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The Power of Pilgrimage (vs Mission vs Tourism)

November 26, 2012

Pilgrimage walk along an historic slave trail in Richmond.

“There are some things that God can only teach us by dislocating our bodies to strange land.”  I say that to Duke Divinity students on pilgrimage every spring break to Baltimore and Richmond (see Duke Divinity article:  Spring Pilgrimage Offers Unique View of Reconciliation).  Pilgrimage is a powerful means of transformation, and is quite different from mission (i.e. building a Habitat house) or tourism (i.e. entertainment).   It is grounded in the conviction that God is already at work in places of deep pain, and the quest to cross over, be watchful, listen, be present.  For a terrific book on leading pilgrimage (I draw on it for pilgrimages in Durham as well) see Trevor Hudson’s A Mile in My Shoes.

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