Wesley Pilgrimage in England

This summer will be a memorable one for me: for my annual required continuing education/spiritual formation work, I will participate in a Wesleyan Pilgrimage in England, July 9-19. This experience is offered through the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church. It is led by a Wesley scholar and a leadership/evangelism professor at Asbury Seminary. Recently the General Board announced layoffs to the agency as a result of the declining budget of the World Service apportionment. Thankfully, the trip was not impacted; however individual and family lives will be, including one of the trip leaders. I invite you to be in prayer for their time of transition.

Christy and I served in England for nearly a year in 1999-2000, and we returned there for a week of "holiday" in 2007. This will be the first time I've traveled there by myself! The family was welcome to go, or join me after my pilgrimage, but other commitments did not allow for it. Christy will take my place as a counselor with Linus at Camp Bridgeport; James will participate in the senior high mission trip with Custer Road; what Miles will do is still a mystery! I will also be away for Grace's Vacation Bible School.

Here's an itinerary of the trip. The organizers are very clear in distinctively calling this a pilgrimage, not a heritage tour: "Pilgrims are praying people. Pilgrims are walking people. Each day begins with prayer & Eucharist and ends with Compline." There is lots of walking (about 50 miles for the trip!), prayer, study, and worship.

Monday           Lunch in the Sarum College Refectory @ 1:00 pm
9 July              Orientation & Teaching sessions

Tuesday           Oxford - Wesley Memorial Church
10 July             Martin Welling lecture on the Holy Club as the First Rise of Methodism
                        Walking tour; free time; supper in Oxford

Wednesday      Travel to Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick via West Bromwich and
11 July             visit to Bishop Francis Asbury’s boyhood home.
                        Teaching session: “Mission-shaped Discipleship”

Thursday         Visit Epworth: The Old Rectory, St. Andrew’s Church, Market Cross, &
12 July            Wesley Memorial Methodist Church. Return to Sarum College.

Friday             Teaching sessions with Dr. Paul Chilcote
13 July            Free afternoon

Saturday         Teaching sessions with Dr. Steve Manskar
14 July            Free afternoon

Sunday           Worship with Salisbury Methodist Church
15 July            Lunch at Sarum College
                       Take a coach to Bath for the afternoon

Monday           Visit Bristol: The New Room and Charles Wesley’s house
16 July            Return to Salisbury for supper

Tuesday          Travel to London - lodging TBD.
17 July            Free time to explore London

Wednesday      Walking tour of Wesley/Methodist sites beginning at Wesley’s Chapel and House
18 July            Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral followed by banquet at Centre Page
                        Closing worship at Royal Foundation of St. Katharine’s chapel

Thursday         Breakfast & departures
19 July

Per the recommendation of the organizers, I will arrive "in country" a day early, on Sunday July 8. While you gather for worship that Sunday, I'll be in transit to Salisbury! I was also very excited to learn that Salisbury has a old cinema. I hope to make a few side excursions to see dear friends from our time living in England nearly two decades ago. On Sunday July 22 during the sermon time I will offer learnings and pictures from the trip for the congregation. I invite you to be in prayer this July during this time away from home/family/church.

For more info, or to register yourself-- all clergy and layfolk are welcome-- click here.