One expression of Highland’s commitment to God’s justice in the world happens on Peace Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, where we mark the pain and hope of God by placing white crosses on Highland’s front lawn in memory of Louisville residents killed in an act of violence. White crosses will create a tragic memorial on our lawn during this holiday season. The crosses simultaneously signify our hope that God calls the church to work actively against violence in its many forms.
Friday worship will offer a variation of the ritual, and each Sunday service on December 10 will include reciting the names of the victims and placing the crosses in the ground at the conclusion of each service.
Highland Baptist began this tradition in 1997 in Rev. Joe Phelps’ first year as pastor, to draw attention to a rash of murders in the metropolitan Louisville area. “We grieve with those families for whom this is not a season of joy, and hold out the life of Jesus as a model for putting away violence,” Phelps said. “We also pray for all who work to make our community safe and just. It is a testament to the hope that God is not done.”