A Pilgrimage of Hope A congregational Art instAllation at First United methodist Church of ann arbor

Walking the Stations of the Cross, or “praying” them, is a traditional spiritual practice among Christians. It is a practice that has evolved so people anywhere could symbolically go on “pilgrimage” to the Holy Land and tap into the power of the location and the events that happened there. Walking the Stations of the Cross is a public spiritual practice that includes prayer, reflection and meditation. It calls us to remember Jesus, and the hopeless journey he made to the cross, only to finish it in the joy of resurrection. We consider as well how that joy of resurrection is our gift from God, and our privilege to corporate into our lives and our interactions with the world. By entering the story of Jesus’ last day through art, we reflect on the Passion with our senses, our experiences, and our emotions.

Pilgrimages can be made for many reasons – people make pilgrimages to Graceland to find Elvis, they travel to Mecca to find Allah, they travel to complete a task, as Frodo does in Lord of the Rings. To decide to make a pilgrimage presumes intentionality – you decide to make the journey because you have the desire to be renewed. In our recent past, there has been little renewal in our lives – turmoil in our government, violence in multiple mass shootings, racism and sexism abounding, and turbulent weather systems that have created homelessness and the massive task of rebuilding. Where do we find hope? Can we enact hope?

The Stations represent a pilgrimage that begins in hopelessness, but ends in hope realized by the resurrection. The message of love and grace shown in Jesus emerges from a place of violence and suffering. In early 2018, members of our congregation created stations of hope out of this same story, using the Scripture connected with each station as a launch point for ideas. We considered times in our lives, or in our collective experience, when hope appeared out of hopelessness and considered, how do these times connect with the Passion story? How can we express that in a work of art? The result was a journey shared by the entire congregation.

Scriptural Stations of the Cross

STATION 1: Sorrow

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-41)  + Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

O Holy God, You stand with me in hard times. You understand what it is to wrestle with fear and apprehension. How I thank you, Holy One for who you are, for how you are with me always, and how you grant me your grace day after day. Amen.

Adele Roy, on behalf of the FUMC staff

Jesus in Anguish/Oil painting

In February, I used our weekly staff worship time to have everyone participate in a Lectio Divina exercise around Matthew 26:36-41. With vivid detail, emotional responses bubbled up: sorrow, distress, disappointment, avoidance, anguish, fear, terror, grief, transformation, and impending death. Alongside these already oversized feelings came numerous visual images: the Garden, trees, the earth, darkness, night sky, friends, tears, and the cup. This piece of scripture was packed with inspiration. After sketching in as many elements as possible, part of my process was to strip away, so as to focus attention. I wanted the viewer to be right down on the ground with Jesus as he wrestled in the Garden. Jesus’ feet are crossed in preparation for his crucifixion; his hands form a cup for his face -- he is to be the sacrifice. An olive branch with 12 leaves hangs over his head, anointing him for the journey ahead as the day begins to dawn in the distance. The gravitas is clear -- moments later Jesus will stand up and bear this impossible responsibility on our behalf.

Shonagh Taruza

"You, What Do You Want?" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

Shonagh was inspired to create paintings for ALL of the stations in our Pilgrimage of Hope project!

Jesus was a Jew living under the reign of the powerful Roman Empire. He was a non-citizen, a religious and ethnic minority, lower class, poor, at the time of his death his mother was a single mother, and his people were despised by the Roman authorities, oppressed, and persecuted. The culture at the time was highly patriarchal, hierarchical, autocratic and was set up to enrich and protect the privileged class and the powerful rulers. The poorer classes were heavily taxed and had no voice or representation. Dissention was not permitted and those who dared were brutally executed. Jesus was countercultural. He turned the rules of the reigning empire upside down and taught a different perspective, a different way of living and relating to each other. He called this the kingdom of God. He preached radical acceptance and unconditional love of neighbor. Jesus welcomed the outsiders, outcast, the marginalized and persecuted, and then he became one himself. Jesus was rejected by his own people and then executed by the Roman authorities.

