Rim Country residents and visitors to the area are invited to celebrate Easter at the fifth annual Resurrection Celebration.
This year's event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 7 at the large ramada at Rumsey Park (west of the Payson Public Library). The special guest artist for the day is the Christian group, Two or More. The three brothers of Two or More, Walter, Eddie and Renatto Aguas, bring the flavor of their family's native Ecuador to their music, giving it a Latin sound, according to one of the program coordinators Mary Amon of Calvary Chapel.
Two or More will perform from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., said another coordinator Isaac Bradford, also of Calvary Chapel.
Music from local groups will also be showcased during the day. Bradford said among the local musicians scheduled to perform are the Calvary Chapel Payson Worship Team and the La Roca Praise Team. There will also be a drama presented by the young people of Calvary Chapel under the direction of Sam Bradford.
The Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship offers the Resurrection Celebration 2007 to the community. It is an all-denominational event. People of all faiths are invited to join in the celebration of Christ's triumphal resurrection in the park.
The festivities will feed the spirit and the body. There will be hot dogs and drinks, baked goods, burritos, cotton candy, snowcones and popcorn. There will be games for the kids, including a bounce house, hayride, clowns and balloons, face painting, and more -- with candy and prizes.
A clothing giveaway throughout the day is also planned. Everything is free.
Special guests, who will have informational tables at the event, are the Oasis Christian Book Store, Time Out Shelter, New Beginnings, Beyond Limits, Payson New Life Ministries Men's Home, as well as local churches.
In case of bad weather, the celebration will be held at the Rim Country Middle School Gym.
About Two or More
Brothers Walter, Eddie and Renatto Aguas -- better known as Two or More -- grew up in a world filled with music.
Their parents are natives of Ecuador, where their mother had been preparing for a career as a professional singer until her father intervened and put an end to what he considered an inappropriate pursuit for a proper lady.
The Aguas were married in southern California, where they settled and started a family. The boys grew up hearing their mother's beautiful voice through the house as a matter of course, as well as their father's richly rhythmic Latin American album collection.
In spite of this rich ethnic musical heritage, the brothers were, after all, American boys, and it wasn't long before they "plugged into" Top 40 music in the early 1980s. Eddie and Walter started playing guitar and drums respectively, while it became clear that Renatto was destined to hold a microphone.
After forming innumerable garage bands, the brothers' musical focus changed in the early 1990s, after Renatto gave his heart to the Lord at a Harvest Crusade meeting. Eddie and Walter soon followed suit, and the Aguas began writing and playing Christian songs.
The hand of God has led Two or More to a place of both peace and profound purpose. As the title song of their second recording project "Walking on Water" so eloquently puts it: "Come and follow me down a road you cannot see."
Over the next three years, they went about the business of living -- holding down full-time jobs and getting married -- they also pursued any opportunity they had to minister, using their gifts to glorify God. In early 1996, feeling the call to full-time ministry, they moved their families to Nashville.
Since their relocation, they have played more than 800 concerts in the U.S. and Latin America.
"We were surprised at first," says Walter, "because we'd seen ourselves as playing more to an audience of people in their mid-20s and 30s and up, when in fact we wound up playing a lot of venues and events to teens. An acoustic guitar/vocal thing, and our witness and testimony for Christ was not always what they were expecting either. But God has there for a reason. We took a stand, and gave them some good music, and shared Scripture. And we've wound up leading a lot of kids to Christ."
"It taught me to be bold for Christ," says Renatto, "and also that there are better ways to reach people than hitting them over the head. If you can communicate the Gospel to a 13-year-old, you can probably get through to anybody. Even though our audience has changed as a reflection of the newer music, those are lessons I'm going to hold onto."
"I've learned to really let God into my life and let Him work in me," concludes Eddie. "That's made the music very real, and people believe it. We used to be so pre-occupied with the artistic side of things ... so concerned about playing and singing precisely and technically perfect. If there's one thing the Lord has shown us above all else -- and it's very apparent in the new music -- is that it's not just the art ... it's the heart."