Marching for social justice

About 40 people pray for religious tolerance, racial harmony

About 40 people pray for religious tolerance, racial harmony

April 07, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

People marched in silence through the streets of Hagerstown on Good Friday, and stopped at seven designated sites along the way to pray for religious tolerance and racial harmony.

The Rev. Ed Poling of the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren said the event was designed to bring awareness to social justice.

"It's to help us remember that Christ's suffering is part of the world's suffering," Poling said. "It's to help us make the kind of world that God would want for us."

About 40 marchers participated, some taking turns carrying a wooden cross as Christ did through the streets of Jerusalem on the way to his crucifixion on Calvary Hill.


Poling said members from roughly 10 churches, synagogues and mosques participated in the event.

Pastors read Scriptures that covered the story of Christ from the time of his arrest to burial.

One of the stops was a former holding site for runaway slaves on Jonathan Street.

They prayed, "Lord God of freedom, help us to realize that all people have dignity, that all are deserving of fairness, justice and respect, and that to dishonor a person, any person, is to dishonor you."

Lee Krempel said he joined the march to demonstrate that although social injustice exists, progress has come a long way for the impoverished and oppressed.

"I think the focus is getting back to where it's supposed to be," said Krempel, 25, of Hagerstown. "The outcasts ... Those are the (people) Jesus was most concerned about."

Tony Guessford said he felt that marches in the name of social justice help bring light into the world.

If things don't improve, however, Guessford warned that the end of the world will come soon.

"I don't think people know how near the Revelation is," said Guessford, 50, of Hagerstown. "I think they take it for granted ... that this body, this world, is going to be here forever."

Poling said he would like to make the march an annual event if enough people show interest.

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