Given this picture of Jesus, if we were to try and find contemporary parallels to Jesus in our current culture: Who would Jesus be? What gender (if any)? What would (s)he look like? Where would (s)he live? What would Jesus be wearing? What countercultural issues would (s)he be challenging in contemporary America? Where is the hope for people like Jesus in America? How can you be a part of that hope?

Amy Kennedy

A Lonely Man’s Prayer/Pencil drawing

Homelessness was a big issue during the 1980’s. I worked at a few homeless shelters in my college years. This piece of art, A Lonely Man’s Prayer, is based on a tracing of some graffiti from a wall in a DC shelter. For me, it exudes sadness. The sketch below the graffiti is a tracing of someone sleeping on a park bench in our nation’s capitol.

Touched by the experience of working with homeless people, I returned to DC during the summer of 1986 for a job at a medical facility for homeless men. When I first arrived, I walked through this city of national monuments and palatial buildings and was overwhelmed by requests for help from panhandlers. I remember seeing people like me totally ignore these panhandlers’ pleas, like the homeless people didn’t even exist. I was aghast that they could look away. But in the short span of living there for one summer, I too learned to ignore some of the folks who approached me. There were too many interruptions. There was just too much neediness.

Reading this scripture where Jesus asks his Disciples to stay awake bring back that experience to me. It’s so hard to stay awake when we are surrounded by big problems that seem larger than our capacity to help. How do we stay awake to contribute our small piece of attention and compassion to the bigger puzzle of problems in our nation, in our world?

STATION 2: Betrayal

Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested (Mark 14:43-46)  + Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely." He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.

O my soul’s healer, Forgive the bit of Judas in me. Keep me committed to you at evening, at morning, at noon. I am tired, astray, and stumbling. Shield me from despair and isolation. Amen.

Carol Spaly

Betrayal/Quilted fiber art

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in art and hand crafts. I have tried many different hand crafts over the years and have found my passion in quilting. The quilts I have chosen to exhibit are quilts that were made for challenges. Each challenge had a specific set of rules based on fabric choice, embellishment, or topic. I hope you find as much joy in viewing these quilted wall hangings as I had in making them.

Shonagh Taruza

"The Great Betrayal of Racism" Jesus in Contemporary America series/Oil paintings

FUMC Youth (assisted by Wendy Everett and Susan Baily)

Chalk drawing mosaic/marble painting background

“This is sad because Jesus is going to die.”

“Is this rain?”

“Hey, why isn’t this art happy?”

“I feel like something gloomy is happening.”

“The glitter is like light.”

The Children of FUMC made these perceptive comments as they rolled darkly painted marbles down the gray foam core background. Complete understanding of the crucifixion is difficult to grasp, but the children were clearly feeling the somber tone of that mournful day as they were painting.

During their SoulFull Retreat, the Youth of FUMC used symbols and colors, seen in the mosaic cross, to show their thoughts about betrayal. Can you see “hopeless”, “lost”, a broken heart, a frown, lightning? We find comfort in the knowledge that Jesus also experienced broken relationships and our human feelings of despair and sorrow. Hope comes from the promise of the resurrection. Look for smiles, rainbow, hearts, the sun, uplifting colors, and the faces of friends among the colorful, hope-filled squares.

STATION 3: Condemnation

Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin (Luke 22:66-71) + When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth."

O Holy God, Help me to understand that you are the Christ, The one in front of me, The one behind me, The one beside me, The one within me, Help me to lead the life of a true disciple, loving, forgiving and serving all your children. Amen.

Ellen Lewis

Condemnation/Embellished and quilted fiber art

I chose this station to explore the connection between condemnation and hope. Condemnation feels empty of hope, a place too dark for hope to exist.

I started with dark triangles all pointing to the dark chasm of death, to represent the Sanhedrin’s condemnation. Jesus knew they would not understand his world. The still waters and green pastures that had been a part of Jesus’ life would give way to the darkness. He knew the cross was before him.

