Wednesday, July 16, 2008

School of the Pilgrim: A Validated Ministry of New Hope Presbytery

Yesterday morning, Tue., July 15, 2008, under an omnibus motion, the School of the Pilgrim was made a "validated ministry of New Hope Presbytery."


From what was almost ten years ago a wisp of a dream, an inkling, a simple naming "School of the Pilgrim," to being both a religious non-profit/501c3 and a validated ministry of New Hope Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2008, offering a bevy of pilgrimages in 2008 and 2009 is say the least.

This is truly God's doing; a gift of grace.

A big "thank you" to all of you who support the School in your prayers, volunteering of time and effort, and financially. It is because of your support, as a community of pilgrims, that all of this validation is occurring.

What does this all mean? Simple:
* The School of the Pilgrim is more than a pipe-dream or a flirtatious idea: it is real and tangible, understood as legitimate by a part of the Church universal;
* I can go into meetings about future pilgrimage events and explain to people who run conference centers, pilgrimage sites, and continuing education offices that we are a validated ministry of the PCUSA, giving us a legitimacy that does not hurt in sharing the virtues of the practice of pilgrimage;
* This validation provides me and others who work with the School and are ordained the possibility of full benefits, including pension, health, disability, death, and dental care;
* This validation is also helpful in writing grants and loan applications in terms of giving us a legitimacy that most grant-funding organizations look for in applicants.

Many thanks!

Buen camino!

Pilgrim peace, Brett