Twice as a church we have set-up Stations of the Cross in someone’s house and walked them together (not like a stranger’s house cause that would be awkward but in the home of someone in our community.) I have found this to be a meaningful experience so when I heard through the grapevine that Pineridge House Church in Calgary, AB does an outdoor Stations of the Cross I wanted to know more – so I called Pastor Dan Jansen to get the scoop.
For the past nine years the Pineridge House community has gathered for worship in the Jansen home and only recently did they relocate Sunday morning to a Boys and Girls Club two blocks away because they outgrew their living room. As Dan shared, “We never wanted to go to a building. We hoped we would stay on top of the growth and keep planting churches. We have planted Okotoks but we still can’t all fit in the house anymore.” Not a bad problem to have really.
This year as Easter approached Dan began thinking about the Stations of Cross which for the past nine years happened in their yard on Easter Sunday. The thoughts included should we do stations this year? Should we set them up in the new location? Should we do it on Good Friday instead?
The voice of the people (including Dan’s four daughters) was heard loud and clear. Don’t change a thing. This tradition has meaning for the Pineridge House community so they plan to gather at their new location to share a meal and then make their way over to the Jansen home to walk the Stations of the Cross on Easter Sunday morning.
Participants travel from station to station with a booklet that includes a bible passage and reflection. Most of the stations are interactive and have included painting a red mark on a door frame, lifting a 110 pound cross and hammering a nail into a cross. The following is a list of the stations Dan has set up the past couple of years.
Station 1: The Passover
Station 2: The Lord’s Supper – the new Passover
Station 3: Gethsemane
Station 4: Jesus Carries the Cross
Station 5: The Crucifixion
Station 6 The Resurrection:
Of course I made the mistake of mentioning to our Stations of the Cross organizer that Dan places a heavy canvas cloth in front of a door to represent the cave and now our Dan (Rev. Sheffield) has all seventeen of us cramming into a tiny, dark, cave-like space to pause and reflect. I joke but I’m really looking forward to walking our Stations of the Cross on Good Friday as it powerfully leads me to think about Jesus’ sacrifice, his immeasurable love and his great gift to me.