On Maundy Thursday, Chaplains on the Harbor hosted our first-ever Holy Week pilgrimage. We celebrated baptisms and confirmations at our church in Westport, with organizer Aaron Scott preaching and The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, presiding. The Rev. Sarah Monroe baptized Levi Hunt (from our Harbor Roots Farm team) and confirmed Barbara Russell and Pam Beck (leaders at our Westport community center). Immediately following the service we caravanned to Aberdeen for a Stations of the Cross Reality Tour. Joined by our bishop, clergy from around the diocese, and folks living on the streets, we traced the last steps of Jesus while telling the untold story of people experiencing poverty and homelessness in Grays Harbor County. We closed with a street memorial to our beloved dead, lost to poverty and violence from 2016–2018.
These are the Stations of the Cross in Grays Harbor County WA, 2019.
What are the Stations of the Cross?
For two thousand years, followers of Jesus have meditated on his last moments of life on earth. Early Christians began the practice of reflecting on Jesus’ suffering and death through a series of fourteen images — each one depicting a different step on his journey to the cross.
When God chose to come down to earth as Jesus, God chose Mary for a mother: a young, poor, unmarried woman living under an unjust government which helped the rich get richer while the poor stayed poor. God chose to be born among suffering people so that the injustice of the world could be exposed. Every time we expose suffering and injustice in the world around us, we are doing God’s work. Every time we suffer those injustices ourselves, we suffer with Jesus.
This Stations of the Cross series tells our community’s story through the story of Jesus. Each photo is from the struggle for survival and dignity in Grays Harbor County. There are many images of injustice and suffering. There are also images of strong leaders in Chaplains on the Harbor’s work who have survived homelessness, addiction, incarceration, and are fighting for change. Even as we suffer, we are beloved and chosen by God.
Station 1: Pilate Condemns Jesus
Station 2: Jesus Accepts His Cross
A tent city resident is cuffed during a warrant sweep that targeted our church-hosted carwash fundraiser. About 10% of our congregation at Chaplains on the Harbor is incarcerated in county and city jails or state prisons.
Station 3: Jesus Falls for the First Time
A bulldozed encampment along the Chehalis River after a sweep and eviction of residents, summer 2015.
Station 4: Jesus Meets His Mother, Mary
Mashyla (Chaplains on the Harbor’s first apprentice, now senior staff and manager of our Westport community center) with her daughter Ella. Mashyla has travelled across the U.S. with the Poor People’s Campaign, testifying about the realities of homelessness on the Harbor.
Station 5: Simon of Cyrene Helps Carry the Cross
Chris Olive (from Chaplains on the Harbor’s farm team) holds the mic for Justin and others as they speak about their experiences of homelessness at Presiding Bishop Curry’s visit to Aberdeen, during the Poor People’s Campaign’s 40 Days of Action.
Station 6: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Christina, a resident of the Chehalis river camp, speaks powerfully about homeless people’s mistreatment at the hands of the city during our direct action outside of Aberdeen City Hall last summer.
Station 7: Jesus Falls for the Second Time
The sanctuary of Chaplains on the Harbor’s church in Westport during our cold weather shelter. During our first year of running the shelter, one of our guests was assaulted by vigilantes and we received death threats for hosting it.
Station 8: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Barb, Janet, and Pam — leaders in Chaplains on the Harbor’s Westport ministry — throw a baby shower for Rev. Shelly.
Station 9: Jesus Falls for the Third Time
In the absence of an adequate and humane response from local authorities to the crisis of opioid addiction in Grays Harbor County, Chaplains on the Harbor distributes Narcan in Westport and Aberdeen.
Station 10: Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes
Police brutalize a young Native man at the Chehalis river encampment, in front of his relatives, for stealing food from Safeway.
Station 11: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
A resident of the river camp in need of medical care is carted a quarter of a mile in a wheelbarrow to Rev. Sarah’s truck, so that he can be transported to the hospital. After the city blocked vehicle traffic to the encampment, residents were made even more isolated and vulnerable during crises like these.
Station 12: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Memorial to Shawn, resident of the river camp, on the spot where he died.
Station 13: Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross
Rev. Sarah’s memorial tattoo for community members we’ve lost.
Station 14: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
Memorial graffiti on the wall of the food bank, in honor of a young tent city resident.
Our Beloved Dead 2016–2018
Those in our community lost too soon to poverty and violence. Rest in peace and rise in power.
David “Cosmo” Dudics
Shawn Vann Schreck
Michael (Mikey) Bartholomew
Larry J Christiansen
Glenn Edward (Ed) Nicholas
Daniel Charles Jr
Leonard (Mupps) Bryan
Jimmy Smith Kramer