Good Friday service unites Columbia-area Christians, churches

Friday, April 6, 2012 | 4:22 p.m. CDT; updated 8:54 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 6, 2012
More than 15 local churches and about 80 attendees participated in an ecumenical Good Friday service at First Presbyterian Church. The service consisted of seven mini-sermons, each about one of Jesus' final words.

COLUMBIA —Participants from more than 15 Columbia churches took part in an ecumenical Good Friday service at noon at First Presbyterian Church, 16 Hitt St. About 80 people were in attendance.

The service was organized by the Rev. Janet Schisser, president of the Columbia Interfaith Council, who said the council has sponsored the event for about 25 years. 

"It's been well received," Schisser said. "It's not just the downtown churches, but throughout all of Columbia."

The service was divided into seven mini-sermons, with seven candles each representing one of Jesus' final words as he hung on the cross. After each sermon, a candle was extinguished. Christians commemorate Good Friday as the day of Jesus' death; Easter Sunday marks the day of his resurrection.

"We are called to be one by Jesus, and this was one way to share the understanding of the story that is at the core of our faith," the Rev. Otto Steinhaus of the Missouri United Methodist Church said. 

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