About 66 people join 90-minute Good Friday Walk

April 06, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE |
  • People participate in the Good Friday Walk. Walkers from various denominations made the trek through downtown Hagerstown.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Samantha Brammer was quick to volunteer, but needed a little help Friday afternoon.

As cars zipped by on the busy streets of downtown Hagerstown, the 11-year-old stepped forward and shouldered a large wooden cross, with a mass of supporters in tow.

“My dad was helping me in the back,” she said. “It was heavy.”

Samantha and several others took turns carrying the cross around the city during the 10th annual Good Friday Walk held by area Christians to commemorate the sacrifices and crucifixion of Jesus Christ before his resurrection.

Sponsored by the Hagerstown Area Religious Council, the 90-minute trek brought out about 66 people of all ages, many joining the group as it made its way to various destinations in the city.

“Good Friday is the day on which Jesus was beaten and taunted and despised as he walked alone from Jerusalem out to Calvary,” said the Rev. Kevin Munroe of Zion Reformed United Church in Christ, which hosted this year’s event.

“Jesus has told us all that if you want to be my disciples, pick up my cross and follow me,” he said. “We staged this walk to be in unison with Jesus.”

The walk is a time for all Christian churches in the community to work together and show solidarity for a common purpose, Munroe said. Eight local churches participated.

Along the route, people also took turns carrying numerous signs — some that read “Pray for the hungry,” “Pray to end racism” and “Pray for peace” — all the while following the cross carriers.

Starting and ending at Zion Reformed UCC, the group made stops at places in the city that raised issues related to the circumstances Christ faced on his own walk. At each stop, different speakers led readings, prayers and songs about each topic, such as education, justice and the wise use of resources.

The stops included the Market Square parking lot, University Park Center, Washington County Courthouse, Hagerstown’s Public Square, City Hall, Department of Social Services and the old YMCA building.

Doug Wagner of Hagerstown, a Zion Reformed UCC church member, said he has heard of similar walks in other communities to commemorate Good Friday, which brought him out for his first walk in Hagerstown.

“There was a lot more to it than I expected there to be ... with all the different readers and carrying a sound system along the way,” Wagner said. “A lot of opportunity for people to participate.”

Lori Beth Ridenour of Hagerstown, also a Zion Reformed UCC member, said she was impressed by the involvement of the younger crowd during the walk. Along with Samantha, Ridenour's 8-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, also took a turn carrying the cross.

“I think it’s a phenomenal thing to have so many young people want to stand up and carry the cross that represents the walk of what Jesus did in his last few steps,” Ridenour said. “That’s a statement of where God is headed, and God is still speaking and moving.”

Wagner, who gave the final reading once the group arrived back at the church, said he was impressed by the turnout, but hopes it continues to grow. The walk is about reaching out to “the least, last and lost,” he said.

Another service for people who could not take part in the walk was held at 7 p.m. at the church, Munroe said. Other Easter activities are planned for this weekend.

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