Follow the Pilgrims
Eighteen Trinity pilgrims are traveling through the Holy Land of Israel/Palestine March 8 - 20. You can join them virtually on their journey by clicking here.
You can also read Fr. Daniel’s message below for some further insight into making this pilgrimage your own:
Twenty five years ago I set out on a lone journey that took me through the Near and Middle East, with about eight months spent living on the Sea of Galilee and in Jerusalem. I didn't leave on any great spiritual quest, just as a post-grad vagabond traveler. I came back using the word pilgrim.
Back then, that word provoked an "A What?!" response. Pilgrimage was not yet fashionable—it was the 80s and early 90s, and we as a culture were busy creating the galloping materialism that we are now beginning to be exhausted by and to question. Now the word pilgrim is taking on new resonance, though it still feels awkward on the tongue for many who try it on themselves for the first time.
Since that first adventure-cum-pilgrimage 25 years ago, I have led others on nearly a dozen journeys, and taken myself on another dozen more. I have come to see that conversion—from being a tourist of one's own life to being a pilgrim through it—as one of the most profound shifts one can make, and I've seen how a physical journey made with intention, which embraces rather than mitigates all the vicissitudes of the road, can be a powerful tool in making that inner shift.
Trinity Church's location and history give us the distinction of having nearly three million tourists pass through our doors annually. What turns a tourist into a pilgrim? This is the question I have personally wrestled with, and held before the congregation, for the past six years. We have traveled together on local, regional, and global pilgrimages each year as a way of keeping this question active in our spiritual reflection.
During our two weeks away this blog will become the site for further daily reflections, written by me and other travelers, chronicling our spiritual travel, along with photos of our physical journey. We might be only 18 on the road, but with this travel blog in the past we've had over 7,000 “virtual pilgrim” hits, as many other travel with us. Those commenting back report a real spiritual shift in their own lives as they reflect and journey with us.
And as you travel with us, I want to pose that question again, personally:What makes the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim, and how are you a pilgrim?
The world is rapidly shifting and changing: the fashionable becomes familiar and then forgotten, and the ancient becomes fresh again. We draw from old underground streams more than we know. Everything is recycled and everything is new, in the moment.
Blessings on the journey,