Thanks to Jessica Anschutz for sharing this Great Idea through the Lewis Center for Church Leadership.
New Paltz United Methodist Church (NPUMC) needed something fresh and invigorating last Lent and decided to combine the Lenten scripture and stories of Jesus’ final days with their social justice work.
Inspired by Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism and Kelly Brown Douglas’ Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God the congregation set about creating interactive banners – and opportunities to do the work each banner encouraged.
Used to writing their own liturgies, the congregation worked as individuals or in pairs to create a new station every few days throughout Lent. A team of artists turned the liturgical work into outdoor banners to share with the entire community.
They continued the practice from Easter to Pentecost – this time with resurrection banners depicting hope and the emergence of God’s kin-dom.
The article includes helpful tips for implementing the idea in your community, along with fuller information on New Paltz UMC’s efforts.
Our Openings for Stations of the Cross may provide your intergenerational group with a study and story-telling format that opens up the story of Jesus’ final hours in new ways. You might replace each Activity in the Openings curriculum with a search for news stories – about local, regional, national, or global individuals or communities whose stories parallel the stories shared for each Station. Turn those stories into your Stations of the Cross as suggested by New Paltz and the Openings curriculum.