Saturday, April 16, 2011

Palm Sunday walk invites community to "follow the cross"

MIKE McCLEARY/Tribune MIKE McCLEARY/Tribune From left, the Revs. Kermit Culver, Rick Fossum, Ray Baker and Perry Schnabel are organizing a Palm Sunday walk from McCabe United Methodist Church to Legacy United Methodist Church. 4-13-2011
Most people know the Sunday before Easter as Palm Sunday, but it is also called Passion Sunday in acknowledgement of the Passion - meaning the suffering and death - of Jesus. The gospels describe Palm or Passion Sunday as what is called the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, riding on the back of a donkey, with crowds shouting his praise and waving branches.
Palm Sunday begins in celebration and ends in a darker note, boding the coming arrest, trial and execution of Jesus.
Palm or Passion Sunday ushers Christians into Holy Week and is the encapsulation of Lent, said the Rev. Kermit Culver, pastor at Legacy United Methodist Church in Bismarck, "the fickleness of people, who cheered Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem and less than a week later, called for his head."
Five pastors from four United Methodist churches in Bismarck and Mandan are planning their first Palm Sunday walk and invite the community to join them this Sunday, Palm Sunday.
Pastors Perry Schnabel of Calvary United Methodist, Ray Baker and Rick Fossum of McCabe United Methodist, Culver, and Steve Johnson of Mandan United Methodist, have organized the walk, which is open to youth, families and anyone who wants to participate.
A large wooden cross will be carried at the head of the procession and walkers are invited to "follow the cross," Culver said.
The procession begins at 4 p.m. Sunday following a brief 10- to 15-minute service at McCabe, which is just south of the Capitol at Sixth Street and Boulevard Avenue, with the Rev. Perry Schnabel preaching. Led by the cross, walkers will make a loop around the Capitol and then walk to Legacy UMC, a few blocks away at 924 N. 11th St.
"The cross will lead us all," Fossum said.
After another brief service at Legacy, led by the Rev. Steve Johnson, supper will be served, Culver said. After supper, Legacy will host an Easter egg hunt.
"We wanted to do something ecumenical," Culver said. The pastors would be pleased to have people from other churches come to the walk and be involved in following years, he said.
"The main thing is to participate. This is a good event for the family."
Fossum said that churches of a variety of denominations have been taking part in a walk like this in Minot for 12-13 years. In Bismarck, it would be nice to involve other folks, as well, he said.
"This is the first event and we would like to make it an annual event and get other churches involved," he said.
Fossum, Baker and Schnabel have been at their various churches since last July, and Culver has been at Legacy for more than 14 years.
"Following the cross, and maybe taking a turn at carrying it, will be powerful experience," Culver said.

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