Prayer to end violence in Homewood is at the heart of a Good Friday march organized by House of Manna. This is the second Prayer 4 Peace march. Last year's drew about 200 people.
The Rev. Eugene Blackwell, pastor of House of Manna, described it as "an intentional community prayer in silence led by the young people of Homewood on one of the most holy days on the global Christian calendar. This will create a unique manifestation of God's presence, knowing that individual prayer is powerful, but in a group setting we can move mountains."
House of Manna is a mission congregation of Pittsburgh Presbytery, with a focus on young people. Its motto is "putting the neighbor back in the 'hood." It meets on Fridays at 6 p.m. in the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum
Marchers are are asked to gather in front of Westinghouse High School, 101 North Murtland St., on Friday April 22 at 9:30 a.m. There will be organized prayer before the march begins. . . . .
Meanwhile Downtown, the 16th annual Way of the Cross/Way of Compassion will process past various buildings where workers have great responsibility for peace, justice and care for the poor and vulnerable. The two-hour march is sponsored by the Catholic peace and justice group Pax Christi, but it ecumenical in nature. Marchers are asked to bring a cross inscribed with a peace and justice issue that is important to them, and a collection will be taken to benefit the Jubilee Soup Kitchen.
Participants use "prayer, song and silence to commemorate Christ's passion as it is lived out in our world today," said organizer Mimi Darragh. Because Good Friday is also Earth Day this year, the theme is "Christ's Passion and Death: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor."
Marchers will gather at 8:45 a.m. at Freedom Corner (Centre Ave. at Crawford St. in the lower Hill District). Stops along the way will include the Federal Building, the Federal Courthouse, the Allegheny County Jail and the riverside bike trail (to pray for environmental concerns). The march will end at Epiphany Catholic Church, Centre Ave. at Washington Place, Uptown.
At the Open Door Church, which meets in the Union Project, 801 N. Negley Ave., Highland Park, the annual Good Friday stations of the cross art exhibit has been created from recycled materials in order to honor the coincidence with Earth Day. They saw a tie-in between the crucifixion of Jesus and giving new purpose to discarded materials.
"We connected the death and spiritual renewal of Good Friday and Easter with the hope of earthly renewal implicit in Earth Day and the resurrection of old materials," said Bernie Wilkie, the co-curator.
The artworks, including painting, sculpture and prints, comprise 14 stations of the cross. The exhibit isn't juried, but is intended to encourage contemplation and artistic response to Jesus' suffering and death. This is the seventh year for the exhibit.
It's open Friday April 22, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday April 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Open Door Church was founded as a mission of Bellefield Presbyterian Church, Oakland. Integration of the arts with worship and simple living has been part of the church since its inception.