Easter #2: Good Friday

Good Friday is only surpassed by Easter (Resurrection) Sunday in holiness and importance in the Christian calendar.

This second part of my blog series on Easter is focused on the activities of the day.

Good Friday since 2011 has been a combination of church service and the Good Friday Appeal.

1. Church Service
For this year (2014), the day began relatively early at 7am. I had actually done some preparation the night before at church during the choir practice by laying out the kitchen benches. This year, my cell group was rostered on to run offering collection and morning tea duties for the Good Friday service. Being Good Friday and Easter there was no communion but instead hot cross bun food preparation. We were blessed to get the additional help of one Uni student who had come early to church and wanted to help serve in the kitchen. In retrospect, I possibly overdid the planning and had stressed unnecessarily but I did also relax and enjoy parts of the service. The stage setup was designed differently such that the choir formed a background wall on stage whilst the band were positioned facing the choir / same direction as congregation to form a circle. The main stage area was used by the worship leader and vocalist. Combined with the candle and water vase decorations, this setup also was to accommodate the six congregation members who were sharing as part of the sermon.

The sermon was appropriately titled “The Last Words of Jesus”. Each of six speakers had a short 5 minute segment to share a verse and share a testimony.

The hot cross buns served after service proved to be very popular and those who were slow to leave the chapel and make their way to the cafe may have missed out…

With the rain pouring steadily, I made the journey into town and the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre – the new home of the Good Friday Appeal.

2. Good Friday Appeal

Good Friday Appeal - Plenary Phone Room
Good Friday Appeal – Plenary Phone Room

This year, us volunteers were given a green t-shirt and we also had a proper sit-down briefing prior to entering the Plenary Phone Room. The facilities of the Convention Centre Plenary are first class and given the expansiveness, was ideal for the operations of the Good Friday Appeal. This year for the first time, the venue was used to provide the Kids Day Out event – completely indoors! The money collecting facilities were also expanded and even allowed for the fire engine trucks to drive in, unload and drive out! In the afternoon, with the rain clearing, the Australasian Police & Emergency Services Games Opening Ceremony took place and added a couple thousand more people on site.

Being in the new phone room felt quite different to previous years – it was so much bigger. In fact, it was so big when they had times of telecast and interviewing in the phone room, we couldn’t even hear the dialogue.

The early afternoon was a little quiet and the phones rang sporadically. With the new setup we had the occasional sound checks of performers. The later half of my afternoon shift saw in increase in calls. I took a total of 48 calls which accounted for $4989.70. The largest donation I processed was a business donation of $1000. All up, we created a new record total of $16.8M!

NEW PAGE: Good Friday Appeal