January 6, 2016 – The Feast of the Epiphany
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
The pilgrimage has begun.
We are pleased with the response to the pilgrimage blog, which was launched on the First of Advent. Our thanks to Canon Anne Kitch for the insightful offerings. We began with the personal reflections because we firmly believe that “the really significant journey is the interior journey,” to quote Esther DeWaal (“The Celtic Way of Prayer,” July 1999). We hope that you have been following the Christmas meditations by Anna Thomas, a college student from the Cathedral. The Epiphany blog posts are on their way.
Bishop Sean is inaugurating the Epiphany season with a video address to the diocese on January 6, which is posted on YouTube. The video will be made available to all congregations. The 4-minute video is intended to invite and welcome every member of the diocese into the pilgrimage. Every individual and congregation will follow, and be guided, by the Spirit as pilgrims on a Holy Way into the unknown future together. We suggest that the clergy and the congregational shepherds confer on how to prepare, view, and draw from the video the important elements for the congregational pilgrimage.
We suggest a way for you to welcome and engage the pilgrimage during Epiphany is to use the blog meditation on “pilgrimage” by The Rev. Canon Maria Tjeltveit. Canon Tjeltveit has crafted appropriate questions for group discussion.
The Lenten season pilgrimage resources are being developed by a team of lay and clergy coordinated by the Rev. Scott Allen. These resources will be made available to you online. Please be alert to future emails from us, as well as future issues of Leadership News and Diobeth newSpin.
Clergy are alerted to be attentive to the clergy track being developed by the Rev. Dr. Jane Williams and the Rev. David Green. Information pertaining to both the structure and the process will be available in the near future. The clergy day on March 3 will be especially significant in the formation of this part of the pilgrimage.
We express our gratitude to the Rev. Elizabeth Haynes and the Rev. Chris Sutton for their help in securing congregational shepherds in every congregation. If, by chance, you have not submitted the name and contact for a shepherd, please do so immediately via email to Jo Trepagnier.
The person should be computer savvy and be willing:
- To invite their congregation into the pilgrimage;
- To hold the parish pilgrims and the diocesan pilgrims in their public and private prayers;
- To be a conveyor, along with their clergy and others, of the resources and opportunities for their congregants on pilgrimage; and,
- To communicate the activities of their congregation to the wider diocese.
We encourage every congregation to include the pilgrimage in their daily and Sunday prayers. As a reminder, the prayer and blessing (also available on the pilgrimage page of the website) are:
Collect of Pilgrimage:
God of Journeys, as you led and nourished your ancient people though the wilderness, give us the courage to set off on pilgrimage to seek the forms and styles of life and ministry you have prepared for us. You call us to leave familiar things and leave our “comfort zone.” Guide our footsteps, open our eyes to new experiences, open our ears to hear you speaking to us, touch our imaginations, and clear our vision that we may become the people you would have us to be. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who travels always with us. Amen
May God the Father who created you, guide your footsteps;
May God the Son who redeemed you, share your journey;
May God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you, lead you on life’s pilgrimage; and,
The blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be with you wherever you may go. Amen
[The blessing is from Canterbury Cathedral]
We continue our prayers for you as we walk together as pilgrims.