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'Walk for Social Justice' commemorates Jesus' final hours

April 02, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS
  • Randy Overcash of Hagerstown carries the cross from the seventh and final stop at Coffman Funeral Home back to Hagerstown Church of the Brethren during the Good Friday "Walk for Social Justice" held Friday afternoon in downtown Hagerstown.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

o The Way of The Cross

HAGERSTOWN -- Carrying a large wooden cross through the streets of Hagerstown, a diverse group of Christians spent Good Friday commemorating Jesus' final hours by praying for social causes at stops throughout town.

"Christ's life represents doing whatever needs to be done, and if we don't remember that, we don't remember Him," said Angie Scheerer, who wrote a series of meditations for the event.

The "Walk for Social Justice" included a call for tolerance in front of a gay and lesbian bookstore, a prayer for economic recovery in front of a downtown bank, and a prayer for residents of Haiti at a church.

At each stop, participants listened to a Bible passage that described a scene related to the Crucifixion, then a meditation linking that passage to a current issue. They finished each stop with a prayer read in unison and a song.

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"We're trying to make a connection between the things in His life that give us a model for how to treat other people," Scheerer said. "And by doing that, we hope that we can have a positive impact on our community that comes always from our faith."

The event, in its fourth year, was sponsored by the Hagerstown Area Religious Council. Participants included church leaders from Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ and Church of the Brethren congregations, as well as the Washington County Hospital Spiritual Care Department and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"We're all trying to achieve social justice," said the Rev. Glenn Young, a pastor at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren. "This is a way to knit the religious community together."

The social issues highlighted by the event are selected each year as the council discusses the most important needs in the community, the nation and the world, said the Rev. Ed Poling, also of Hagerstown Church of the Brethren.

This year's stops were:

o Rainbow Connection, for harmony in spite of our differences

o Soul Haven, that we recognize and embrace our neighbor

o Sovereign Bank, for sound government and economic recovery

o County office building, for truth and an end to political posturing

o Bridge of Life Church, that our relationships be based in mutual respect

o St. John's Lutheran Church, for residents of Haiti and victims of natural disasters

o Coffman Funeral Home, for those who mourn or suffer loss

For each leg of the walk, leaders asked for a new volunteer to carry the cross. The first to volunteer was Robert Mason, 21, of Hagerstown.

When asked why he wanted to carry the cross, Mason's answer was simple and heartfelt.

"Jesus died for us," he said.

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