So where is hope to be found? Hope isn’t a mountain top experience; it’s what we search for when life gets hard and criticism is all around. It is in our darkest moments that hope starts to form – small buds that we can feel but not yet see. Surrounded by darkness, it’s hard to distinguish the color of hope. Then, like black sequins, hope catches the light. For a brief moment hope dances and shines in the darkness. Hope leads us toward the light. Once in the light, hope turns into a kaleidoscope of color.

Shonagh Taruza

"Child of God: I too am America" Jesus in Contemporary America series/Oil paintings

STATION 4: Denial

Jesus is Denied by Peter (Matthew 26:69-75) + Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about!" As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazorean." Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man!" A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away." At that he began to curse and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: "Before the cock crows you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly.

Christ be with me Even after I have denied you. Christ be with me As my heart breaks with sorrow. Christ be with me Calm my fearful heart and give me refuge. Christ be with me. Amen.

Adele Roy

Peter on the Run/Clay, wire and fabric

I identify with Peter in many ways. In the juxtaposition between confidence and insecurity, Peter and I find one another. I’ve been told I can be aloof and unapproachable, which breaks my heart because I’m actually a tender mouse inside, chased by insecurities. I’ve found the same with my artwork. I’ve enjoyed exploring many different types of expression but I’m plagued by a fear of white pages, the unresolved concept, and an outcome that doesn’t match my expectations – distraction and lack of discipline abound. Peter’s head was created in a class back in 2002 or 2003. I didn’t know who he was back then but wished it would one day come to me. This head – Peter’s head! – immediately came to mind when the Pilgrimage of Hope was proposed. So, Peter and I have had a pilgrimage of hope together in these days – Peter’s hope was that he wouldn’t let Jesus down as it was predicted, my hope was that my vision and execution might successfully tell the story – and our trust is that forgiveness and grace abide, every moment of every day, through our faith in God and his love for us.

Shonagh Taruza

"We the People" Jesus in Contemporary America series/Oil paintings

STATION 5: Judgment

Jesus is Judged by Pilate (Mark 15:1-5, 15) + The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.... Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barrabas... [and] handed [Jesus] over to be crucified.

Holy God, Forgive me for judging others. Show me how I have missed their sorrow and pain, their light and laughter. Let me not succumb to the crowd, but to care for the weak and imprisoned. Help me to live as you would have me live – loving my neighbor. Amen.

David Moore

Judgment/metal sculpture

This piece is the final closed-body welded steel sculpture I created in my parents’ basement in 1966. At the time, my intention was to use attractive shapes from an old Ford to make a vaguely human shape with a mirror. Over the years, on display in their home, my parents noted that over and over, people were startled by the mirror that seems to stare out accusingly. For this reason, in 2018 I thought to re-purpose the piece for the Pilgrimage of Hope project and assign the sculpture to the Judgment station. It personifies in some way the drama of the rabble condemning Jesus on that day. We all of us condemn Jesus when we separate ourselves from the truth of Jesus’ life and Resurrection.

Shonagh Taruza

"Not All Americans Are Dreamers" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

STATION 6: Crowning

Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns (John 19:1-3)  + Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him repeatedly.

Lighten our darkness, O Holy One. As we see all that is evil in the world. Teach us to offer help to the wounded, peace to the troubled, and love to the other. Amen.

Susan Baily

Crown Him the Lord of Life /Quilted and embroidered fiber art

My soul is fed, with needle and thread.

For me, this expression is true, fitting, and precise. Stitching in various styles is my way to relax, create, grow, pray. As I stitch, I draw in calm understanding and lighten the concerns from the day.

Represented in this piece of artwork are the thorny crown, drops of blood, a purple robe, and Scripture from John 19:2, accompanied in the center piece by the crosses and the tomb. Somewhat hidden in the piece are a bird, grape vines, water, sand, plants, leaves, and stars. These elements from a much earlier time – another story, another Testament – are a nod to the Creation that ultimately provided the backdrop for the crucifixion story.

