Easter Sunrise Service at Lake Junaluska

Easter sunrise service, holiday meals set for March 31 at Lake Junaluska

Feb. 28, 2024

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Lake Junaluska will celebrate Easter on Sunday, March 31, with a meaningful outdoor sunrise service at the amphitheater below the Lake Junaluska Cross, and holiday breakfast and lunch buffets. 

“Easter at Lake Junaluska is such a special time with the sunrise service at the amphitheater below the Cross and the trees and flowers in early bloom,” said Ken Howle, executive director of Lake Junaluska. ‘We invite everyone to come and experience this holy day here with us.”

The sunrise service will begin at 7 a.m. at the outdoor amphitheater that overlooks the lake from beneath the Lake Junaluska Cross and is open to the public for in-person worship.

A brass quartet will provide music, and the guest preacher, the Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez Barker, will deliver the sermon from Matthew 28:6, titled “Flipping the Script: Trusting Jesus.”

Our world desperately needs to be reminded of the new narrative Christ gave us as He walked with us, teaching us how to flip the script,” Valdez Barker said. “We need to find leaders who are willing to be trustworthy, loving, kind, and gracious ‘perfect, like our heavenly Father is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48) through the example of Jesus. And we need to be the kind of leaders who are trustworthy, loving, kind, and gracious, being ‘perfect, … as our heavenly Father is perfect,’ too!”

Valdez Barker, the congregational and pastoral formation curator for The Ministry Collaborative in Powder Springs, Georgia, has more than 20 years experience working in religious education, church mission and youth ministry, and teaching at theological seminaries. She is the former executive director of Global Mission Connections at The General Board of Global Ministries, where she led five regional offices and two global offices in leadership development and scholarships, and oversaw the placements and supervision of more than 200 missionaries. She also served as the chief connectional ministries officer for the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church.

She received her Master of Theological Studies in the psychology of religion and a Doctor of Philosophy in religious education and congregational studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Sunrise service attendees are encouraged to dress warmly for cool mountain morning temperatures. In the event of rain, the service will be held at Memorial Chapel. Check lakejunaluska.com/easter for possible schedule changes.

Following the service, Lake Junaluska also will host a sumptuous Easter Breakfast Buffet and Easter Lunch Buffet at the historic Lambuth Inn. The breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. and features dishes from scrambled eggs, fresh-baked buttermilk biscuit and pepper gravy to Belgian waffles. The lunch buffet will offer reservations between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and dishes include chef-carved slow-roasted beef with au jus, Tucson-grilled salmon and more. 

The Friends of the Lake 5K Road Race & Walk, which has previously been held Easter weekend, will take place Saturday, Aug. 31, Labor Day Weekend.

For guests who wish to spend the holiday weekend at Lake Junaluska, lodging is available at The Terrace Hotel and Lambuth Inn. Make reservations by calling 800-222-4930.

Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body.

For more details and reservation information, visit lakejunaluska.com/easter.

Connect with family and friends during a long Easter weekend at Lake Junaluska and join us for an uplifting Easter Sunrise Service at the amphitheater below the Lake Junaluska Cross.