Mark­ing Je­sus’ jour­ney

An­nual Gor­don Trek of the Cross sched­uled for to­day

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - Front Page - BY ERIC PEDDIGREE COPY EDI­TOR eped­di­gree@ re­pub­li­can­her­ald. com 570- 628- 6003

T he mes­sage of Good Fri­day will be told through the streets of Gor­don for the 39th time to­day. The an­nual Trek of the Cross will be­gin at 12: 30 p. m. at Simp­son United Methodist Church, 119 E. Bid­dle St. It will move east on Bid­dle Street, turn left onto Ho­bart Street and move to McKnight Street. Then it re­turns to Bid­dle Street, stop­ping at the church for a Good Fri­day ser­vice at 1 p. m. by the pas­tor, the Rev. Ti­mothy Christ­man. The pub­lic is in­vited to walk along the route.

Jef­frey Nemeth, Frackville, will por­tray Je­sus for the eighth time. He is the great- nephew of RoseYost, whose hus­band, Elmer, started the trek in 1979. ElmerYost played Je­sus for the first 10 years. He had planned to do it for 12 years— one year for each apos­tle— but shortly after his 10th trek, he passed away. His nephew, Ed­ward La­bie, took over the role in 1989. In­what was sup­posed to be a two- year stint to com­plete Elmer’s 12 years, La­bie con­tin­ued the tra­di­tion un­til 2009, when he passed it over to his nephew, Nemeth.

Rose said Nemeth plans to keep the tra­di­tion in the fam­ily and pass it on to his son, who is 8 years old.

With it be­ing a fam­ily af­fair, Yost said the trek’s longevity is a nod to her late hus­band.

“It’s re­ally a trib­ute to him,” she said.

Yost, 83, plans to walk the trek this year. She said she has par­tic­i­pated in ev­ery trek ex­cept one.

Yost said the trek has lasted for al­most four decades be­cause peo­ple still want to hear its mes­sage. She said her hus­band wanted to get thatmes­sage of Je­sus’ pas­sion to peo­ple­who couldn’t leave the house to get to church.

“I think it’s a tra­di­tion for the town… That­was the mes­sage, to get the GoodFri­day mes­sage to peo­ple who could not get out,” Yost said.

Yost said many peo­plewill come out to re­ceive that mes­sage, es­pe­cially if theweather is nice.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice, mostly sunny skies are ex­pected to­day with tem­per­a­tures in the mid- 60s with a calm wind.

DAVID MCKE­OWN/ STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Jef­frey Nemeth, Frackville, cen­ter, por­trayed Je­sus Christ with Daulton Smith, left, and Tan­ner Smith, both of Gor­don, por­tray­ing Ro­man guards dur­ing last year’s Trek of the Cross in Gor­don. This year’s event will be­gin at 12: 30 p. m. to­day. TOP: Jef­frey Nemeth Jr., Frackville, was part of last year’s pro­ces­sion.

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