Stations of the Cross in store windows

[Episcopal Diocese of West Texas] A few years ago, the Rev. Bur Dobbins, rector of Church of the Annunciation, Luling, read a newspaper article about the Stations of the Cross being read on the London Underground. An artist had designed a booklet to read the 14 Stations of the Cross as the subway traveled from station to station. With that memory, this year, it occurred to Dobbins that the people of Annunciation could place the Stations of the Cross down the busiest street in Luling (East Davis St. – the street with the popular City Market Bar-B-Q).

So, in store windows along East Davis Street, 14 stations have been placed. Each station is marked by an image on an 11×17 piece of paper. Dobbins places meditation booklets outside on benches lining the businesses each morning during this Holy Week. The booklets contain the picture representing each station, a reflection, and Scripture.

“It is amazing how supportive the business owners were of the project, even if they had never heard about the Stations of the Cross. The same thing was true for the Luling Ministerial Alliance, though many do not observe this tradition in their churches,” said Dobbins. He first presented the idea to the alliance before approaching the businesses along East Davis St.

Everyone in the community is invited to walk these stations alone or with friends. The path will lead one to pray at the second station in front of the China Palace, pause at the sixth station in front of an antique store, or read a reflection at the twelfth station in front of Melinda’s Beauty Works. The congregation’s prayer is that during the ordinary part of someone’s day, they will glance at a window and see a Station of the Cross, and pause for a moment.

“Imagine seeing a drawing with the words ‘Jesus Falls a Second Time.’ Hopefully, this would cause anyone to stop and give thanks for Christ’s sacrifices for us,” said Dobbins.

On Good Friday at noon, people in Luling will gather in front of the first station and walk the Stations of the Cross together.

This is the first year to hit the streets with the Stations of the Cross, and the church hopes it will become a tradition that impacts the lives of the people in their community.

– Laura Shaver is communications officer for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. The Rev. Bur Dobbins, rector of Church of the Annunciation, Luling, contributed to this story.

 

Photo: Station 5 in the window of Suzanne’s Designs (flower shop), “Simon helps Jesus to carry his cross.”

 

Comments

  1. Ron Hall says:

    A great deal more sensible than ashes to go in my opinion.

  2. Grace Cangialosi says:

    I don’t know that either one would necessarily be considered “sensible,” or if that would even matter. What I do know is that it’s becoming more and more important for the church to get out and meet people where they are, rather than waiting for them to come to us.

  3. I love this idea, but would love to take it a step further too, hoping and praying for next year for our town… asking stores to give us display space (Wed. – Sun. – take down Mon. a.m.) to have 3-D installations of the different stations put up, and asking our Delavan Churches, who would want to join in, to take one or two of the stations and provide that installation. (The installations could be table top size, or even full size, depending on the spaces the stores would allow us to have) I’d think, this would be a draw, not only for Christ, and a great Christian message, but also to the downtown businesses! *saving this idea!!*

  4. Peter E Hull says:

    I grew up believing that “whenever you drive into a new town, the Episcopal church can always be recognized right away because it’s always the best looking.” Well, not always maybe. And now, as an Episcopalian, I wonder if it isn’t our wonderful old church buildings that put people off. I recently moved to a new city, away from a much-loved, Spirit-filled cathedral church, with an interior that truly aids in lifting minds and hearts to God; but its exterior is, as a Presbyterian friend once described it, forbidding. A future son-in-law’s first experience of attending an Episcopal church was a Christmas Midnight Eucharist when the choirmaster decided the excellent choir would sing only obscure carols that struck me as obscure for good reason. Lots of dissonant notes and minor keys–for Christmas! He could hardly wait to get the dickins out of there. His next experience with the Episcopal Church was his own wedding, under the direction of a usually nice woman so disagreeable and controlling they dubbed the Wedding Nazi. It was a long time before he was gently coaxed back for a third look at the Church. He is now a devout Episcopalian, but it took years to undo the damage to his perception of who we are. At another wedding with a groom of Arabic extraction, the “wedding Nazis” on duty made sneering comments about the ladies’ dresses. I was five or six pews away, and I could hear every word.
    Not much need to worry about evangelizing “those kind” of people. I invited a disaffected Roman Catholic friend, a university dean, to the Easter Vigil service one year, and the music was so loud she had to leave. People do complain, but it falls on ears that really are going deaf. Nothing changes. Small dysfunctions like this in otherwise healthy congregations have and will continue to barricade the masses from the Episcopal Church until we recognize these barriers where they exist and get them fixed.
    So–I think this is a brilliant idea. We need to be more public and we need to put our case forward: We don’t claim to be infallible, but the Anglican Communion is a positive, authentic, and lived experience of Christ present in the Eucharist and in all of us. I find the Stations of the Cross a powerful experience of being present to Christ as best I can because he was abandoned by His disciples. “I wouldn’t have run,” I want to say; but I remember Peter’s three denials and find myself searching for my own ways of denying my Lord that need repentance. I say let’s offer public stations I can see this working not only downtown, but also at rest stops for travelers who need to get out and stretch and don’t have anything else to do after the restroom–maybe they’d wander down to see what’s going on where those people seem to be up to something.. States would have to give permission, I suppose. I vote YES!

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