Pastor’s Pilgrimage…the plan
October 2, 2017
It has taken me many years to learn that the journey is more important than the destination. A nomad wanders looking for a place to settle and find meaning. A pilgrim wanders around finding meaning wherever she is. Diana Butler Bass and Joseph Stewart-Sicking edited a book called From Nomads to Pilgrims. This book offers a framework for this proposal.
The book speaks of the pilgrim finding what grabs the soul and connects to the transcendent; inviting the pilgrim to a secure place of unknowing. This is what travel does for me. It takes me to places of wonder and discovery. Rarely have I encountered the Holy while sitting still; more often it happens when I am on the move- kayaking the mangrove swamp in Puerto Rico, hiking the canyons of the Southwest, snorkeling off Key West. When I travel I have learned to go as a pilgrim, venturing into a new world on a quest for meaning and a quest to encounter the stranger, be that God, another person, or myself.
Phil Cousineau writes, “The difference between a pilgrim and a tourist is the intention of attention, the quality of the curiosity.” I am particularly curious about places that have held spiritual meaning for others, places with sacred traditions and significance. My pilgrimage will take me to several of those places.
While I am traveling the congregation has the opportunity to engage in a spiritual pilgrimage. We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren is a Year-Long Quest for spiritual formation, reorientation, and activation. On Wednesday evenings a group will gather at 6:00 with one of the pastors to read and study together in a pilgrimage toward spiritual growth. I will also be using this book for my own spiritual growth as part of my sabbatical pilgrimage. Join me?