Way of the Cross in Stroudsburg

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STROUDSBURG -- A large crowd of Christians in the Poconos observed this Good Friday in Stroudsburg by participating in the "Way of the Cross".

Seven church congregations take part every year, and the message is different for each worshiper.

One by one, the faithful started meeting at Saint John`s Lutheran Church in Downtown Stroudsburg to take part in the "Way of the Cross".

"Just to give some thanks to God," said Susan Hughes of Saylorsburg.

"I come out every year for this. I like to walk with it. It's exercise and I like the people," said Ruth Dailey of East Stroudsburg.

For Christians, the "Way of the Cross" signifies the last steps Jesus took before he was crucified.

The crowd of parishioners retraced those steps and made several stops along the way, which are considered the "Stations of the Cross" - scenes of suffering and death of Christ.

At those stops, the group prayed and reflected.

"It is part of the sadness of Holy Week, to recognize that the sins of the world made it necessary for Jesus to suffer and die," said Pastor Gail Kees of St. John's Lutheran Church.

The walk starts at St. John`s Lutheran Church in Stroudsburg and continues to most other churches in the Stroudsburg Council of Churches. For people who are part of the "Way of the Cross", the walk means something different.

"We go through the sadness so we can come finally to Easter gladness," said Pastor Kees.

"I like to pray for the Lord and God," said Rose Andrews of Stroudsburg.

"Believing in God," said Dailey.

"It kinda gives you the understanding of what he went through for us. That he's forgiving of our sins and it's opening the gates of Heaven for us," said Hughes.