Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

The Pilgrimage Project

What does it mean to be a pilgrim of faith? Is it the journey or the destination?

Many people know of Church of Our Saviour (COS) as the place where the Arlington Food Pantry has its home. But not everyone is aware that the church also has a variety of programs meant to nourish the soul as well. This spring, COS will be offering a series of “mini-pilgrimages,” a chance to explore different kinds of journeys to various spiritual sites around the Boston area. Each one can be an experience in itself, or one can sign up for the whole series (see descriptions below). Each pilgrimage will include time for group reflection as well as time for personal reflection and silence. For more information, contact Ginger Webb at Gs_webb@yahoo.com or 781-641-0084.

The Journey to the Center: The Labyrinth
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 10 a.m.; Time : 2-3 hours; Journey: Public transportation

The labyrinth is an ancient practice of walking meditation, a journey to the center that often takes surprising turns. We will meet at Church of Our Saviour for introductions and opening prayer. We will then talk about our pilgrimage of the day, to the center of the labyrinth, to the center of ourselves, to the center of God. We have a choice of several labyrinths in the area to choose from, exact location to be announced.

This pilgrimage will be by public transportation, so we will spend some time talking about the spirituality of public transportation. What does it mean to pilgrimage with people who aren’t going to the same destination? Can we find peace in urban chaos? Can riding the T be a prayerful experience?

Once we arrive at the labyrinth, we will explore the discipline of walking meditation, as individuals and as a group. Afterwards we will have time to talk about the experience and what it means to journey to the center.

The Pilgrimage of Peace: Sherborn Peace Abbey
Date: May 12, 2012, 10 a.m.; Time: 4 hours; Journey: Car; Children invited, we will take a picnic lunch

This pilgrimage will begin at Church of Our Saviour with introductions and opening prayer. We will then carpool to the Peace Abbey in Sherborn. Along the way, we will discuss what it means to be a pilgrim: Is the journey important or just the destination? What can we learn from both?

After taking a tour of the Museum and various peace memorials on the grounds, we will have some time for personal meditation and reflection on how we can journey toward peace, both as individuals and as members of the body of Christ.

The Journey Home: Bethany House of Prayer
Date: June 20, 2012, 5:30 p.m.; Time: 3 hours; Journey: on foot. (Alternate group may meet for supper and travel by car.)

Do we need to go on a journey to be a pilgrim, or are there sacred places in our own backyards? For this pilgrimage we will meet in Arlington Center at was once the first Episcopal Church in Arlington, now the Arlington Friends of the Drama. After a quick piece of pizza, we will walk up the hills through Arlington Heights to reach the Bethany House of Prayer. Along the way we will contemplate how to find the sacred close to home, whether we can journey through the familiar and still find the unexpected, and whether the journey needs to be an “uphill battle” in order to be meaningful. We will end our walk at Bethany House of Prayer, where we will join the sisters for evening contemplative service at 7 p.m. Afterward, we will journey back down the hill, enjoying the light of the summer solstice.

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