Churches join for Good Friday remembrance

Published 7:44 pm Friday, March 25, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Tonight, Good Friday, the Niles Ministerial Association's combined churches will present a Good Friday service at Wesley United Methodist Church located at 302 Cedar St., Niles. The service will begin at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary.
According to Pastor Emmett Kadwell, pastor at Wesley U.M. since January of 2000, this particular Good Friday service will be fairly traditional with both congregational singing and special music presentations.
Alice Nelson from the Michiana Christian Embassy on East Main in Niles will sing "Via Dolorosa", and the Agape Choir from Wesley U.M. will present "Celebrate the Life of Jesus" and "He Is Jesus."
The Reverend David Maston of the First Baptist Church on East Main will deliver the sermon. The theme is "Jesus, Our High Priest."
Pastor Whittaker of the Michiana Christian Embassy said the Niles Area Ministerial Association's combined efforts have had an ecumenical approach to this worship service. The area churches meet together once a month at a host church with music and preaching provided by the guest churches.
Kadwell said, "At each different place, we can experience the flavor of worship at that church."
Pastor Dave Duvall from Coulter's Chapel on M-60 has been impressed with this collaborative effort. "I've been here seven years and the Christian community in Niles is more cohesive and cooperative than any place I've been. It's really neat."
Duvall also mentions that this Good Friday service is one of two events during the year that the ministerial association presents.
The Good Friday service donations will help provide "The Book of Hope" for graduating seniors and is used used locally for similar projects. "The other event is at Thanksgiving and those proceeds go to local agencies, such as the Salvation Army," he said.
Pastor Whittaker will also take part in the service. "I'll be presenting the opening welcome," he said. He also mentioned that the scriptures are "a pretty deep well to draw from," especially Matthew 27 and verses relating to the trial of Jesus.
Kadwell adds that scriptures from Hebrews are also important. "They present Jesus as one who suffers in our place and also intercedes for us."
In helping to design the Good Friday service, Kadwell wanted to stress the meaning of Good Friday. "Good Friday's purpose is to remind us to pause and reflect on Christ's suffering and what it means for us. It is also to prepare us to celebrate Easter through understanding what Christ did on the cross. Attending the Good Friday service is a way we, as individuals, can honor Christ by stepping away from our regular routine and reflecting on the meaning of Easter," he said.
Wesley United Methodist Church is a part of Niles history, established in 1832. Since the church's sanctuary has limited space, worshippers are encouraged to come early to ensure a good seat.
Pastor Kadwell commented, "We have a small parking lot, but there is city parking north of the church. There is also the Kelly lot on the west side. This service is usually crowded. We expect the church to be packed."