Cross Walk March 29, 2013
Normally I write on regular hiking activities, however I feel this is an important event and does involve hiking. This is a walk of both religious and non-religious importance. The fifth annual Cross Walk was held on Good Friday March 29, 2013. It is a walk through the Hudson Ave neighborhood with seven stops themed on the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Each stop has two speakers. The first speaker is a minister and delivers a relevant religious sermon often based on events in the neighborhood. The second speaker is a community-based speaker that talks about events that happened near or at the site. The two speaker’s ultimate message is one of hope and redemption for the struggling area.
The walk started at The First Genesis Baptist Church, where Rev. Dr. Fredrick Johnson and Rev. Delores Simpson spoke the opening prayer. Rev. Bishop Sigh of the Episcopal Diocese gave an inspirational sermon on love and meaning of the crucifixion.
The worshipers then walked in silence to the first station at the Victory Garden at North and Wilson St. AS Jesus was dying on the cross, he offered words of forgiveness for his executioners. Just as the community must do for those who have killed innocent victim Keith Bryant on Grace street in the past year. We must remember that there are places of hope and rehabilitation in the neighbor hood to help people escape the scourge of addiction.
In silence the people walked to the second station at Iglesia Cristina Eden-North Street and Reed. Here the reading was shared in the spirit of ecumenicalism by both a reading in English and Spanish. Here the focus was on the words between the two thieves and Christ as he hung dying on the cross. The community must know that Jesus is with them and that the violence on the streets can be overcome with the power of the Lord.
The procession moved in thought to the third location a vacant lot at Clifford and North Street. The Reader was Rev. James Cherry Jr. who talked about how Jesus, as he was dying made sure his mother was taken care of after his death. He went on to say how the resurrection of Jesus started a restoration in the world just as the neighborhood is being restored today. The community speaker Shatara Wilson talked about how the Ibero School is helping the children of the area to be educated and grow and stay off of the streets.
The procession walked in peace to the fourth station at Portland and Clifford, chanting as they walked into the lot. Rev. Bishop Mark Webb read the sorrowful tale of Christ’s last hours dying on the cross. Asking his father why have you forsaken me? He related this to how many people in the neighborhood feel they have been forgotten and written of by many people in the community. Telling of two murders near this location and saying how we will not forget these victims but will overcome the violence in the area. He addressed the issue of continued drug addiction and generations of families with members incarcerated and living in poverty. Sr. Janet Korn said the prayer as the cross was handed to another person to carry to the next station.
At the firth word in an empty lot on North Street, The Rev. Imani Dodley relates to the attendees how the suffering of Christ was our suffering and how Jesus was completely human at this point suffering as we would. Jesus chose his humanity rather than his divinity and suffered for us. He was thirsty just as the little child asking for a drink at bedtime or the highway worker in the hot sun. Jesus thirst though is for the redemption of humanity, justice people of love and kindness. Rev. Dodley praises the work of Freedom, Independence, God, Honor, Today (FIGHT). Bishop Willie Davis recites the prayer as the cross is passed on to the next carrier and the group slowly moves to the sixth station.
At the lot on Concord St. Bishop Singh speaks about how it is finished Christ has endured hunger, thirst and pain to save us. The Bishop says how two thousand years later Jesus love and power is growing and helping to change lives. How this love is showered by the community in support of Charles Johnson who was injured in a shooting nearby. Rev. Lewis Brown Jr. leads the prayer as the new cross bearer takes the cross and leads us to the seventh and last station.
This station is on the corner of Woodbury and Hudson Ave. alongside a RCcommunity Bikes. RCommunity Bikes is non-profit organizations that takes in donated bikes repairs them and returns them free to those in the community that need them. The prayer leader Rev. Rueben Goff tells of the darkness that descended over the mount as Christ commends his spirit to God his Father. The Rev. Goff relates his pain to the pain of Dwayne Harrison, DaShaven Steward and Joseph Crittendon who were shot near this area last May 9th. The organizer of RCommunity Bikes, Dan Lill, then talks about the good and difference his group has made in the last eleven years of its existence. How people with no other way to get to work and have a job are able to through the donation of the bike to them.
I hope everyone had a Happy Easter. This walk would be great for those who are looking for more meaning in life. It is not the normal hike I usually review but it is one that is well worth it to pilgrimage on next Easter.