It’s still dark on Easter morning as I join other worshipers for our annual sunrise service. We gather on a tree-studded hillside in a cemetery that overlooks a peaceful river. As the first shards of light glisten on silent waters, we sing and pray. Then a pastor stands and asks:
“Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?
“Do you promise, with the help of God’s grace, to be Christ’s disciple, to follow in the way of Jesus, to resist oppression, to work for justice and peace, and to witness to the compassionate love of God as best you are able?”
Members of the congregation answer, “I do.” Then, to signify this renewal of baptismal vows, the pastor takes a sprig of pine, dips it in water and walks around sprinkling the worshipers.