I do not find Hope in the crowning alone. Rather, I added symbols of the crucifixion and the entombment to lead the viewer toward the promise of resurrection. We have been waiting a long time. As we wait, might we deliver the resurrection ourselves, by living a life that becomes the gospel?

Lynn Palacios

Crown of Thorns/Bead work

Jesus’ captors used a Crown of Thorns to cause pain, and the crown along with the purple robe they placed on him mocked Jesus’ claim of authority. I was interested in creating something for the Crowning station because it was something I felt I could express with beadwork. The beads I used to create this crown are called spike, beam, and dagger beads along with the more common demi-round beads. Many of these bead names alone evoke the feeling of thorns. I included beads in a shade of turquoise to bring in a green-based element as I imagine there may have been some green in a vine with thorns that they used to braid a crown for Jesus. I also included shades of red for the dagger and spike beads, knowing that the thorns likely broke Jesus’ skin and he bled.

I also wanted to include some symbols that express hope, so on purple cloth I have beaded these symbols: Easter Lily – resurrected life, Butterfly – resurrection of Christ, Flame – Holy Spirit and Light, Descending Dove – God’s spirit.

Creating this crown for the Pilgrimage of Hope reminded me of the emotions and awe I felt in 1995, when I took in the Stations of the Cross (created in the 1700’s by Salzburg artists) for the first time while walking up the steep Kapuzinerberg Hill in Salzburg, Austria. For my Lenten journey this year, I have spent time with the Pilgrimage of Hope scripture, praying the station prayers, attending the Lenten Vespers services, listening to artists talk about their art, and to weekly sermons, and planning my own art project. Each of these activities has encouraged me to reflect on Jesus’ last day, and how I can relate it to my own life in hope.

I would sincerely like to thank the following people who helped me in the creation process: Debbie Houghton for encouraging me to participate, Julie Koepele for ideas about the crown’s display, Richard Palacios for executing the display stand so beautifully, and Lulia Postica’s “Crown of Thorns” beaded bracelet pattern from which I patterned the crown.

Shonagh Taruza

"Crown of Thorns, Wall of Shame" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

STATION 7: Bearing

Jesus Bears the Cross (John 19:6, 15-17) + When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him." ... They cried out, "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.

Christ be with us As we pick up burdens And begin journeys we do not want to take. Christ be with us As we turn to you to calm racing hearts, And to guide us forward. Christ be with us As we feel strength begin to rise in our souls. Amen.

Shonagh Taruza

"Minority in America" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

Sue Salo

Burden/Hope – quilted fiber art

I am a quilter, so I knew I would want a station whose meaning I could translate into a wall hanging. My wall hanging has two parts: a block to represent Jesus and a block that symbolizes hope.

On the left is a block commonly called “crown and cross”, which I have modified by adding the thorns and lengthening the cross. It is a dark block to represent the darkness of these last hours of Jesus’ life; he bore the burden of the cross to give us full hope for salvation, full forgiveness and to atone for our sins. As it says in 1 Peter 2:24: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that free from sins, we might live in righteousness….”

The anchor block on the right symbolizes steadfast hope. The block is brighter and larger to signify how big our hope is for the future; in Hebrews 6:19-320: “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.”

Early Christians used the anchor, one of the most ancient of Christian symbols, as a disguised cross and marker to guide the way to secret meeting places. It was a key Christian symbol during the period of Roman persecution, and was used frequently in the epitaphs of the catacombs. Its symbolism faded as the cross began to take its place, but the hope it signifies still represents the unfailing hope of Christ for believers.

Doing the research for this project gave me insights into the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross. I like the anchor because of the safety and security it implies, and I think it goes well with the activities of the early Christians and their hopes for the people. This Lenten Pilgrimage has been a thoughtful one for me.

STATION 8: Helping

Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross (Mark 15:21) + They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

Holy One, You are our strength. Help us to carry responsibilities with grace. Help us to lift worry and burdens to you, Help us to defend truth, justice and love every day. Holy One, You are our strength. Amen.

