Too many children associate Easter with an over-consumption of chocolate and are unaware of its religious origins, says the Presbyterian Church.
“It is good that Easter is a time of celebration for many children, but the Church would like them to know what they are celebrating. It is an important part of our cultural and religious heritage,” says the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, the Right Rev Dr Graham Redding.
Last Easter, the Presbyterian Church shouted over 400 Wellington primary school children Easter morning tea; a number of the school children were surprised by the gift as they did not know what Easter celebrates, had never had an Easter bun before and wondered why the buns had crosses on top.
Graham Redding says that Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, an historical event “which millions of people around the world still believe is of huge significance; this is worthy of respect”.
“We know that more than half of all New Zealanders identified themselves as Christian in the 2006 census so Good Friday and Easter Sunday have real spiritual importance for many. Easter is the most important religious festival of the Christian year but I wonder how many children today know Easter is important because it marks the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.”
This Friday, 26 March, the Church will again shout Easter morning tea to two schools in Wellington; the Church’s Pacific Islander Presbyterian Church (PIPC) in Newtown will gift 480 Rosedale Easter buns (donated by Delmaine Fine Foods) and chocolate milk to two schools in Miramar.