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Connellsville Ministerial Association preparing for Holy Week

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By Nancy Henry
Sunday, March 17, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

Connellsville Area Community Ministries is preparing for Holy Week.

CACM will start the observance of Holy Week on Sunday with its traditional Palm Sunday march.

“Palm Sunday march is exciting because we all come out of our various church buildings and walk the streets of Connellsville proclaiming the message of Christ,” said the Rev. Matt Goldsberry, pastor of Calvary Assembly of God. Church attendees exit their churches from every direction in the community to join together and proceed on Crawford Avenue to Lions Square, which the program kicks off about 12:30 p.m.

“The Palm Sunday march is a time that the people of the churches in the city come together. The march signifies the triumphal march of Jesus entering Jerusalem. We show our unity by coming together and the march signifies physically what is happening spiritually.”

Everyone is welcome to participate and join in the program at Lions Square.

“If they don't want to march they can drive to Lions Square, park nearby and sit down there in the square,” said the Rev. Don Smith, pastor of World Christian Outreach Ministries and CAMA president.

The CAMA will hold a Good Friday (March 29) service noon to 3 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church, located at 711 S. Pittsburgh St.

“On Good Friday various pastors will be participating in the program that prepares us for Resurrection Sunday,” Smith said.

Each pastor will speak about 15 minutes on one of the last sayings of Christ. The meditations will be interspersed with hymns and special music. People are welcome to come for whatever portion of the service they can attend, said the Rev. Suzanne B. Zampella, pastor of the Presbyterian Church.

The church organist is Marilee C. McFadden. The speakers and their portion of the service are:

• “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” the Rev. Raymond Hill of Otterbein United Methodist Church

• “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise,” the Rev. Jim Turnbull, Christian Missionary Alliance

• “Woman, behold your Son; behold your mother,” the Rev. Matt Goldsberry, Calvary Assembly of God

• “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” the Rev. Will Hough, First Baptist Church

• “I thirst,” the Rev. Chris Stillwell, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

• “It is finished,” the Rev. Herb Dubler, Lutheran Church

• “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit,” the Rev. Don Smith, World Christian Outreach Ministries

“I really appreciate that as a community, an event like Good Friday draws us together. We're able to put aside our various denominations, particular churches and just come together and really grab hold of the true meaning of Good Friday. It's a most amazing thing that in this day and age of seemingly being drawn apart from each other we can gather and draw near to each other. Good Friday seems like a paradox in terms when you think of what Christ went through, the last thing you would think to call it would be Good Friday, but the reality of it is, because of what Christ accomplished on the cross, through all the suffering and all the pain, for all believers it is Good Friday.”

There is a ramp at the back of the church for handicapped accessibility.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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