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Grace Episcopal Church
109 North 13th Street
Ponca City, Oklahoma 74601
Church Office
Phone (580) 765-7609
The Rev. Fr. Dee Wellington Bright
The Rev. Dr. Dee Wellington Bright, Sr.



By Fr. Dee Bright

Many people find it fascinating that Easter Day this year falls on April 1st, which is April Fool’s Day. As much as this may add some humor to the Easter spirit, we know that Easter is more than April Fool’s Day. Among many things, Easter bears the theme of victory and peace. Victory, because our Lord’s resurrection was an act of victory over sin, death and the grave. Peace, because when our Lord resurrected from the dead, he made many appearances during which he greeted people with the words: Peace be with you. Additionally, our redemption provides eternal peace with God. The world’s need for peace cannot be overemphasized. Just right here in the US, the prevalent situation of school shootings has turned peaceful learning environments into places of fear, suspicion and discomfort. Nowadays, in many places in the US, students go to school with the fear that their lives are hanging in the balance. The hearts of many parents are very heavy when their kids take off for school doubting whether their kids would return home safe at the end of each school day. The same is true for those who work in the educational system such as the teachers, the school staff, etc. Most are on edge each day over working in environments that might prove unsafe. Under these circumstances, what would the Easter message of peace and hope mean in such a time?

As we celebrate another Easter and proclaim the Easter peace, the obligation bears on us to find ways to make our world a truly peaceful, loving, hopeful and secure society. The realization of such a secure society goes beyond mere congressional gun debates in government. We as Easter People everywhere need to take the lead since we are followers of the Prince of Peace. Thanks to the group called Bishops United Against Gun Violence for their stance on the issue. Thanks to the Bishops across the country that have held services offering prayers for a solution. There was also a “Walk Out Action” around the country on the part of students in search of an answer. We pray that these initiatives will in some way lead to some effective solution because after all, insecurity anywhere threatens security everywhere. This means Christians be the Easter people that they are meant to be in the world. When each Christian can embody the Easter message of peace and bring it to bear on society, perhaps then, and only then might we begin to realize some glimpse of the solution that lies in power of Christian witness. This might translate into the victory of good over evil and of peace over fear for our society. With the experience of another Easter, let’s allow our Easter witness of peace and hope to make a real difference in the world.  +

~Fr. Bright