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Church rolls out stone for Easter

La Crescenta Presbyterian Church will be rocking in a most unusual way Sunday — parishioners have pushed a 14-foot-high stone in front of their meeting house door and will roll it away after Easter service.

The effort echoes the Bible story of Jesus’ resurrection, when visitors to his tomb rolled away a stone and were amazed to discover he had risen after his crucifixion, proving to believers he is the son of God.

Church leaders decided moving a large stone in front of the door would be an apt way to end Good Friday service, and removing it would serve as a closing ceremony for the Easter Sunday service.

“I think it is not only an intriguing idea for church members,” Pastor Andy Wilson said. “We hope it will attract attention and interest in the community.”


The rock is made of wood, chicken wire, recycled plastic fencing and old wallpaper parishioner Paul Hofmann bought or scrounged up after inheriting the task. Hoffman, who works in purchasing for the Holiday Inn Burbank, said he is not an experienced carpenter.

“I had to build it a few times,” he said. “The first time I built it, I used wood that was way too heavy.”

On the advice of a movie set builder who stays at the Holiday Inn, Hofmann replaced the original two-by-fours with redwood and rebuilt the rock. Hoffman estimates the rock weighs 600 lbs.

Wilson said the church first built an Easter stone, albeit one half the size, about 15 years ago. A woman named Nancy Thomas drove by the Montrose Avenue church, saw the stone and made a mental note that she might like to join the church someday. Today, Thomas is the church secretary.


Brent Kuszyk, communications director for the church, said Thomas encouraged La Crescenta Presbyterian leaders to bring the stone back.

“She’s been hounding all of us, ‘You have to do the boulder again,” Kuszyk said.

Carrie Hofmann, one of the church directors, bought into the idea and said her husband Paul would be willing to do it. Paul found out about it later.

“My wife volunteered me to do this,” he said.

Hofmann said the project has been fun, and he hopes the church will be able to use or recycle the stone.

Wilson, who was expecting a symbol of the resurrection about half the size, is pleased with the work.

“Seven or eight feet, that’s what we meant when we said large,” Wilson said. “He took that and ran with it.”