By the time you read this, Chris and I will be, God willing, on pilgrimage–on the Way of St. James. This is a pilgrimage that I have been planning for many years. One of the things that most attracts me is that in this walking pilgrimage, the journey is the destination. Although the cathedral in Santiago, Spain is the stated goal, the pilgrimage is lived daily in small, mundane, repeated actions. Each day you get up. You quickly eat and pack. You get on the road and walk for several hours. You find a place to stay—we will only plan our accommodations as we end the day’s walking—you unpack, shower, find food and drink, have some social time with locals and other pilgrims. Then to bed. Repeat, day after day after day.
It doesn’t sound like much of interest, but the simplicity and repetition of the days serve to hone attention to the small, jewel-like moments of each day that can be so easily missed when I am distracted.
The repetition and simplicity of a walking pilgrimage have parallels to the daily life, to the mundane components that make a life and to which we can so easily become numb. Life, too, is a Way, played out mostly in the little moments of the day. Jesus described himself as the Way, and the early Christian community was called the Way. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry brings this to our attention in the Way of Love, his model for Christian formation.
The observation and advice of Phil Cousineau about our life on the Way is wise indeed: “What matters most on your journey is how deeply you see, how attentively you hear, how richly the encounters are felt in your heart and soul.”
God’s blessings to you on your Way, wherever you are and wherever you go.
JONATHAN DANIELS PILGRIMAGE:
The Jonathan Daniels pilgrimage has been coming together nicely. The plan is to go by car (not plane) and to see several other sites both en route and on the Civil Rights Trail. Travelling by car will give flexibility to take in more sites and to choose some options of specific interest to you.
The centerpiece is the Jonathan Daniels pilgrimage which takes place in Hayneville, Alabama, on August 12, 2023. Hayneville is a small town; the pilgrimage is profound but not long.
In the past weeks I’ve made connections in Selma and Montgomery, and we will have the possibility of meeting with people who were in the midst of all the action in 1965–what the guide calls “living primary documents” as well as going to several interpretive centers, monuments, and museums.
Final cost will be in the range of $600, plus travel cost and meals. We need to have numbers to book hotel accommodations. Please let me know if you are planning to come! Once we have numbers we can solidify costs and make it official. We already have four people from the diocese who would like to join us.
Best would be for me to know this week, by May 26–but we can keep the window open until June 7. Down payment is due June 10. Let me know if you have questions or concerns. The full promo info is attached; the sites and events part is pasted below.
Thursday 8/10/23: Indiana to Alabama via Cincinnati
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH
Drive to lodging in Selma, Alabama
Friday 8/11/23: Civil Rights Movement and Selma
- Selma Interpretive Center, 2 Broad Street Selma, 36701, 334-872-0509
- Edmund Pettus Bridge
- St Paul’s Episcopal, Lowndesboro (Jonathan Daniels’ place of worship) and conversation with locals
- Old Depot Museum: Indigenous peoples’s history to Civil War Room to Voting Rights
Special opportunities: places and people
o Lunch: Five and Dime; meet with Joyce O’Neal or Dianne Harris, teenager student marchers in 1965
o Tabernacle Baptist, site of secret meetings for civil rights from 1930s on; first public meeting 1963
Other possible events:
o By the River Center for Humanity actor/artist Afriye WeKandodis enslavement reenactment
o Jewish Temple and interaction with Selma congregants to hear about Jewish memories of 1960s and connections with St Paul’s
Saturday, 8/12/23, Hayneville, AL and Montgomery, AL
Saturday Morning Pre-pilgrimage breakfast and worship, hosted by Diocese of Alabama
- 11.00 Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage, Hayneville
- Lunch and panel discussion. For more details, click here.
- Lowndes Interpretive Center, 7002 US-80, Hayneville, AL 36040, 334-724-6080
Note: depending on interest in Hayneville and energy levels, you may choose to go to these sites on Sunday rather than Saturday
Equal Justice Initiative, 122 Commerce St. Montgomery 36104, including
–Legacy Museum 400 N. Court Street, 36104, 334-386-9100
–National Memorial for Peace and Justice
- First Baptist Church on Ripley Street, 347 North Ripley Street, Montgomery (334-264-6921)
- Dexter Avenue Memorial Baptist Church, 454 Dexter Avenue, 36106, (334-263-3970),
Saturday Evening: Worship and Reflection at Grace Episcopal Church, Pike Road, AL
Sunday, 8/13/23: Return to Indiana or continue sightseeing in Montgomery and/or Birmingham
- Montgomery: Rosa Parks Museum, 252 Montgomery Street (334-241-8615)
- Birmingham: Civil Rights Institute
- Birmingham: Kelly Ingram Park
- Birmingham: 16thStreet Baptist Church