Johnstown area residents can remember Christ's final hours by helping to carry a cross through the village beginning at 12 noon on Good Friday, April 2.

Johnstown area residents can remember Christ's final hours by helping to carry a cross through the village beginning at 12 noon on Good Friday, April 2.

Rev. Kenn Barton, of the Johnstown United Methodist Church, initiated "The Way of the Cross" community event last year as a way to remember and reflect on the last moments of Christ's passion and death.

Throughout the procession, participants are encouraged to meditate silently and reverently on the reality of the crucifixion.

"This is a powerful and meaningful event for everyone involved," he said.

Barton anticipates even more than 100 who participated in the pouring rain last year.

"As I've talked to business owners and folks, people want to know if we're having it again," Barton said. "People were asking for it. I'm excited that this may be an annual event."

He brought the idea to the village from his former church in Hamilton.

"They took it from a community of churches doing it in Cincinnati, and I brought it from that area to this area," he said.

On Friday, participants will have an opportunity to carry the home-made cross that has been used throughout Lent at the Johnstown UMC church.

"It's a new cross this year that's smaller and thinner," he said. "It might be easier to handle. We made it ourselves."

The Way of the Cross will begin at Johnstown United Methodist Church, 159 S. Main St., and include stops at other sites, including Johnstown Presbyterian, Youth for Christ, Church of the Ascension, Faith Fellowship and HIS WORD Christian Bookstore.

At each stop, a church or community leader will lead a brief meditation and a symbol or token may be passed out.

"There will be several tokens throughout the stops," Barton said. "I will make sure it's different from last year but still reverent. It will be the same content but different tokens and different people giving reflections. We'll sing a verse as we conclude each stop."

Among the tokens will be a cross or palm leaf folded into a cross, thorns or nails and a stop with a cloth or cup of cold water.

Rev. Barton estimates the event will be shorter than last year, since it starts at the Methodist church instead of the village hall.

"It's not as far to walk," he said. "People can take their lunch hour and get back to work on time."

Any individual, church or group interested in participating in Friday's event can call Rev. Barton at 740-973-2168.