Monday, December 17, 2007

The Pilgrimage of Advent: A Season of Hope

Growing up as a "cradle Christian," I always heard about Advent being a pilgrimage of sorts as we move through the four seasons of the Church year.  In seminary as a student, as well as a professor, I learned, and adhered to the idea of honoring the season with a true celebration of the sense of "coming" of the celebration of Christmas, the birth of Christ.  Yet the malls and stores of America, along with radio stations, television shows, and movies have already "decked the halls" and announced it is Christmas, starting in October.  In terms of pilgrimage, it is like getting to the destination before we did the work that was needed to truly enjoy the festivities and heraldry of the Christ's birth.  Even the pastor at my home church acknowledged such as he welcomed a pageant of Christmas on the third Sunday of Advent yesterday.

In this season of Advent, with themes of joy, hope, peace, and love, I also have done what all non-profit organizations do in this season: send out last minute appeals for funds for the School of the Pilgrim.  It is a season of hope as we embrace 2008 as truly the year of more firmly establishing the School of the Pilgrim.  Plans are afoot for moving into our new office at 309 W. Weaver St., Ste. 200, Carrboro, NC 27510, along with planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, September 23-Oct. 3, 2008.  Please consider a tax deductible donation to the School of the Pilgrim in this last month of 2007!

Also on the horizon: I'm writing a personal essay, "A Pilgrimage of Coming Out" for The Rambler Magazine, tracing the pathway of October's pilgrimage to Santiago de Compestela with my coming "out," officially, that is...

Bien Camino!

Pilgrim peace,