This year the pilgrimage is in the Saint John and Kingston and the Kennebecasis Archdeaconries. There will be a great contrast between the urban and the rural. Please join Trevor and me as we walk. A timetable for our journey can be found here. If you cannot walk, then come to worship.
As I write I am packing my gear for the next two weeks. I have to think through what is to go. This year there are a number of exciting events along the way, such as the anniversary service in Kingston and the Commissioning of Erin Hodge into Threshold Ministries at St. Paul’s Rothesay.
I am missing Janet as I prepare, because she would tell me what I have not packed. I apologize in advance if I turn up in the wrong place with the wrong thing.
This will be the fifth pilgrimage, and over the four years of doing them, I have come to value the journeys more and more. Not only do they mean that I meet many people along the way, but also I have time to reflect upon living life as a follower of Jesus. The pace slows, people tell me fascinating stories and the natural world inspires.
Since Janet’s death, I have been able to think more deeply about what it is to be a Christian. Theologians such as N. T. Wright have had a great impact upon my thinking. I have particularly reflected upon the ideas of some of the early church Fathers about the nature of being human.
I am coming to the conclusion that it is easy for me to be a synthetic human rather than authentic. Let me try to explain. Something that is synthetic is essentially made up of components. In human terms this may be who our families say we are, who people we know say we are, expectations laid upon us by ourselves and others. In scripture we are told that being authentically human is to be the image bearer of God in the world.
During my time on pilgrimage this year, I am going to spend time thinking and praying about this further. My conclusions will form the basis of my presentations at our Deep Roots gathering in June.
Anyhow, it is now back to packing. I must remember soap, pillows and a towel. I look forward to seeing some of you on the way.