Following Jesus’ path
40th annual trek set for today in Gordon
C ome, all ye faithful, to the ruby anniversary of a procession commemorating the death of Jesus Christ. The 40th annual Trek of the Cross will be held at 12: 30 p. m. today, Good Friday, beginning at Simpson United Methodist Church, 119 Biddle St., Gordon, according to Timothy Christman, the church’s pastor. Following the procession, a sanctuary service will be held at 1 p. m. at the church, he said.
“The Trek of the Cross … is a recreation of the crossbearing of Christ from Jerusalem to Calvary. The goal is to visually recreate that and also serve as a reminder,” Christman said.
Hesaid it is interesting tosome degree to seesomepeople dressupin period costumes or as peasant folks.
“We remember, aswe noted this past Lord’s day onPalm Sunday, the triumphal entry, that this is the week inwhich there are two processions: the jubilant, triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem with hosannas, and then of course, later in the HolyWeek, another procession, a forced deathmarch if you will, fromtheVia Dolorosa to Calvary, where he took upon the sins of theworld,” Christman said about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The trek is set to go down Biddle Street, turning onto Hobart Street, then to McKnight Street back to Biddle. Two other parishes of bygone days on either side of Biddle used to formthe shape of a cross on the route, Christman said.
Despite fewer churches in Gordon, the borough has still been helpful, Christman said, and remains an ideal place to hold the trek.
“It’s very suitable because it’s rather flat, no major highways, the borough provides for us with fire police and traffic control,” he said. “Truck’s don’t come much toGordon anymore,” Christman joked.
And in the event’s 40 years, it’s only been plagued twice byweather events, heavy snowand torrential rain, according to newspaper archives. Either way, a servicewill followand bring the community together, Christman said.
“It’s a good time for the community to gather to remember the cross, Christ and the community of faith,” he said, adding that it’s a good day for “peoplewho are a part of other congregations, during the Lord’s day, to gather.”
The event’s history dates back to 1979, when Elmer Yost, Allentown — a regular visitor to Gordon— decided to pick up a cross and walk through the streets portraying Jesus Christ, all alone. As the years picked up, so did the participants, according to archives.
After the 10th trek— Yost planned to do 12, one for every Apostle— he passed away, and his nephew, Edward Labie, picked up where he left off.
After Labie’s two planned treks to fulfill his uncle’s mission turned into 21, he gave up the cross to his nephew, Jeffrey Nemeth, who has taken on the role since 2010, according to newspaper archives. Contact the writer: dprosick@ republicanherald. com; 570- 628- 6002
Jeffrey Nemeth, Frackville, portrayed Jesus Christ during last year’s Trek of the Cross. This year’s procession will be begin at 12: 30 p. m. today from Simpson United Methodist Church, Gordon.