Why do Christians go on pilgrimages? Several reasons. First, to enrich our imagination. When I first went to Israel, I spent a day sitting along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. I looked across the lake to the same brown hills that Jesus would have seen. The sun was warm, and there were two fishing boats with gray sails out on the water. All at once I could imagine Jesus standing in a fishing boat, a little way out on the lake, teaching the crowds on the shore and giving them hope. Now years later, remembering that scene helps my imagination live into the Gospel Story.
Second, pilgrimages remind us that God works in specific times and places. Christianity is not an abstract philosophy. It is a story about God bursting into people’s lives in specific times and in definite places. And changing history! I remember visiting the medieval Celtic monastery at Clonmacnoise, where St. Kieran founded a school that helped the Irish save civilization. Clonmacnoise taught thousands of Celtic people how to read and write, and it put them in touch with the Gospel Story. Going on pilgrimage to Clonmacnoise (six or eight times now) reminds me that God changes history though heroes like Kieran, in specific times and places.
Finally, pilgrimages remind us that Christian life is a journey. Often our lives seem random and without purpose. Taking time off, setting time apart to make a pilgrimage, actually moving from one place towards another – all these help us to remember that God’s time is an arrow, not an endless weary circle. Jesus is leading us through life to a definite goal, namely celebration forever in His presence. I have a friend who made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Millions have made that same journey on foot, over the last thousand years. My friend wrote a book about his pilgrimage, called The Way is Made By Walking. That long trek reminds Christians that life itself has a goal and a purpose. Every step counts!
-Dr. Les Fairfield
St. John the Divine Pilgrimage to Scotland & Northern England June 8 - 16, 2018 | With Dr. Leslie Fairfield
Share the experience of summer school at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. This year Wycliffe’s Summer School will explore the great Christian literature associated with Oxford. Come and join us as we discover more about CS Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, JRR Tolkien, and others, considering how their theological themes relate to the broader biblical narrative. Alister McGrath, Amy Orr-Ewing, and Tom Price are among the Christian teachers who will inspire and challenge us. The schedule includes worship, teaching, lunch, and excursions tied to the themes of the teaching. Click here to view the Full Itinerary and read more. Need to check your calendar first? Click here to make a 7-Day No Risk Hold. Click here to make your reservation.
Holy Land & Biblical Jordan with Father McGugan and Peter Walker September 30 - October 12, 2018
This September and October, Christ Church Denver will begin the pilgrimage to the Holy Land to be near Christ and the land of his birth, life and ministry and where his death and resurrection changed the world. Joined by The Rev. Dr. Peter Walker, a New Testament professor, author and seasoned guide.
The Holy Land and Biblical Jordan Pilgrimage with St. George's Episcopal October 8 - 20, 2018 *Waitlist Only
A pilgrimage is about spiritual growth and discovery through a journey to sacred places -- and the Holy Land is unlike any other place on the planet.St. George's Episcopal Church will follow in the paths of pilgrims to Israel through the centuries this October.
Emmaus Anglican Church Denver | Pilgrimage to the Holy Land May 5 - May 17, 2019 with Father Theron Walker
As we travel together, we will learn much from our Christian guide, we will enjoy rich times of worship, and your faith will be profoundly enriched and enlivened as you see the reality of the Bible. We will be there just after Easter, in early May. It will be spring, with warm weather but not yet the heat of summer, and the land will be in bloom. This will be my third journey to the Land. I spent the summer of 1986 there as a college student, which changed the course of my life and ministry. I returned in 2016 as a pilgrim with many from my parish, Emmaus Anglican Church in Castle Rock, Colorado. This time, it will be my joy to be your pilgrimage leader, nourishing your mind and your spirit.