Images by Ken Gray
In response to broadening and deepening interest in ecological justice issues throughout our ecclesiastical province, the Social and Ecological Justice (SEJ) Working Group prepares both programmes and materials to explore the relationship between Christian faith, justice and the environment. An ideal time for this work is the annual SEASON OF CREATION, Sept 1 – October 4 (St. Francis Day).
This year we have scheduled a series of pilgrimages to gather those who wish to experience creation, grace and peace as we move intentionally through creation together. During our walk we will remember last summer’s extreme weather events including firestorms, atmospheric rivers, heat domes, floods and creation’s fury. We will ponder what this summer might bring. We will also bring faith, hope and love to our spiritual practice.
Consider your own memories and experiences of climate catastrophes. Perhaps you have already engaged in conversations with friends, parishioners and colleagues about the Climate Emergency. There are certainly many reactions to the term — some are motivating, others are dreadful, literally. A youth motion from the 2019 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada identified the Climate Emergency as a priority and accepts it as a given. Younger voices see value in the church declaring such an emergency. It is one way that Christian faith calls us into action.
The members of the SEJ Pilgrimage Working Group are convinced that a timely and inspirational action is through pilgrimage, an intentional opportunity to walk in solidarity with others, in step with Christ while surrounded by the gift of creation itself. Through the 2022 pilgrimages we will pray for a great renewal, a cosmic shift of the human heart, a revolution of concern for this planet. We will pray that the day of our awakening to the plight of Mother Earth will not only happen, but that it will happen now, here in British Columbia and elsewhere.
Pilgrims through the centuries have sought release from the routines of ordinary life in order to glimpse and experience the extraordinary, a metaphysical taste of God in Divine Fullness, a real presence in our lives, invigorating our faith, inspiring our loves, justifying our hopes, within the moments of our days. If you can you separate yourself for a time from other commitments, from work or other activity, from the delights and demands of family and friendship circles, for God and for God’s world, then Pilgrimage 2022 is for you.
These walks are especially designed to refurbish our respect for, and our delight in creation. We do so knowing that creation itself is injured. God’s world is in the critical care ward, crying for healing and recovery. A deep engagement with the earth, mobilized by the physical discipline of walking with other like-minded pilgrims, will generate hope and resilience in a new community with other travellers.
Around the province walks are scheduled as follows (this list is subject to change; in some instances space may be limited). Feel free to reach out to the contact person listed below. Or reach out to me here.
|June 25||Day event||Camp Caledonia||Louise Peters email@example.com|
|Aug 28 – Sept 4||7 days||Southern Vancouver Island||Wally Eamer firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sept 3||1-6 pm||St Thomas and Holy Cross, Vancouver||Alecia Greenfield email@example.com|
|Sept 10||Afternoon||North Vancouver pilgrimage||Elizabeth Mathers firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sept 10||Afternoon||St George Ft Langley||Roy Cline email@example.com|
|Sept 24||Provincial Synod||Sorrento Centre||Ken Gray firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sept 25 – 29||5 days||Sorrento Centre||Ken Gray email@example.com|
|Oct 1||All day||St Dunstan’s Aldergrove||Alecia Greenfield firstname.lastname@example.org|
We hope this invitation to live and love differently, even briefly, will inspire you and those with whom you share this invitation to enter into a creative, thoughtful and grateful space together.
The trailhead awaits . . . Will you join us?