The Johnstown community is invited to participate in "The Way of the Cross," a Good Friday event that begins at noon March 25 at the Johnstown village offices, 599 S. Main St.

The Johnstown community is invited to participate in "The Way of the Cross," a Good Friday event that begins at noon March 25 at the Johnstown village offices, 599 S. Main St.

The Rev. Cindee Johnson of the Johnstown United Methodist Church said the community event is organized by her congregation in conjunction with ministers from Faith Fellowship and Johnstown Presbyterian.

"We create this for the community," she said. "We use 'The Way of the Cross' as the text. At each station, we have a focus and start with prayer as a symbolism of community."

The journey is meant to symbolize Jesus Christ's final hours on earth, providing a path to salvation through his sacrifice.

Johnson said those "in the faith and who are wondering about faith" are welcome on the journey through the village.

"We'll have different stops at churches and local organizations like the fire department and Faith Fellowship office," she said. "At each location, we have a brief time of reflection, responsive reading and a song that we sing. We walk in silence in between each place, and we carry a large wooden cross."

She said the event isn't hurried as it's meant to be a time of reflection.

At the Church of the Ascension, Johnson said, the group will talk about Jesus being condemned.

"Then the next station, it will be about Jesus carrying his cross," Johnson said. "We reflect on what we heard in between each station, and the 14th station is when Jesus is buried."

She said "The Way of the Cross" is an opportunity to come together as a community to prepare for that resurrection day.

It lasts about 90 minutes and ends where it started -- at the village offices.

"If we don't understand Good Friday, the resurrection isn't as sweet," Johnson said.

A Johnstown couple who provided the cross that's used in the event are Al and Karen Norman, members of the United Methodist Church.

Johnson said the late Ed Kinney had a tree on property off state Route 37 that he wanted taken down.

"Ed knew we cut down trees and the money went to the missions of the Johnstown United Methodist Church," she said.

"We cut up part of it, and Al said, 'What do you think of it?' I said it would make a beautiful cross. That's how the cross came about. We've used it ever since."

She said Kinney's tree was sycamore.

"The reason we chose it was because it was unusual wood-sycamore," Mrs. Norman said. "We left it natural."

She estimates the cross weighs 200 to 210 pounds.

"It takes at least two adults and one child to carry it," she said. "It's a wonderful feeling. It's a touch you normally wouldn't have."

In the event's approximately eight years, as many as 100 people have participated, Mrs. Norman said.

"There have been all age groups and pastors of many churches who have taken the walk," she said. "It has been an ongoing experience."

Johnson said anyone and everyone is invited to participate.

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