Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gates of Cristo

In the book VISUAL THEOLOGY (Edited by Robin Jensen and Kim Vrundy, Liturgical Press, 2009), Doug Adams wrote an essay on Cristo and Jeanne-Claude's draping. The one draping was in Central Park with "The Gates" project. This is what I found novel:

The word gate originally meant "a path" or " the way." Passage ways are central images as thresholds of transcendence in religions such as Judaism and Christianity. In Judaism every door helps us remember the Exodus through which God brought us out of Egypt from slavery to freedom, and in Christian, Christ is the doorway, or the one who suggests followers ought to knock at the door, or the one who sits in the doorway as our way to freedom from death to resurrection. (The gate) is a threshold to cross: to transcend what is known and to pilgrimage into new territory. But the very ability to transcend the familiar and venture into the unknown implies freedom (p. 110-111).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ramadan Has Begun!

A year ago I was in Jerusalem in the middle of Ramadan celebrations. I'll never forget the multi-cultural experience of being in Jerusalem on pilgrimage in the close of Ramadan and the beginning of Rosh Hashana. As a Christian, it was fascinating to see and remember that our faiths come from this land of desert and hot sun. Jerusalem is indeed a crucible of sorts, and there is nothing easy about it.

I am in Minnesota on a writing sabbatical. It is very good to be away in order to write. It is here that I met Sr. Stef who later took me on a pilgrimage to Esquipulas, Guatemala, going on pilgrimage to see and venerate El Cristo Negro: the Black Christ.




Sunday, August 16, 2009

Storm Chasers

One of the visions on each and every pilgrimage I've been on is the sky. I try to be a reader of the skies. In NM, the sky was like a large shallow bowl that covered the desert. In Santiago, the sky was as twisted and turning as was the Camino itself. In England, the greyness of the sky was omnipresent.

There is a phenomenon in the States of people on pilgrimage, searching for the pathway of tornadoes.

Click here for more.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barefoot or Shoes on Pilgrimage...That is the Question!

One of the sites I like reading is the Frugal Traveler blog on the New York Times. I especially liked the last Frugal Traveler about bare feet versus shoes in traveling or pilgrimage.

This instantly threw me back to memories of St. Patrick's Purgatory, which was three days of walking barefoot on a cold little island--Lough Derg--in northern Ireland. I was amazed at this "outward bound" practice. This was the same possible experience in walking up the mount where St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.

Then there were the people who wore shoes to Chimayo and Santiago de Compestela who wore shoes, but also allowed themselves to get blisters. The idea of obtaining blisters? Feeling the same suffering that Jesus did upon the cross.

Click here for the Frugal Traveler and shoes!



Two Year Anniversary of the School of the Pilgrim as a Non-Profit

Two years, the IRS sent me the letter with the good news that the School of the Pilgrim is a non-profit, 501(c)3!

Then a year ago, the School of the Pilgrim became a validated ministry of the Presbytery of New Hope of the Presbyterian Church (USA)!

We want to thank you for the kind support of prayers, voluntary efforts, and financial support as we seek to provide a new way of understanding spiritual growth and development in the framework of the ancient practices of pilgrimage!



Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Moveable Feast

Ernest Hemingway first used this term (to my recollection), and it seemed appropriate to talk about it as well as I first celebrated Holy Communion at First Presbyterian Church-Henderson, then went three blocks north and celebrated Holy Communion with our sister Church, Cotton Memorial Presbyterian Church.

And what was beautiful was that bread was central to both sermon and feast: John 6 this morning (vs. 35): I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry...nor thirsty.

On pilgrimage, I always look for the places where I will be fed next, literally and figuratively. That was true today as I took the bread of life two two different Presbyterian Churches who both are reliant upon the bread of life.