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Connellsville Area Ministerial Association organizes Palm Sunday March

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By Nancy Henry
Friday, March 30, 2012

The Palm Sunday March organized each year by Connellsville Area Ministerial Association will be held Sunday. The traditional route will be followed.

"This is an opportunity for Connellsville Christians, regardless of denomination, to come together to celebrate Jesus. We gather and march in from the four corners of our community -- City Church in the north, Immaculate Conception on the east, those across the bridge on the west, and the south including the Presbyterian, Calvary Assembly of God and others -- joining together at Lions Square to sing and worship," said the Rev. Suzanne B. Zampella of the Presbyterian Church.

The group that gathers at the Presbyterian Church starts marching at 12:15 p.m. The other groups start marching at 12:30 p.m.

"Participants have called the march a glorious and uplifting experience. The sight of our local congregations, people of all ages, walking then joining together to celebrate the resurrection of Christ is truly a moving and spiritual thing. Children and adults together waving palms to honor our Lord -- it is a wonderful time for everyone. Those who have been a part of it once try to participate each following year," said Pastor Don Smith of World Christian Outreach Ministries.

Wesley United Methodist Church will be participating in the annual Palm Sunday March, meeting in front of the church to join those marching from the Presbyterian Church and joining with that group to continue to Lions Square, said Judy Haines of Wesley UMC.

"A good majority of the churches in our area participate. The turnout greatly depends on the weather. Nicer weather brings out more people, but we usually have 75-125 people marching," said Pastor Matt Goldsberry of Calvary Assembly of God Church.

The march begins just as worshipers are leaving morning services, Goldsberry said.

"The individual churches meet in the center of town at Pittsburgh and Crawford. We then walk together to Lions Square. It's wonderful that this still takes place. I think this is a great way the community of churches can represent the One Church of Christ as we claim Hosanna," said Goldsberry.

At Lions Square the pastors introduce themselves and say something brief. There is not one featured speaker.

"It's about singing praise to Him who comes in the name of the Lord," said Zampella.

The service should start at about 12:40 p.m., depending on how quickly the marchers arrive. It lasts approximately 35-45 minutes. Everyone in the community is invited to join in the march at any point as it proceeds.

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