Stations of the Cross: Year 1

5 03 2012

As we gear up for our third annual Stations of the Cross worship service, I thought I’d take a look back at what we’ve done in previous years.  During the first year (2010), we simply started with the question, “Where would Jesus go if he lived in Bossier City, Louisiana?”  And so we found modern-day parallels for the events in the Gospel of Matthew: Mardi Gras parades symbolized the original palm parade, and the parsonage served as our “Upper Room.”  Along the way we passed out both Mardi Gras beads and Fig Newtons.

The highlight of the evening: we  colluded with the city marshal (also a member of the church) to stage the arrest of one of the youth counselors.  It was all great fun until the police cars pulled up, and we realized, for the first time, how everything might look to other people in the park. Our buses were in the parking lot with our church’s name plastered across the side, but to my knowledge, no one ever called the church to inquire. (And since we had already been to the pastor’s house that night, he was in on the stunt!)

The “arrested” youth counselor was a high school teacher, and some of our kids posted information about the evening to their facebook statuses … long story short, she ended up in the principal’s office the next morning.  Fortunately, her principal has a good sense of humor and actually commended her for making the story of Jesus more exciting for young people!

Here’s our template for the evening, complete with Scriptures, readings, and materials/set-up information.  Feel free to use and adapt for your own context…and let me know how it goes!

Download here: 2010 Stations of the Cross


5 03 2012

Jesus is nailed to the cross: photo and art by Scott Erickson

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

– Romans 12:1

Scott Erickson, artist-in-residence at Ecclesia Church in Houston, recently designed a set of 10 tattoos corresponding with various Stations of the Cross. Chris Seay, Ecclesia’s pastor, joined more than 75 congregation members in getting one of the tattoos as part of their Lenten observance this year.

Now, I’m not a tattoo person at all, but I kind of love this.  This project has brought together an ancient liturgical practice with a new, urban art form…and has done so in an incredibly tasteful, creative, and beautiful way.  In his write-up of the gallery opening, Erickson mentioned that “about 30 of the tatooees showed up and were the actual living ‘Stations of the Cross.'”  It gives an entirely new meaning to the idea of what it means to “live out” your witness! (Click here to see all of his designs…they’re so neat!!)

Another Weird Moment in Youth Ministry

24 03 2010

This afternoon, I arranged to have one of my youth counselors arrested.  And I couldn’t be more excited about it!

This isn’t what is sounds like, actually.  On Sunday night, we’re going to have a Progressive Worship Service that will trace the Stations of the Cross all over the city.  And I found out today that the city marshal goes to our church!  So he’s agreed to come out and arrest one of our youth counselors, which will be representative of Jesus’ arrest.  (Don’t worry — if this goes well, I will definitely be posting pictures!)

The weird thing was, as I explained to my mom, I really did feel a little bit like Judas must have as he conspired against his friend.  I was telling the marshal, “Her name is ……  She looks like …. And you can come arrest her at this time, in this place.”

Did I mention that I have the coolest job ever?