On Good Friday, seven churches will host the annual Cross Walk to be held in downtown Newton.
The churches hosting the Cross Walk are First Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, United Methodist, Congregational United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, First Lutheran Church and St. Stephen Episcopal Church. The community is invited to attend the Cross Walk to walk from church to church to have a time of prayer and worship for Good Friday.
“The Cross Walk was started by the Newton Ministerial Association roughly six years ago,” First Presbyterian interim pastor Linda Curtis-Stolper said. “After they organized it for a couple of years, they just said, ‘We have too much going on during Lent.’ The Newton Mission Coalition, which is an organization represented by many of the churches here in town, asked, ‘If it was alright if we kept the event going?’ The association said, ‘Absolutely, go for it.’
“The Cross Walk will be progressing through the seven churches in the downtown area,” she continues. “In each of the seven churches, we will read two different sections of scripture thinking about two different stations of the cross. There will be time for prayer and worship. We will sing a verse of ‘Were you there’. It’s a community effort, it’s a very meaningful way to think about what happened on Good Friday. For those of us who don’t take time to stop all the other stuff that is going on, its a way to really stop for awhile and think about what happened and the significance of it.”
The Cross Walk keeps with biblical history bycelebrating Good Friday during the late morning to early afternoon.
“The idea that Christ was executed in the morning and it was early afternoon when he died,” Curtis-Stolper said. “It was the time when Christ was going through what he was going through, this is what we’re trying commemorate with the Cross Walk. We’re not going to concede to the worldly schedules and demands at that point.”
This is her fifth year of participating in the Cross Walk. It’s her hope that those participating in the event will take the opportunity to stop and remember why people celebrate Good Friday.
“It has been a very meaningful way for me to spend Good Friday,” Curtis-Stolper said. “I hope that all of us as Christians on Good Friday are thinking about what it is were remembering this is the day of the death of our Lord and Savior. The reality of life is that I am not sure how good of a job most of us do on our own of really stopping and focusing on what it is were thinking about on Good Friday. The Cross Walk gives a whole community of people, the opportunity to walk from point to point as a group with someone carrying a cross to remember why we celebrate Good Friday. It gives us a chance to sit in silence in seven different worship areas and think about what Christ did for us. It gives us a chance to hear and respond to the story of the suffering, of the anger, of the ignorance of sin and it gives each of a chance to reflect on what we have done. The gift of the forgiveness of sins, which is represented by what happened on the cross.”
The Cross Walk is in need of volunteers for the walk, those interested in volunteering for the walk need to contact Linda Curtis-Stopler at First Presbyterian Church. The phone number to the church is (641) 792-2790.
“What we would love to have is community involvement, and they don’t have to be members of the churches represented in the downtown area. Anyone who is willing to help us we would love to have them be a part of the Cross Walk,” Curtis-Stolper. “We would like to have some folks who are willing to read either some scripture or a prayer, we would like to have someone be willing to lead the singing of a verse of a hymn, we need to have folks who are willing to carry the cross between two of the churches and we do need a member of each one of the churches to unlock the church to make sure the sound system is ready to go.”