Shonagh Taruza

"Black Lives Matter" Jesus in Contemporary America series/Oil paintings

STATION 9: Blessing

Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31) + A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time, people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?"

God of life, do not darken your light to us, God of life, do not close your joy to us, God of life, do not shut your door to us, God of life, do not refuse your mercy to us. Amen.

Uncommon Threads

Jesus is Placed in the Tomb/Fiber art

The quilt and shawl in this exhibit are provided by the women of Uncommon Threads. Similar to the shroud that Joseph lovingly wrapped around Jesus’ body, we faithfully create our quilts and shawls to wrap around those who need extra comfort and care during a difficult time in their lives. And like the hope that Jesus’ resurrection provides to all who are facing death, we pray that our handiwork provides hope for those wrapped in our works of care and comfort during their time of difficulty.

Shonagh Taruza

"Daughters of Detroit" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

Amy Kennedy

Jesus meets the Women of Jerusalem/Mixed media

I am moved by the desperation of people who leave their home and risk such difficult journeys in search of a better life. Surely, they have cried for the homes they left behind. Surely they have cried as they struggle to feed their children and keep them safe in their attempt to guide them to a better place.

The UN High Commission on Refugees provided this photo of refugees in a boat. I have chosen to have their boat guided by a fire in the dark night, like the Israelites who fled Egypt with Moses.

As we journey on this Pilgrimage of Hope, I am struck by the caption that accompanied this photo:

The only thing stronger than fear is hope.

Imagine yourself in this boat, then take a verse or two from the fiery red bowl. These are verse I share with folks in Ann Arbor in my work. Try to hear the words as these refugees would hear them.

Do the words reassure?

STATION 10: Crucifixion

Jesus is Crucified (Luke 23:33-34) + When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."]

O Holy One, Help us remember this death Help us remember this life Help us remember the crosses we hold day by day Help us to love and forgive each other. Amen.

Linda Brokaw


I have been a watercolor artist and instructor for many years. It never ceases to amaze me how infinitely this medium can used to create the beautiful, the sublime, or express the emotion of each individual.

Using watercolor and wet on wet technique combined with applying salt and Saran Wrap into the paint, I painted my impression of Jesus, encompassing his crucifixion and transformation into Resurrection.

Jean M. Shaw

Empty Crosses/ Quilted fiber art

Since the late 1990’s, I have been aware of the Stations of the Cross, mainly through seeing them in Catholic churches in Europe. When my Methodist Church in Oxford, Mississippi got the idea to make and display a silhouetted version of the Stations in about 2006, I was pleased to help by stitching around the silhouettes to stabilize them; the crown of thorns in several of the images was time-consuming and taxing – and I remembered thinking about the great physical and mental pain that the crown must have inflicted on Jesus.

I chose to make a small quilted hanging of three empty crosses to convey the idea that Jesus had indeed departed from the horrendous scene on Golgotha. The vertical beams of Jesus’ cross perhaps convey divine activity and people striving toward it. The horizontal beam suggests our own human limitations. The white cloth which is often shown on images of the cross suggests purity. I added beams of light emanating from the cross to show Jesus as the light of the world.

Perhaps viewers will notice small beams of light coming from the small cross at the left. This is to honor the thief who asked, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)

Shonagh Taruza

"His Blood Washes Us Clean" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

Cindy DeHart

Golden Cross/Counted cross-stitch

STATION 11: Promise

Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief (Luke 23:39-43)  + Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

O God of life, shelter us. O God of life, keep us from malice within and without. O God of life, let Christ be our shepherd, Enfolding us on every side. He will not leave us forsaken. Amen.

Shonagh Taruza

"Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

Sue Oldani

Freedom Bound/Quilt

James Cotten owned Belmont Plantation, which was about 25 miles from Natchez, MS near the town of Port Gibson. Like other plantation owners, he owned slaves. Unlike most others, he was in love with one of his slaves, Hannah Cummings. We will never know how Hannah felt about the man who claimed ownership of her, but she was wise enough to use every opportunity she had to better the lives of her children.

