While many churches gather for joint worship on Good Friday, Community Christian Reformed Church in Oakdale, Calif., conducted its own creative commemoration of Christ’s death. For the second year, the church presented “Stations of the Cross,” an artistic and meditative journey of the crucifixion.
There is no organized worship service or even speaking between guests. Visitors lead themselves through a 12-station walk with visual displays and accompanying printed Scripture texts. A light soundtrack plays to set the tone. Vivian Crow, staff member and participant at Community CRC, said that this structure “makes for a very personal experience between God and the visitor.”
The set-up was simple, with each station display sitting on a table and visuals ranging from reprinted art images to objects created specifically for the event. The stations were open from 12:00-3:00 pm, though an individual usually spends only 15 to 20 minutes to walk through. Communion is also available once visitors have reached the end of the tour.
Margie Anderson, a member of Community CRC, has organized Stations of the Cross for the past two years. Anderson finds or designs the artwork and puts the stations together herself. Other church volunteers, including the elders and deacons, help execute the unique service.
Stations of the Cross is open to the community. Church members feel that the personal, non-intrusive organization of the gathering may be more welcoming to first-time visitors than a traditional church service. About 30 guests have attended the event each year.