BROWNSTOWN

With one person in front and another in back, a 10-pound wooden cross was carried along Brownstown streets throughout Holy Week.

Another person was asked to carry a black cloth.

During the nearly half-hour trek, some people took turns carrying the cross, while others just chose to walk so they could watch what was happening in front of them.

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The Brownstown Area Ministerial Association continued a tradition of organizing the Cross Walk during the week leading up to Easter.

Starting at noon Monday through Thursday, the cross was carried from one Brownstown church to another. Then on Good Friday, the community was invited to Community Church of Brownstown, where the cross was carried into the service.

It will culminate with a sunrise service at 6:45 a.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church.

Jim and Mischell Ferguson of Brownstown participated in Tuesday’s Cross Walk. Going from Brownstown Church of the Nazarene to Brownstown United Methodist Church, Jim was at the front of the cross, and Mischell carried the black cloth.

Both had participated in the Cross Walk in the past, but this was Jim’s first opportunity to bear the weight of the cross.

“I think you get an idea of what Christ went through,” he said. “I think it puts your mind on what was going on at the time.”

Mischell said she had carried the cross before, but it was her first time carrying the cloth.

“It’s so humbling. It really is very humbling,” she said. “We’re hoping not only does it bring back to mind what Jesus went through, but we’re hoping that the community sees it, and it brings light to them for those who don’t know Him.”

The Cross Walk gives people a chance to reflect on the reason of Easter, which is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

Brownstown clergy members led the walk each day. At the halfway point, everyone stopped to pray. Then at the end of each walk, a devotional was shared before a final prayer was offered.

The devotional material was shared by a friend of Doug Pogue, associate minister of Brownstown Christian Church.

For this year’s Cross Walk, the cloth on the cross was changed from a red one draped around the center to a longer black one.

“Doug in the past had a scarlet cloth up there that symbolized the robe that was put on Jesus,” said Scott Erwin, pastor of First Baptist Church in Brownstown. “But this year, the black cloth is to symbolize the cloth used to lower Christ from the cross after he was crucified. That’s why it’s a much longer piece of cloth.”

Those helping carry the cross understood the one Jesus carried on the way to his own death on the cross was nearly 10 times heavier.

“Just carrying that for a little bit of time got heavy on my shoulder, and then I just had to think of what Jesus did after He was so beaten and abused,” Teresa Dunbar of Brownstown said. “That cross was so heavy that it makes me wonder how in the world He carried it at all. It just brought it in perspective and made me love Him so much more.”

Melissa Nierman of Brownstown said carrying the cross on her shoulder made her think deeper about Jesus’ sacrifice.

“The little bit of discomfort that that was, that was nothing compared to what He did for us,” she said.

Both women have participated in the Cross Walk for several years and said they appreciate having that opportunity.

“I like each year getting to know more people better in our community and sharing this experience together. It has always been very special for me,” Dunbar said.

“I think it is wonderful,” Nierman said. “We all have one God, and it’s beautiful to see (people) come together. There’s no separation. We’re all brothers and sisters. I love that.”

Dunbar said she hopes those who participated continue to think about what Christ did for others.

“That long trail to where He was crucified, some people didn’t have any interest at all, some people were there just to see what was going on out of curiosity and others truly loved Him and were grieving and had sorrow for what He was going through,” she said.

Erwin said not everyone chooses or is able to participate in the Cross Walk, and it reminds him of how people’s thoughts, feelings and loyalties can sometimes be divided between Christ, the world and the worries of life.

Those thoughts were shared in Tuesday’s closing prayer to the Lord.

“… There are people in this community who do not know You, some people that don’t even know that they don’t know You,” Erwin said. “I pray that You would use each one of us gathered here today to speak Your Word to someone, to tell somebody about Jesus. Lord, help us to have eyes to look for those around us who are seeking you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

At a glance

The Brownstown Area Ministerial Association conducted its annual Cross Walk as part of the activities leading up to the Easter weekend celebration.

At noon Monday through Thursday, a group marched from one Brownstown church to another carrying a large cross.

It began Monday in the parking lot of Brownstown Christian Church along Bridge Street and proceeded to Brownstown Church of the Nazarene on Commerce Street.

On Tuesday, the walk went from the Nazarene church to Brownstown United Methodist Church at the corner of Walnut and Poplar streets.

On Wednesday, it started at the Methodist church and ended at Brownstown Presbyterian Church on Elm Street.

Then Thursday, the cross was carried from the Presbyterian church to Community Church of Brownstown on Tanner Street.

On Good Friday, the cross was carried into an evening service at Community Church of Brownstown.

The final event of the Holy Week celebration will be a sunrise service at 6:45 a.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church, 1095 S. State Road 135, Brownstown. Everyone is invited.

Information: Doug Pogue at 812-358-4172 or Scott Erwin at 812-358-2020

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.