembly have teamed up to bring this event back.
View Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood in a larger map
Here's a link to the Easter at the Hollywood Bowl website.
Happy Easter - Christ is Risen.
© 2013 www.experiencingla.com - originally posted 4/12/2009