GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (March 28, 2009) — Suffering is no stranger to the tradition of Stations of the Cross, an observance practiced by Christian believers on Good Friday, the day commemorating Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixion.
This year, however, people of faith in West Michigan will put a new spin on that theme. On Friday, April 10, the Micah Center will sponsor a Stations of the Cross observance focusing participants on Jesus Christ’s suffering as well as social injustices afflicting their neighbors near and far.
The idea was conceived of by the Micah Center’s Kate Kooyman, Congregational Justice Mobilizer for the CRC Office of Social Justice.
During Holy Week last year, Kooyman organized a similar event with some colleagues from Western Theological Seminary. Despite unseasonably harsh weather, a strong group of twenty people turned out to examine and pray for injustices and the people affected by them in the greater Grand Rapids community.
The event is scheduled to start at Heartside Ministries (54 S Division, Grand Rapids) at 4 p.m on Friday, April 10. Participants will begin with a litany reading and prayer before departing Heartside to visit various locations in the downtown area. Each location will tie in to various aspects of injustice, relating them to the teachings and sufferings of Christ during his passion.
The gathering will reconvene at Heartside Ministries at 6 p.m. for a brief service to conclude the observance.
The event is not intended to be a protest or demonstration but rather a prayerful meditation on the meaning of the crucifixion and how Christians might respond to Christ’s sacrifice.
“We are hopeful that this observance will strengthen people’s resolve to act against injustice in the community,” says Kooyman. “We want this to be an intensely spiritual experience, one that connects Christ’s suffering with the suffering of those in our midst.”
Those interested in participated are invited to meet at Heartside Ministries (54 S Division) at 4 p.m. on April 10; for more information and inquiries about accessibility for those with mobility concerns, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Paff, The Micah Center