West Highland Way Pilgrims Prayer and future Pilgrimage

Please hold our pilgrims and their friends in your prayers as they travel to walk the West Highland Way in Scotland, October 12 - 24, 2019. The theme of this fall’s pilgrimage is Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye which is a Scottish phrase that means, What’s meant to happen will happen! They have read many books in preparation and had monthly meetings and discussions. Many training walks have taken place in preparation for what is sure to be a very difficult walk. We look forward to hearing of their spiritual journey with Christ and one another at a future Adult Education seminar.

Note: We are exploring a pilgrimage on the Camino De Santiago in late August 2020. If you are interested in knowing more, contact. Rev. Rogers, mrogers@firstpresbyterian.org. This is a “pampered pilgrim” trip which involves more than 100 kilometers of walking this ancient route, with luggage transferred, guides and transfers, and all-inclusive lodging and food in beautiful Portugese and Spanish paradors. The deadline to express interest is October 11, 2019.

Spiritual Pilgrimage to Iona in 2016

Rev. Rogers in IonaAt First Pres, a pilgrimage is an intentional spiritual journey. To travel to a place with sacred meaning is more than a vacation, but is an act of devotion with the goal of deepening one’s faith and creating relationships with other pilgrims. A pilgrimage is both a physical and holy journey as we take time to look to God for nurture. Over time, Christian pilgrims have historically journeyed to key sacred sites in Israel, Rome, Scotland (Iona), and France (Taize), among others.

Iona, an island off the coast of Scotland, is an enduring symbol of Christianity. St. Columba, an Irish priest, landed on Iona with his followers from Ireland in A.D. 563 and established a monastery. Today, Iona is a revitalized place of Christian communion, centered on a religious community established by George MacLeod in 1938. On Iona there is a restored Abbey that welcomes up to 50 guests each week, as well as thousands of pilgrims every day during the summer months. The Abbey provides a unique opportunity to live with people from all over the world and all walks of life. Guests and staff of the community share all aspects of life - meals, daily worship, programmed activities, chores and social events in a place that allows them to feel safe in exploring issues that challenge or concern them and to have space to reflect on their lives.

Since 2010, five groups of First Pres members and friends have journeyed to Iona, Scotland. People have spent a week at the Iona Community and returned with a deeper faith and commitment. We plan to send a group to Iona May 12—22, 2016. If you are interested, please contact Daniel Ervin, Resident Minister at dervin@firstpresbyterian.org. Sponsored by the Adult Education Committee, these Iona Pilgrimages are self-funded and require an extensive orientation.

Santiago, Spain

Camino Pilgrims OfficeSantiago, Spain is another place of pilgrimage. This pilgrimage is a 500+ kilometer walk to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. This is called "The Way of St. James." The 2010 movie, "The Way", starring Martin Sheen, is an excellent portrayal of pilgrims on this journey. Since medieval times, it has been one of the most important Christian pilgrimages, particularly to Catholics. This is a walking pilgrimage, although many people take go by bike. Today, tens of thousands of pilgrims and many others set out each year for the Cathedral in Santiago.

2014 Camino Pilgrimage

In 2014, fourteen women from First Pres walked 100-kilometers of the Camino, sharing the journey with people from all over the world who are also "on the Way." As a spiritual pilgrimage, the group prepared by reading several books, and sharing how God has come to us along our own journeys of life. The trip was led by the Rev. Melissa Anne Rogers.