Pilgrimage

In a few short weeks my family and I will head east on our annual pilgrimage to Cathance Lake, near David’s hometown in down east Maine. I started calling these yearly trips pilgrimages as a bit of a joke ten years ago, when a friend who travelled extensively both for work and for adventure asked if we were going to the same place “yet again.” And while it is true that I’m grateful for all the travel and adventure my life has included and often long to add new places, our repeated trips to Maine have in fact become pilgrimages for me – spiritual journeys to a place of holy significance.

CathanceLake

Pilgrimage is practiced widely across diverse faith traditions, and there are of course universally acknowledged places of spiritual power and significance: Mecca, The Camino de Santiago, the Black Hills, the Western Wall. But the earth is alive with innumerable sites of holy significance, places that awaken our spirits in unique ways, attuning us to the God who is ever present.

This summer, whether your travels take you to the park down the street, to awe-inspiring mountains, or to a quiet lake in Maine, I encourage you to listen for the call of pilgrimage. Pause, breath, be still, and allow in whatever blessing is there for you. We sometimes think of pilgrimage and sabbath as disciplines – burdens to be taken on rather than gifts to receive, but they are gifts indeed.

If you find yourself near water, I invite you to pause again, give thanks for the blessing of water and then gather a small bottle to bring home with you. During worship in September we’ll have an ingathering of water and create a baptismal font with water from all our holy places.

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