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Eagle Scout Project Creates Prayer Trail at St. Albans

by | Apr 18, 2022

Cole Fossett, a junior at Hough High School, with his Eagle Scout project

When Cole Fossett, a junior at Hough High School, was ready to plan his Eagle Scout project, he knew he wanted to do something to benefit the church where he and his family have worshiped for many years. So he approached his pastor, The Rev. Carmen Germino, rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson. As it turned out, she had something in mind.

The church is blessed with beautiful grounds, including a sizeable grove of pine trees. For several years, Rev. Germino had been dreaming of building a trail through the woods where people could pray or meditate as they walk. She hoped to someday have the Stations of the Cross installed along the trail.

The Stations of the Cross are an ancient custom of reflecting on life and death of Jesus. Fourteen different images are provided to help people understand Jesus’s journey toward the crucifixion. The Stations emerged out of the tradition of religious pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem to retrace the footsteps of Jesus.

Helpers on the Prayer Trail

The scope of the project was large. Fortunately, when presented with the idea, Fossett readily agreed. He organized a team of around thirty volunteers from the church and his scout troop to help over three consecutive Saturdays in March. They began by plotting the path (approximately a quarter of a mile in length), clearing the trail of brush and branches, and installing fourteen different images of Jesus on posts along the way. Then, the team spread mulch along the path, and even built a bridge to help people easily navigate across a trench. In just a few weeks, thanks to Fossett and his team of helpers, the trail was ready for walkers.

“I am so proud to have completed this Eagle Project with the help of the community” remarked Fossett. “St. Alban’s has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, as well as a part of who I am. I welcome people of all faiths and all walks of life to appreciate the trail, and to enjoy St. Alban’s and all it has to offer, as I have for many years.”

Rev. Germino is delighted. “During the pandemic, we became very aware of how important it is for people to have access to outdoor sacred spaces where they can feel close to God surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. This trail is such a gift to the church, the neighborhood, and the whole community. I am very grateful for Cole and his leadership.”

All are welcome to come walk the trail. Because the terrain is uneven in places, the trail is not recommended for those with limited mobility. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church is located at 301 Caldwell Lane in Davidson. The entrance to the trail is located just behind the community garden, on the east side of the church.

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