Hannah’s life was not easy. Although both of her parents were living at Belmont, she still had to live with the knowledge that her children were born into slavery. As a slave herself, she had no say in who her “relationships” were with. She never would have been allowed to fall in love on her own.

Sexual relationships between white slave owners and their slaves were far from unknown, and women in those situations had no choice in the matter. Most of the men were even married. James, however, never married while he was owner of Belmont, and in an unusual move, he claimed every one of his children with Hannah as his own.

The Dred Scott decision in 1857 led to clashes between abolitionists and slave owners, and by 1858 James Cotten realized the nation would soon be at war. At the same time, he realized his health was beginning to fail, and he knew that Hannah and their eight children would be in great danger if he died without making provisions for them.

To that end, James freed Hannah, all eight of the children, and Hannah’s parents. He then headed toward Xenia, OH, a large station on the Underground Railroad, to purchase land and a house. He spoke to one of the residents of Xenia and hired the man to care for the property until the family could arrive.

Even though he was making plans and intended to move everyone to Xenia, James could not be certain his health would allow him to complete everything he planned. In a letter written in 1859, James arranged with his niece, Amelia Smylie Montgomery, to help him get his family situated in Ohio if he was unable to do so. He left her instructions on what to purchase for the family once they arrived, including food, horses, chickens, and household items. In return for her help, James gave Belmont Plantation to Amelia.

This quilt was designed to honor the memory of Hannah Cummings, who prepared her family to leave their lives of slavery behind and journey together to freedom to Ohio – a journey of promise and hope for a better life.

STATION 12: Care

Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciples (John 19:25-27)  + Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

O God of love, Take those of my heart Into your hands and Bless them Comfort them Protect them Teach them to keep you and each other As companions on their life journeys. Amen.

Amy Fryar Kennedy

Jesus speaks to his mother/Poetry

I chose this station because I am very touched that even in his time of suffering, Jesus is tending to the needs of his aging mom.

I have always loved the song, O Sacred Head. I rewrote this song as a tribute to my mom during the last days of her life. Her name was Sarah. She died in 2016. She had fallen a few days before she was hospitalized and she had a big green goose egg on her forehead. Her hair was disheveled. Still, as I sat by her bedside, her face was beautiful.

Mom had been through many challenges in her lifetime. Some had left scars. Still, she was not swayed from her faith and her loving ways.

To hold on to those things despite all that life throws at you, surely, that is deep beauty.

Linda Brokaw

Mother with Child/Watercolor

I have been a watercolor artist and instructor for many years. It never ceases to amaze me how infinitely this medium can used to create the beautiful, the sublime, or express the emotion of each individual.

Watercolor paint and wet on wet technique and using salt and Saran Wrap applied to the paint allowed me to create this piece of Mary with Jesus. A mother’s love and nurturing in the most selfless example of caring.

Shonagh Taruza

"Sack Cloth and Ashes: Grieving with Parkland, Florida" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

STATION 13: Darkness

Jesus Dies on the Cross (Luke 23:44-46)  + It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last.

God of life, do not darken your light to us, God of life, do not close your joy to us, God of life, do not shut your door to us, God of life, do not refuse your mercy to us, God of life, crown us with your gladness. Amen.

FiSH Fri Families

Total Solar Eclipse/Mixed Media

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

-Leonard Cohan

The description of Jesus’ death on the cross in the gospels describes darkness falling over the land for several hours in the middle of the day. While we don’t know whether the darkness described was literal or metaphorical, it brings to mind a recent experience for many in our community: witnessing a solar eclipse such as the one that occurred in August 2017.

During an eclipse, the sun’s light is blocked from our view by the moon. The sky gradually darkens as the moon overlaps the sun. As totality approaches and the moon blocks out virtually all of the sun’s light, spectacular effects are created by the last few rays of light peeking through valleys on the moon’s surface and by the still-visible light from the sun’s cornea. After a brief period of darkness, the light gradually returns.

