Cross-country walkers made a pit stop in Greencastle last week on their long journey to Washington, D.C. spreading their message of faith.
CrossWalk America is a unique, non-profit organization committed to the belief that Christianity in America today bears little resemblance to Jesus' path of love and justice. By performing and participating in this walk, the organization is hoping to change the public face of Christianity.
Two groups of four, varying in ages from 19 to 64, started the walk in Phoenix, Ariz., and are working their way to the nation's capital. Both groups walk a total of 14 miles each, for a total of 28 miles a day. The groups walk shotgun style, meaning they walk simultaneously from different points.
The group told the BannerGraphic that they have had a total of 1,500 people walk with the main group of eight walkers. They also have had people walking on the behalf of the group from as far away as Great Britain. With all these people walking, the group has tacked up a total of 17 million steps.
Co-president Rev. Eric Elnes said that people have been telling the group they are walking for them. "They thought they were all alone," he said.
During their pit stop in Greencastle, the group was able to speak about the walk in front of two gatherings at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, and also take of a tour of DePauw University. They spent the night at Gobin members' homes.
They also spoke about the Phoenix Affirmations to a group on Wednesday. The Phoenix Affirmations is a way for people to express their love, as Jesus has taught them, in three ways: love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self.
These 12 affirmations will also be explained in a movie that is being filmed while the group walks. The documentary will take a look at the spiritual climate of the group's stops. It will also focus on people who disagree with the group's message. Filmmaker Scott Griessel, Green Valley, Ariz., said that a group of protesters came to the talk in St. Louis. These protesters were invited to talk to the group about the meaning behind the walk and how both groups could come together as one.
Griessel, along with Chris Brown, Scottsdale, Ariz., is targeting the movie for theatrical release, but they are not sure where it will play.
Each member of the group has said that the walk has changed something about them. Mark Creek-Water, of Delaware, said he has become a better "people person," while Merrill Davison, Phoenix, said he has never talked as much as he has in the past three to four months while on the trip.
Katrina Glenn, Phoenix, said that the walk has helped her to stand up and say what she believes in. "It's okay to disagree and still come together in a friendly way instead of point fingers at each other," she said."
Co-president Rebecca Glenn, Phoenix, said her assumptions about people have been shattered. She was amazed at the abilities of their group. Glenn said the group had been told they could not pull it off in this time frame.
While Meighan Pritchard, Seattle, Wash., left her job in order to do the walk, she is optimistic about finding another job that she can believe in and make a difference with. Pritchard also had to do a lot of fundraising to participate. "I learned how to talk about what I was doing and having people step up to support me," she said.
The group was in Indianapolis on Saturday where many events werew scheduled. They will then work their way through Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. On Sunday, Sept. 3, the group will reach Washington, D.C. where they will hold a press conference at the United Methodist Church near the White House at 4 p.m.