ROCK SPRINGS — Downtown Rock Springs will once again be turned into a pilgrimage site on this coming Holy Thursday, April 14. 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 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), Fr. Marcelo Florante (Associate Pastor-Holy Spirit Catholic Church), Fr. Flo (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), and Pastor Gene Emerson (Restoration Ministries).
“We are hoping for a good turnout of pilgrimage participants from different denominations representing the Rock Springs faith community,” said Chad Banks, Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency manager. “The event is open to people of all faiths or no particular faith.”
The Rock Springs Main Street/URA is helping to promote the Downtown pilgrimage march. The annual event began in 2017. The event was cancelled 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 fifth annual Holy Thursday Downtown Interfaith Pilgrimage off the ground.
“We expect the event to be highly successful in this fifth 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.”
“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,” Murray said.
Further information about the event is available by contacting Paul Murray at 389-5351 or the URA at 352-1434.