Thursday, March 12

Article From Our Newsletter About The Pilgrimage to New York

“As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.” A.C. Benson

Pilgrimage has always been a strange word to me. I have always thought that life itself was a pilgrimage, and it is, but I have recently begun to understand the very spiritual nature of being intentional about a trip somewhere. Wikipedia defines a pilgrimage as “a long journey or search of great moral significance.” Great Moral Significance.

When I first started planning for the Young Adult Pilgrimage coming up in June, I sat with that statement for a while. We decided that going to New York, to the headquarters of The Episcopal Church, would be a great way to get to know how we fit into a larger picture.

We asked for an audience with the Presiding Bishop because we thought it would be a great way to understand what The Episcopal Church wants from us and what it is doing for us. We want an opportunity to show her who we are and why we are so important to the life of the church. We also think that having an opportunity to explore our cultural and religious history and its significance in the way the church interacts with the community is important. And our last goal is to try to get a better understanding of what the church does in times of crisis, like our relief work after 9/11. I think all this plays in to the exact definition of a pilgrimage, a “search of great moral significance.”

I never really understood the difference between a vacation and a pilgrimage until I went on a trip to Quito, Ecuador, in South America. I never thought that a “vacation” could change my life in the way that trip has.

By going with a group of people who were also there trying to have a life-changing experience, I was able to transform what could have been any other trip with something that opened my eyes to the love and grace that Jesus left when he died on the cross. I was given the language to put my spirituality into words. Having people around you who are searching for a deeper relationship with God is essential to the spiritual growth of any person.

Here's what we are planning;

  • Leave June 20 and return on June 27;
  • The cost will be $1100 for an entire week in New York City, which includes flights, lodging, activities, and transportation while we are there;
  • The activities, which are subject to change at any time and are included in that price, are:
    • visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, The Episcopal Church offices, Trinity Wall Street (one of the first Episcopal churches ever built)
    • tours of General Seminary (the first Episcopal seminary), The Cathedral of St John the Divine including a spire climb, Ground Zero and St. Paul's Chapel (where most of the 9/11 relief was housed);
    • day of mission work;
    • a Broadway show and a show at St. Mary's put on by the Episcopal Actors Guild; and
  • The only thing not included in this price is your food. You will be required to bring extra money to cover that. I suggest you budget $50 a day, which is $350, but you can eat for cheaper than that if you try.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by April 10. An additional $300 is due on May 8, and a $300 payment on June 5.
I hope you will consider joining us for this meaningful trip of discovery to learn who we were, who we are, and who we want to be as Americans, Christians, and Episcopalians.

    Lauren Woody

    Young Adults Coordinator for the Diocese of Atlanta
    For more information or to register contact me at

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a nice opportunity, but all I could say is "school, school, school".

    Even if I were to have a choice and the money to participate in the events for this summer, this would actually be 3rd on my list.

    Why? For me is a few things-

    1. Asiamerica Ministry Consultation for this year is actually right around that time, too. That's a buzzkill in itself.

    2. General Convention this year is in my diocese. Ideally, I would have saved for the Young Adult Festival.

    3. Church situation... unlike the past, I can't use my parents as leverage in terms of asking for funding for church events. Also, the well in Asian ministries in my diocese is also running dry. Coming up with about $1000 something or so by myself is not an easy task.

    Anyway, in case you are wondering the Chinese translation of "pilgrimage", the characters that are associated with that word is "朝聖". (Mandarin pronunciation of that word is "chao-sheng".) The combined meaning of these two characters would be "seeking holiness".

    To me, the pilgrimages I went to have played a big role in transforming me to the minister I am today. After all, not only I have seen miracles of God in person, but also learning important ministry skills that I am applying in church today.

    If I have an opportunity to have a family with kids someday, I would take them personally to the site of my pilgrimages and teach them the lessons I have learned along the way.