A NOTE FROM MARION THOMAS
This summer our Synod is holding an event that will offer us a taster of a spiritual practice that has been going on for centuries and is now experiencing a bit of a revival. I’m talking about pilgrimage - a journey, usually on foot, undertaken as a special act of devotion to God. Often this would be done in response to a particular event in a person’s life, but sometimes purely as a way of taking the next step on their spiritual journey. The thing I find interesting about pilgrimage is the way in which it is at one and the same time both an intensely personal spiritual experience and also a shared adventure. Because there are special places that have always been sites of pilgrimage, people have tended to travel in company with others headed in the same direction.
And we hope to achieve both of those things with Pilgrims in the Park. This will be an event that you can take part in at whatever level is right for you. We are going to converge on Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield on Saturday 12th May for a day of prayerful and sociable activities. There will be the opportunity to share in a guided prayer walk over one of two routes within the park, with stops for prayer and reflection along the way. One route will offer a longer walk for the more energetic amongst us, and the other will be shorter and suitable for all levels of ability. The plan is that we will all end up at a central point at about the same time ready for a picnic lunch together (weather permitting!) after which we will make our way to Sutton Coldfield URC for a cuppa and a short closing act of worship. You can come for as much or as little of the day as you wish, but please do come. For further details and to book your place see your Church Secretary or contact me - details below.
There are other ways of sharing in fellowship on the journey of prayer. Perhaps there is a prayer group at your church that meets regularly, or even better, something ecumenical in your locality. But in these days of instant communication it is also possible to be connected to networks of praying Christians countrywide, or even worldwide. I regularly receive communications from Hidden Houses of Prayer, a network which seeks to encourage and resource people as they pray quietly by themselves. Why not have a look at them on www.hiddenhousesofprayer.wordpress.com
I do pray that in these and other ways you will find sources of God’s presence and blessing as you continue on your own journey with Him in your life day by day.
Synod Silence and Retreats Co-ordinator