Sunrise service planned for Sternwheel Festival

MARIETTA — On the Sunday of Sternwheel seven pastors will speak and sing in the celebration of Christ.

“We’re ecumenical,” said Pastor Kenneth Brown, of the Marietta Community Church. “Different people are bringing different pieces of the puzzle as this focuses on celebrating Jesus, not pitching anything and nothing political, just focused on who we are in Christ.”

At 8 a.m. Sunday Brown will lead a service on the main barge of the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival, at the Ohio River levee.

“We’ll start promptly and end promptly in the hour,” Brown added. “But we do it that way so that everyone, pastors and congregations, can get back to their churches too and hold their regular services with their church communities.”

Sylvi Caporale, co-owner of American Flags & Poles in downtown Marietta, said she is excited to see the community focus in the Sunday service for a second year.

“It’s an opportunity for us to come together and worship together, recognizing what brings us together on the waterfront,” she said. “Many churches have a sunrise service on the river on Easter Sunday, but I love that this brings us together and then it’s not a matter of making a choice of where to go, it’s an opportunity to do both the community service and your own. It’s well worth it to get up a little earlier.”

The invite is open to all, regardless of denomination, with short devotionals to be presented by three local pastors of different churches, contemporary Christian music performed again by a piecemeal group and even an original song “Celebrate Jesus” written and to be performed by Brown’s wife, Pamela.

“This provides a potential worship experience too for those in from out of town in a non-threatening environment,” added Brown. “Last year we saw a lot of the vendors join in for something positive to start their Sunday.”

This is the second year Brown has coordinated the service, broadening the reach with the community focus.

“I see it as a growth for the community as the joint worship team comes from multiple churches,” said Caporale. “It’s an opportunity for more people to come together.”


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