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Local church to hold Day of Good Riddance

May 30, 2014

BY MARY GARRISON
editor@dailytimesleader.com

Members of Northside Christian Church (NCC) and West Point residents are saying good riddance.
This weekend, following the conclusion of regularly scheduled Sunday services, NCC will host its first ever “Day of Good Riddance” in the parking area of the church at 158 Cotrell St. in West Point.
The event, which is open to the public, will give attendees the opportunity to make a physical step toward ridding themselves of earthly burdens, according to NCC Pastor Orlando Richmond. Participants may write a list — a personal document containing individual troubles, circumstances or needs — and take a collective step with those around them to literally burn the lists in a symbolic gesture of placing individual issues in the hands of God.
“Earlier in the year, I delivered a sermon called ‘Prospering with less,’” Richmond said. “The whole idea was focused on dealing with those issues or circumstances that are really a hindrance. … By focusing on those things, it takes us away from what we should be focusing on … our faith. … Well, in doing some research for another sermon, I came across this. In Latin America it is common for them to have a ‘Day of Good Riddance,’ typically around the new year, and given that sermon, I just thought it would be a good thing to do in the Christian context. … It just a little spring cleaning in the Christian sense.”
Richmond said he planned to open the event with a few brief words and allow potential participants time to gather as well as give attendees who hadn’t time to make lists prior to the event the chance to do so. Then, all together, participants will crumble, wad, tear or “whatever they want to do with them” before throwing the remnants into the fire. If all goes well, Richmond said he planned to hold the ceremony again in the future, perhaps inviting neighboring churches to participate as well.
“Some institutions have mortgage burnings,” Richmond said. “It’ll be something similar to that. … What we’ll be doing on Sunday will be a first step in ridding ourselves of troubles and handing our lives over to God. … There are people, of course, in any number of difficult situations. Even if they don’t yet have the courage Sunday to take the formal steps in bringing that change, this is at least a start for them. It can be very therapeutic.”

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