Fourteen churches will set up for the fifth-annual Stations Through the Square event. Stations Through the Square brings to life the story of Jesus’ death on the cross. Using the scriptural Stations of the Cross, there will be 14 stops along the way put together by various local churches.
“As far as I know, there is nothing else exactly like Stations Through the Square,” said Chad Karl, organizer of the event. “It is amazing to see so many different churches come together on such a special day in the Christian faith. There are three things that make it special and unique, multiple churches working together, being outside and visible to all and being a tangible way to relate to the story.”
According to Karl, attendees’ motivation and actions vary in many ways. Many families walk together and use the stations as a way to explain the story to children. Some people come from other cities because they heard about it from a friend. Some people who belong to one of the stationed churches walk it after they have helped with their own station. Some people walk it alone in silence. Some come for the first time while others have made it a tradition.
Participating churches this year include Lebanon First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, West Haven Baptist Church, West Hills Baptist Church, College Hills Church of Christ, Love’s Way Church, Lebanon First Baptist Church, Pickett-Rucker United Methodist Church, Next Step Resource Center, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, Cross Style Church of the Nazarene and Generations of Grace Church.
“The first year, I felt the call to try and put this together instead of giving something up for Lent and was blessed to receive help from many willing churches,” Karl said. “This entire event was originally planned and put together with a huge leap of faith during the 40 days of Lent. It was not as organized as it is now, and the original path was a little longer. We have tried to grow it and make improvements over the years. Each year, it has grown to include more host churches and more attendees. This year is West Hills Baptist Church’s first year participating, and it will host station four.”
According to Karl, many of the 14 scriptural stations tie present day Lebanon to ancient Jerusalem in special ways. At station 1, walkers will pray in a prayer garden at Lebanon First United Methodist Church like
Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. At station 9, Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, and this is tied in to Brooks House, which is a local ministry for abused women and children. Station 11 covers Jesus’ promise of his kingdom to the thief. This is across from the Wilson County Jail, and Next Step Resource Center, a ministry for former inmates, will run the station. Station 14, where Jesus laid in the tomb, will be at Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home. Additionally, the path that is walked forms the shape of a cross.
Karl said it’s simple for people to take part in Stations Through the Square. It is a free event, and no reservations are needed. All participants have to do is show up at Lebanon First United Methodist Church at 415 W. Main St., between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Good Friday. Volunteers will greet participants, explain things and give a handout that has a map with a copy of the scriptures for all 14 stations.
It is about a two-mile walk, so comfortable shoes are suggested, and since it is mostly outside, dress accordingly. For questions or more information, contact Karl at 615-686-0011 or [email protected] or find the Stations Through the Square page on Facebook.