Visible reminder of Easter’s true meaning this Saturday in Haleyville

The handmade cross pictured above will be borne through the streets of downtown Haleyville Saturday during the Bearing the Cross event. (Courtesy photo)

HALEYVILLE      -  Lyrics from the old gospel hymn read, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone, and all the world go free? For there’s a cross for everyone, and there’s a cross for me.”
Those words will ring with truth Saturday, April 16, in downtown Haleyville at an event  open to all local and area churches, as well as the public: the city’s first major cross-bearing event.  Individuals are invited to “bear the cross” through the streets of downtown Haleyville as part of a major outreach planned by former Haleyville resident and 1988 Haleyville High School graduate Bo Shedd, founder of Bo Shedd Ministries of Cullman.
Church groups will be joined by the public in the parking lost behind Haleyville First Baptist Church at 10 a.m. for prayer and instructions on what will take place.  Those wishing to participate in bearing the cross along the route will be encouraged at that time to sign a list, according to Shedd.
At 11 a.m., the Haleyville Police Department will provide an escort as the cross, bore by church and community members, leaves the parking lot and travels through the streets of downtown.  The walk will allow different persons to bear the large wooden cross constructed by Shedd on their shoulders for so many feet, with the cross being shared for others to bear along the journey through the streets.
Participants do not have to bear the cross, but can walk on the route and provide  prayer and encouragement to the one(s) bearing the cross and others.  
“This cross is not light. It is a real wooden cross,” Shedd reminded.  “We ask that people carry the cross or walk behind the cross to remember Christ. It’s not a competition of who carries it the farthest. We want  people to focus on the person of Jesus Christ and what He did for us when He carried the cross.”
The walk will conclude at the parking area of First United Methodist Church on 9th Avenue, where a prayer rally will be held to conclude the event.
All participants are encouraged to wear good walking shoes, bring bottled water and be at least age 13 or older.  Those under age 13 must be accompanied by an adult for the walk, according to Shedd.

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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