Friday, April 2nd, 2010

As I’ve done for a few years now (the first time was in 2006), I participated again today in the annual Good Friday Walk for Peace and Justice, combining the Stations of the Cross with social justice issues ranging from immigration to health care to homophobia to hunger, issues whose continued existence is why Jesus is still suffering metaphorically on the Cross.

Whatever you believe about why Jesus was crucified—whether you believe it was the only way Jesus could save us from the horrible eternal damnation an omnipotent God would otherwise have had to subject us to, or whether you believe Jesus was a radical communitiy organizer who ran afoul of the Romans—you can probably agree that Jesus (the historical one or the arisen one) would be aghast that the issues raised each year during this walk are still unresolved.

Click to embiggen Here is the Rev. Ruth Brandon, Cross Creek member and also Association Minister of the Southwest Ohio Northern Kentucky Association of the United Church of Christ, on Courthouse Square at the start of the Walk with the cross she selected. Later as we were walking, Ruth told me that fear is what keeps Jesus on the cross.   Click to embiggen On Third Street in front of the old front entrance to the downtown Dayton Metro Library (the side that still bears its old name, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library)
Click to embiggen Other Cross Creekers who participated are Nancy and Dan Tepfer (left and right) and Nikki Hammes (middle with her kids).   Click to embiggen Marching through Cooper Park behind the library
Click to embiggen Looking back at marchers along Third Street   Click to embiggen The Rev. Darryl Fairchild, community organizer for Vote Dayton (soon to become a reorganized Dayton chapter of the IAF), with Beth
Click to embiggen Every Good Friday we always seem to end up in front of at least one pawn shop (this time we spoke before two of them).   Click to embiggen We marched past the Citizens Federal Centre, which seems to have resumed its maiden name after being abandoned by Fifth Third Bank, so I had to take a photo.
Click to embiggen Although you can’t tell it from the outside (ironicially?), this is where the Greater Dayton LGBT Center has office space adjacent to the MJ’s Cafe gay bar. Cross Creek hosted Station 4 on the walk, Jesus Meets His Mother, addressing how violence against LGBT people affects our families. Nancy and I were the readers.   Click to embiggen What was the topic for the station across the street from the CareSource building? Equitable health care for all, of course.
Click to embiggen The Rev. Beth Holten, interim executive director of Greater Dayton Christian Connections, didn’t start the walk with a cross but ended up with one nonetheless.   Click to embiggen Although our march this year took us east of Main Street, rather than west, our last station was still at our traditional stopping point, First Baptist Church of Dayton.
Friday, April 17th, 2009

Good Friday Greek Orthodox-style
(Click to embiggen)

Dayton skyline at night
(Click to embiggen)
The new CareSource all alit
CareSource’s building all alit
(behind some others)

Tonight I heard singing and chanting outside that I couldn’t understand. It was Greek to me, and when I went to look for its source, wouldn’t you know, it was! Tonight the church across from my apartment celebrated Orthodox Good Friday, and part of their service was this candlelit procession around their building. Fun!

While I was out I got a decent shot of Dayton’s skyline at night. Healthcare must be really profitable because not only could CareSource afford to build a brand new building downtown but they can also afford to keep all the lights inside fully blazing along with fancy colored trim lighting along the roof.

Friday, April 14th, 2006
This year was the first year that my church, Cross Creek Community Church, participated in the annual Good Friday Stations of the Cross walk for justice and peace, along with people from College Hill Presbyterian Church, our partner church. The walk combines the traditional stations with important social justice issues of today and relevant contemporary quotes about each issue. Our church's Justice and Witness committee thought it would be good for us to participate; we got to sponsor station 8, where we talked about discrimination.

So many people think that this week is all about Jesus' having died as part of some convoluted way through which his father could forgive us all for our sins (God couldn't just choose to extend grace to all of us?). Whether or not that is true, I do think that the historical Jesus was a witness for peace and justice, and by calling attention to issues he would have cared about, we take a step towards following his example.

You can see more pictures from the walk in the galleries.
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