Urban Way of the Cross Walk

The Maundy Thursday Tenebrae and Communion is over and now we sleep until Good Friday.  I always like our Good Friday Way of the Cross Walk.  We started the walk several years ago and it has grown, now including seven congregations of five denominations — Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Mennonite, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ.

The walk will begin in the sanctuary of our DOC congregation and conclude at one of the Presbyterian congregations.  The walk usually includes people of all ages, including babies in strollers, and elders. One year a 15 year-old boy skateboarded most of the way.  Tomorrow it will likely be raining; even then a hardy smaller group will walk.

The Way is casual and involves everyone in leadership.  Each person has a copy of the 14 Stations we have created, with readings, reflections,  prayers, and songs.  As we walk between stations, the leader simply asks different people to read or lead prayer at the next station.

Ours is an inner-city neighborhood.  We create a different route through the streets and identify different stations each year.  Over time the stations have included such places as:  local markets, a fire station, a clinic serving Vietnamese immigrants, an alley where a young girl was murdered, nursing homes, boarded-up abandoned buildings,  mental health facilities, a coffee house welcoming those in the LGBT community, schools,  etc.   At each place, we make the connection between Jesus ministry and the path toward his crucifixion and our own ministry and the cost of discipleship.

Tomorrow our stops will include the telephone company, an area of small businesses, a nursing home, the Missouri School for the Blind, a residence for adults living with mental illness, a struggling residential area, a school that is being closed,   a building, now for sale, that housed a program for troubled youth, but had to move because the neighborhood residents did not want the program near them, a Center for Early Learning that supports both children and families, and a new neighborhood bakery and art center, a park, and an Ecumenical Food Pantry and Urban Ministry center.

As we create the route each year, and then walk it in prayer and reflection with others in our community, it is an opportunity unlike any other  to really see our neighborhood.  We see what is going well and we see the challenges.

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One thought on “Urban Way of the Cross Walk

  1. Jacque, did the last line of this get cut off? Reading the post makes me more regretful that the rain kept me and N from walking on Friday. Bless all of you who do, and who by standing with the neighborhood, help to live the Good News. Judi

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