Paths to the Cross a hit at Mountain Park Community Church in AF - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Paths to the Cross a hit at Mountain Park Community Church in AF

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11:00 pm

A place outdoors where people from any walk of life or religious denomination could come to pray or meditate 24/7 free of cost is what the creators of the Paths to the Cross at Mountain Park Community Church envisioned.

On Oct. 2, five entrances were opened to the new paths that lead to the cross on the hill outside of the church. The rustic dirt pathways are lined with rocks, and at night small lamps light the way to the top where benches offer a respite for visitors.

“The beautiful thing is it’s not a contrived experience like a formal worship service,” said Rita Puckett, a church worker who helped develop the idea for the paths. “This is just you and whatever way you meet with God.”

Associate Pastor Greg Battle, who also helped to develop the path project, said that for as long as he can remember, a cross has always been on the hill outside of the church, but no distinct pathways existed.

Puckett said they noticed many families, including her own grandchildren, who enjoyed walking up to the cross despite the lack of pathways. As a result, the church prayer team, which both Puckett and Battle are involved in, thought that designing a route for them would be a good idea.

Although the original idea for the paths surfaced with the prayer team at MPCC in January, the development was not set into motion until the yoga ministry asked to incorporate the path idea with their portion of a church event series that was occurring at the time. As a result, with the help of a group of about 12 volunteers, the paths were built in nearly two-and-a-half days, Battle said.

Despite having only been open for a few weeks, many people have visited the paths to the cross, including Jane Hoffmann and her 10-year-old son, who was particularly impacted by the experience.

Hoffmann, who also works at MPCC, said that when the two of them visited the paths on opening night, the experience emotionally impacted her son and made him think about his own life and family. Hoffmann also said that the paths offer a safe place to go, and that she personally uses them to raise her spirits when she is upset.

“I find recently that ... there’s so much loss, and people passing and ill,” Hoffmann said. “So I have been going up to try to uplift ...”

Currently, the favorite gospel verses of five people who were instrumental in seeing the path project come together are being placed on large rocks at each of the five entrances. These people include Puckett, MPCC’s prayer ministry leader Pat Patlen, yoga ministry instructors Elena Porter and Rosie Gonzalez, and yoga ministry instructor Dawn Rutledge’s husband, Gavin, who helped build the path, Battle said.

In addition, offers have been made to possibly enlarge or alter the cross on the hill to make it more creative and participatory for visitors in the future, and the possibility of adding more paths to the project has also been mentioned, Battle said.

“The whole thing is an evolution, and I think it will continue to be,” Puckett said. “It’s not any one person’s idea, it is just everyone making it unique.”


Cassidy Olson is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.


More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

FBI searching for bank robber who targeted two Phoenix banks over ten days

PHOENIX - The FBI has released surveillance photos of a woman suspected of robbing two banks in the Phoenix area in less than ten days. Accord…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 11:37 pm @…

Phoenix firefighters involved in mountain rescue of 12-year-old boy

PHOENIX - Firefighters and paramedics took a boy off a trail in north Phoenix Friday afternoon. The Phoenix Fire Department said the initial r…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 11:36 pm @…

Phoenix police, DPS search for suspects after report of shots fired from vehicle on I-10

PHOENIX - Phoenix police and the Arizona Department of Public Safety swarmed an apartment complex near 75th Avenue and McDowell Saturday night…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 11:15 pm @…

Near the Tehachapi Mountains, a family farm looks to a future without GMOs

Stand in a field of wheat — amid the undulating stalks of grain, the blue dome of the sky overhead — and it’s hard not to be moved by the land…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 11:15 pm @…

A Bucket List of Players to See this AZ HSFB Season

It’s that time of the year. The last month or so before high school football returns under the Friday night lights. We’re all – players, coach…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 9:44 pm @…

Former BYU QB Max Hall confronts addiction by helping others, coaching football, staying sober

On a bright, crisp morning last spring, Max Hall stood on the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium during Alumni Day, smiling and reconnecting with…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 9:09 pm @…

WNBA rescinds fines for teams that wore black shirts to support citizens, police

The WNBA is withdrawing its fines for teams and players that showed support of citizens and police involved in recent shootings by wearing bla…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 7:09 pm @…

Armed Opposition in S. Sudan Names VP Replacement

Print Machar's Return to Juba Unlikely, Spokesman Says UN Says 26,000 Flee S. Sudan to Uganda Vatican Envoy Urges South Sudan Peace A senior f…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 6:42 pm @…

AZ High School Football Teams Beat Heat For Summer Camps

I love this state, but Arizona summers can be insufferable. With the high school football season quickly approaching, teams are trying to prep…

Published: July 23, 2016 - 6:42 pm @…

Beavers Establishing 'Oregon Trail' Pipeline To Arizona

Apparently the iconic Oregon Trail does go through the state of Arizona after all.

Published: July 23, 2016 - 6:33 pm @…

Facebook on Facebook

Twitter on Twitter


Subscribe to via RSS

RSS Feeds


Most Popular

Online poll