Holy Thursday Downtown Interfaith Pilgrimage set for April 6
Downtown Rock Springs will once again be turned into a pilgrimage site on this coming Holy Thursday, April 6. Occasionally called Maundy Thursday in some church denominations, Holy Thursday is the day before Good Friday and is three days before Easter, and it is commemorated by many different Christian groups as the day of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his apostles.
The Holy Thursday Downtown Interfaith Pilgrimage is scheduled to begin at 12 noon in front of the Broadway Theatre at 618 Broadway in Downtown Rock Springs, and is expected to last approximately one hour. During the ecumenical event, pastors from different area churches will process with pilgrimage participants from various denominations to different Downtown sites, including the police station and Rock Springs City Hall, to provide a brief Scripture reading, a brief prayer, and a short reflection lasting a few minutes at each stop. Police will assist participants to safely cross streets, as there will be no blocking off city streets for the pilgrimage event. The final stop will be at the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency headquarters at 603 South Main Street. Confirmed participants this year include Rev. Kelly Lucas (First Congregational Church/United Church of Christ), Lee Noel, seminarian-in-residence (Holy Spirit Catholic Community), Rev. Jim Chrisawn (United Methodist Church), Rev. Levi Powers (Mount of Olives Lutheran Church), Pastor Richard P. Carlson (Rock Springs Evangelical Free Church), Pastor Gene Emerson (Restoration Ministries), and Rev. Bernadine Craft (Holy Communion Episcopal).
“We are hoping for a good turnout of pilgrimage participants from different denominations representing the Rock Springs faith community,” said Chad Banks, head of the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency. “The event is open to people of all faiths or no particular faith,” Banks added. The Rock Springs Main Street/URA is helping to promote the Downtown pilgrimage march. The annual event began in 2017. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus but was renewed in 2021.
Banks expressed appreciation for the clergy who have agreed to provide sermonettes. Pastors of over 30 local churches were invited, and several have expressed interest in helping to give brief reflections at the stopping sites. The entire event is designed so that people on their noon lunch breaks from work can attend, along with others who have the day free.
Rock Springs Main Street/URA Arts & Culture volunteer committee member Paul Murray has done much of the legwork in getting the sixth annual Holy Thursday Downtown Interfaith Pilgrimage off the ground.
“We expect the event to be highly successful in this sixth year,” Murray said. “The Holy Thursday Downtown Pilgrimage is a simple, reflective way to begin the holiest weekend on the Christian calendar. Participating pastors and pilgrims walking to the different sites will have a reflective, thought-provoking opportunity to consider how the Scriptures relate to everyday life in Downtown Rock Springs. This is not intended to be a big mega-type production, taking a lot of time and effort on anyone’s part. It’s meant to be a simple reflection service at each stop which will give participants a better understanding of the interconnectedness between Scripture and Rock Springs,” Murray said, adding, “We wanted to think of an event that would cater to anyone interested, including people who will be out of town on Easter weekend from Good Friday onward. We felt, however, that it would be jumping the gun to schedule an Easter Egg Hunt on Holy Thursday.”
Further information about the event is available by contacting Paul Murray at 389-5351 or the URA at 352-1434.
EVERYBODY C’MON AND ENJOY!!!!
The Rock Springs Main Street/URA is charged with the redevelopment of Downtown Rock Springs. As part of their mission, there is an Arts & Culture standing committee. Main Street/URA events throughout the year are intended to draw people Downtown with the goal of attracting attention to the many fine stores, restaurants, and businesses that Downtown Rock Springs has to offer. For more information on the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency, contact Chad Banks, Rock Springs Main Street/URA Manager.
“We want to see people coming Downtown to shop, eat, and do business,” Banks said. “These types of events such as Holy Thursday, Blues & Brews, the Halloween Stroll and so on are meant to get people to visit Downtown Rock Springs. We need to get the word out that shopping or eating on Dewar Drive or going to Salt Lake City are not the only options that people have. Without these kinds of events, some local folks would never visit Downtown and have a chance to discover what’s there.”
Murray echoed Banks’s sentiments and added a few of his own. “The Holy Thursday Pilgrimage is meant to attract people to Downtown who might never come to an art festival, a farmer’s market, or a Brown Bag Lunch Concert, as well, of course, to attract those who do,” Murray said. “We realize that there is a wide diversity of interests among the Rock Springs community, and we are trying to have one or more events that will attract as many people as we can to our Downtown. And, hopefully once they see all that’s here, they will come back to Downtown often.”