Many of us experience times of darkness in our lives, when the shadows of pain, sorrow, loss, and grief threaten to block the light of God’s love from our view. However, as with an eclipse, this is not because the light has been extinguished – it remains shining brightly beyond our view. In time, the shadow will pass and the darkness subsides. If we can keep our eyes turned toward God, we may even see glimpses of unusual beauty.

During FISH Fri we reflected on the death of Jesus, the total solar eclipse, and the hope that remains while working collaboratively on the eclipse panels over the two events using the different media available.

Shonagh Taruza

"Honoring the Forgotten Patriots" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

STATION 14: Burial

Jesus is Placed in the Tomb (Matthew 27:57-60) + When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.

Holy One, From the rising of the sun to its setting, you guide us, from our birth to our death, you lead us, in our grief and in our sorrow, you comfort us, in our joy and celebration, you uplift us, from the beginning of our lives to their ending, you encompass us with love. Amen.

Alice Nuttall

Graveyards in Scotland and Canada/Photographs

My emphasis in thinking about the stations of the cross was to find some hope or relief between the violence of the crucifixion and the glory of the resurrection. Specifically, I felt that Station 14 (Burial) related to peace at last in a new family tomb offered by a disciple named Joseph of Arimathea. The Burial also directly preceded the resurrection and appearance before His disciples in Galilee when Jesus stated: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

My first thoughts were images of simple wooden crosses in a Russian Orthodox cemetery in Alaska and the peacefulness and beauty of that cemetery near Ninilchik, on the way to Homer. Remembering these images, I began recalling the spiritual reflection and peace experienced in other cemeteries, specifically ancestral cemeteries in Scotland and Canada.

Because I am very interested in genealogy, the resulting composite includes selected photos of cemeteries that I and other family members have visited. These images remind me of the connection with the spirit of those who have come before us whose souls are resting peacefully with their Lord.

As written on the grave of my 3x great grandfather Duncan “the Laird” Campbell (born in Scotland and died in Canada): “Then shall the dust return to the earth and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccles. 12.7). And, on his wife Euphemia’s grave, the following:

“I leave the world without a tear

Save for the friends I held so dear;

To heal their sorrows, Lord, descend,

And to the friendless prove a friend.”

First, I learned that many people helped Jesus along the way of the cross, and Joseph of Arimathea was one. Secondly, talking to others forced me to think about my own spirituality and beliefs and how the Lord does work in mysterious ways. Finally, I was reminded of cemeteries all over the world, including those I’ve visited in Ireland. The tombstones were designed to remember individuals and, even if the name has been rubbed off or disappears due to weather, God knows who is there and watches over all of us constantly.

Shonagh Taruza

"Grieving Joseph" Jesus in Contemporary America Series/Oil painting

Mara Palty

Resurrection Metamorphosis/Watercolor Painting

Combining the tomb, representing the death of Christ, with a message of hope challenged me. The Tuesday art group at church has been working on paintings of butterfly painting, and that gave me the idea of using butterflies, the symbols of resurrection, as my message of hope. Joseph of Arimathea has rolled the stone in front of the tomb, and is walking away in sorrow, unaware that butterflies, representing Christ’s resurrection and our resurrection, are pouring forth from the tomb behind him.

In preparation for this work, I researched Biblical tombs, Biblical clothing, and butterflies of Israel to create images for my painting.

STATION 15: Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus (Mark 16:4-7)  + When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”

Resurrection Christ is alive! On my walk this day with God, my walk this day with Christ, my walk this day with Spirit, may I remember that Christ is alive!

Dave Moore

Resurrection/ Metal sculpture

Many thanks to all of the artists who participated in this very special Lenten Journey in 2018.

Station Marker Posters appearing at each station were colored by families and small groups at First United Methodist Church.

This exhibit was organized by Debbie Houghton, with assistance from Maria Koukios, Evans Koukios, and Bill Houghton. This website was constructed by Adele Roy using Spark Page.

120 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103



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