Thousands gathered to celebrate Easter on Sunday in Moby Arena, including former CSU men’s basketball coach, Dale Layer, who spoke about hope and disappointment.
“If your faith is tested, it’s hard,” said Layer, who was fired last month. “I believe God is writing a new chapter; a chapter of hope, a chapter of victory and a chapter of resurrection.”
Layer was fired as CSU’s men’s basketball team on March 12 after seven seasons at the position. Last week, he was renamed an assistant coach with Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.
“It was hard telling my children at dinner that we would have to move,” Layer said. “Where do you go when you think God’s not listening?”
More than 2,000 attended the Timberline Church Easter service on Sunday.
Rick Christopherson, programming and communications pastor, remembers four years ago, when the staff decided to have an Easter service at Moby to join the congregation together.
“We thought it would be cool to get everyone in one room,” Christopherson said. “Through the Christian walk, you celebrate everyday that Jesus rose from the dead. Through the blood of Christ, we are forgiven.”
In past years, 9,000 to 11,000 worshippers attended the service. This year the arena reached its capacity and nearly half was filled with CSU students and alumni.
People arrived in cars, some on foot in the snow as well as riding in the free shuttles offered by the church.
Dary Northrop, senior pastor at Timberline, spoke about disappointment and pain. The message titled “Alive in Christ” contained three main points. The Easter story includes deep sorrow, disappointment and a new awakening.
“Sometimes to have a new awakening we have to go to the place of our pain,” Northrop told worshipers. “You can trust God with your despair.”
Former basketball coach Layer used a story about teambuilding to illustrate his own trust in God.
He once took the CSU basketball team to Horsetooth Reservoir. He blindfolded half of the team, and those who could see had to guide them down by telling them where to step.
Layer said at this point in his life, he’s tempted to just sprint down the mountain.
“But God is saying, ‘No, you have to walk,'” he said. “Take it step by step.”
Staff writer Emily Lance can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.