Ecological Stations of the Cross

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Tanker in the Burrard Inlet near the proposed end of the Kinder Morgan Transmountain pipeline

This liturgical resource was assembled by members of Salal + Cedar (www.salalandcedar.com) and Earthkeepers (www.theearthkeepers.org) two Christian environmental groups on Coast Salish Territory, lower mainland British Columbia who host an Ecological Stations of the Cross each year during Holy Week. Stations of the Cross are a Good Friday tradition of prayer and contemplation on images depicting the events from the time that Jesus is sentenced to death to his burial. We walk outdoors at a site slated for the expansion of a tar-sands bearing pipeline and draw connections between Jesus’ suffering and the suffering and betrayal of creation. The traditional passion narrative from John (18:1-19:42) moves from the betrayal and arrest in the garden to Jesus’ burial. Our stations include action, poetry, song and contemplation when we read from John we use the word Judeans (a more accurate and less anti-semetic translation) instead of “the Jews.”  Themes include: repentance, culpability, betrayal, complicity, empire, suffering, compassion, power/powerlessness, death, lament, longing despair, hope and hopelessness, outrage.

Coast Salish Territory
Water Station (overlook)

Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters. Isaiah 55:1

And Jesus, knowing that all was now finished said, “I thirst.” John 19:28

Here where Fraser River, the Sto:lo, flows into the Salish Sea, where parts of our region are temperate rainforest, our reservoirs are full and we consign gallons of clean drinking water to the sewers with every flush –we can forget, or even ignore, those who thirst. Continue reading

Good Friday in Detroit: It’s a Sad Day

imageToday, the Detroit Peace Community walked the Stations of the Cross through the city as it does each year, led by the question: Where is Jesus being crucified in this time and place? Were a station written to represent each injustice that has Detroit in its grip at this moment, we would be walking for weeks rather than a mere three hours on Good Friday afternoon.
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Stations of the Cross through the Streets of Detroit

good fridaysI learned the liturgical year as a child by where we put our bodies. Mondays in Advent were spent at Williams International where they were making cruise missiles and Good Friday was spent walking the streets of Detroit. This walk has been happening since before I was born and I’ve walked it every year of my life. As a community, we spend Lent thinking about where we see the Cross today. Where is crucifixion happening today. Then together on Good Friday, we name it out loud by taking our bodies and a wooden cross to those places.

This year when we think about the Crucifixion we are thinking about the poor being pushed out to make way for gentrification. We are thinking about water shut offs and privitized education system. We are thinking about drones and black lives matter. Today, hundreds of us join together reading these words together. We invite you to join us in reading a couple of them here.

– Lydia Wylie-Kellermann Continue reading