Thank you for indicating an interest in participating in the St. Mary’s Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Land of Jesus during March 3-17, 2019. Contact information for the pilgrims who went to Jerusalem in Lent of 2018 is attached. Please speak with at least one of them as you discern your participation in this pilgrimage to get a better idea of what is involved.
Attached you will find answers to many of your questions. Cameron Merrow will again be organizing our trip and is happy to assist in any way she can. We are so looking forward to this trip and barring a State Department ban on travel to this area we will go forward as planned. After carefully considering all information, please download the registration form.
I want to underscore and differentiate, as I understand it, between a tour and a pilgrimage. Tours are fine things but we are not going to this deeply troubled part of the world as tourists.
We are going as a community of faith to communities of faith—Episcopal, Orthodox, Catholic, Monastic. Our time together will be marked by worship, reflection, and care for one another. Each person on the pilgrimage will have the opportunity to lead us in prayer as we gather on the bus at the start of the day, to help lead our worship, and to participate with other Christians when we gather to worship on the Sundays we are there.
We hope to have three evening presentations while at St. George’s about the continuing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians. Our meals will be communal at the Guest House of St. Georges Cathedral on the grounds of the St. George’s College.
We will gather at St. Mary’s on two occasions in January 2019 to prepare for our trip. Everyone is expected to attend to get to know one another and to have some preliminary discussion. Karen Armstrong’s book Jerusalem [among other recommended books, see attached] is highly recommended reading between now and then. It is not for the faint of heart, however. She is very thorough.
This trip truly is a time set apart ripe for the Holy Spirit to move among us. Let us prepare ourselves in heart, body, and mind that God would use this experience to sharpen us as tools of his reconciling love made known perfectly in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Fr. Andrew Merrow+