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Recreating Christ’s final journey: Nonprofit plans unique version of Stations of the Cross
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Erika Wynne works on a pastel land charcoal piece to be included for the Adventures in Missions alternative experience of the Stations of the Cross. The event brings artists together to create the 14 events leading to the death and burial of Jesus through paintings, music, drama and dance. - photo by Scott Rogers

Creativity was never Lindsay Sullivan’s strongest attribute. The Omaha, Nebraska, native thought she was more of an organized, orderly person. But after going on the Adventures in Missions World Race, an 11-month mission trip that takes participants to 11 countries, she found some creativity hiding inside her.

“In the last few years, I’ve taken up water coloring and lettering, just as a stress reliever,” said Sullivan, who now lives in Gainesville and is an admissions adviser for Adventures. “It was just a way of art therapy for me. But it really kind of exploded and became this thing of me discovering my artistic side.”

Stations of the Cross

When: 7-11 p.m., March 30

Where: Adventures in Missions, 6000 Wellspring Trail, Gainesville

More info: www.facebook.com/events/
210253552863587/

Cost: Free

When Holli Scott sent out a message to Adventures’ staff asking for artists to take part in a Stations of the Cross experience, Sullivan jumped on board. The event, which will be Adventures’ first-ever Stations of the Cross, is set for 7-11 p.m on Good Friday, March 30, at its offices on Wellspring Trail. Guests won’t be taken past 10 p.m., though, as the event will take about an hour.

For Scott, this event has been a long time coming. She’s been wanting to organize a Stations of the Cross event after she first experienced it in high school. But she didn’t want to do it in the traditional way: 14 photos depicting Jesus at different points leading to his crucifixion that people walk by and stop at, saying specific prayers along the way.

“We’ve kind of taken this traditional event and kind of flipped it on its head a little bit and tried to think about how we could interpret these events and connect with them in a modern way,” said Scott, who used to work as a World Race squad mentor. “So we decided that a good way to do that would be through the arts.”

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Lindsay Sullivan's watercolor and ink piece for the Adventures in Missions alternative experience of the Stations of the Cross happening March 30 from 7 p.m. till 10 p.m. The event brings artists together to create the 14 events leading to the death and burial of Jesus through paintings, music, drama and dance. - photo by Scott Rogers
Each station will be a little different, some very different. There will be paintings, live musical performances and some recorded dances, all telling the story of that specific station in its own way.

Scott said there will be some interactive stations to take part in if guests want to, and there will even be a monologue she said is “captivating.”

“At the end, we’ll be outdoors for this kind of ethereal experience of the tomb,” Scott said. “And then at the very end, if they want to go to an optional reception with tea, coffee and little snacks, we’ll have volunteers there if they want to connect, have questions or if they bring a group of their own, they can discuss and reflect there.”

Sullivan was responsible for station six, which depicts Jesus carrying his own cross. She said once she got a vision for what she wanted to do with it, she went for it. Throughout the process, though, she began to worry if people would understand it or not.

“I have what I think is a very unique style,” Sullivan said. “So there’s going to be some people that love it and some people that might not understand it. And that’s OK. It’s all a part of creating. So, it’s like the beautiful part about it but also the challenging part about it.”

That was the whole point of her painting. Sullivan wanted to leave people contemplating her piece.

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Lindsay Sullivan letters a piece of her art Thursday, March 22, 2018 at the Midland Station Coffee Co. Sullivan's piece will be included in the Adventures in Missions alternative experience of the Stations of the Cross. - photo by Scott Rogers
She didn’t want guests to simply walk by; she wanted to make them think.

“It was important to me to create something that really guides them, but also leaves a little bit of mystery,” Sullivan said.

Adventures doesn’t know how many people will show up to their version of Stations of the Cross, but they’re hopeful it ends up being a successful event. Scott said it’s open to people of all different backgrounds, but said it may not be best for children. After all, she said “it’s about the execution of a person.” She recommended parents use their discretion when bringing the family.

“I really want to see people honor not only his resurrection, but I want people to honor his death, too,” Scott said. “I feel like we kind of skirt over that because it’s difficult and sad. But I think we need to take a moment, even if it’s one day on Good Friday, and honor the sacrifice that he made for all of humanity.”

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