The Pilgrimage to the Land of Love is a fall spiritual journey, with fellow Mountain Sky members as we together expand our understanding of racism in our lives and our world. Each month we will focus on a different theme. There will be weekly 30-minute zoom meetings, on Sundays at 6 p.m., for debriefing and sharing. May our journey together help further Beloved Community in our churches, communities, nation, and world.
You can follow the Pilgrimage to the Land of Love by viewing the archived daily emails and reminders:
Humankind throughout the ages have taken pilgrimages to sacred sites, often unknown and foreign, to go in search of new or expanded meaning about themselves, others, or a higher good. It can lead to transformation which the pilgrim integrates into their daily life when they return.
Christians, when they were unable to make a pilgrimage to the holy land, even used labyrinths as a pilgrimage tool.
I am inviting all the laity and clergy of the Mountain Sky Conference to join me and others across our area on a pilgrimage. You don’t need to leave home for it. All you need to do is set aside some time each day so that together, we can take a Pilgrimage to the Land of Love.
We stand at an important moment as we are brought to a deeper awareness of the high price of racism. We are seeing the toll it takes on persons of color and how racism defiles the beautiful image of God each person possesses.
As disciples of Jesus, it is time for us to address this, first by beginning with ourselves.
It is written in Psalm 139:
Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong — then guide me on the road to eternal life.
For me, the imperative to doing an inward inventory of not only the ways I sustain racist systems and structures, but the ways I benefit from them and especially how I, too, am a racist, even unwittingly, is a demand of discipleship: I follow a Jesus who was a boundary crosser, exposing racist, sexist, classist ideologies and commanding us to overturn them by calling us to increase our love of God and neighbor. Not some of our neighbors. But everyone in every place on this earth.
Starting on Sept. 6, when we will all gather as pilgrims, we will journey together each day as we receive text or email messages — one a day — to help us engage more deeply with anti-racism resources in order to see our world in fuller ways.
Undergirded by the power of scripture, we will hear songs of struggle, read prophetic words, and view powerful videos. These will help us broader our worldview as we hear the voices and experiences of others. Together, we will share insights and new learnings and integrate these into our daily walk with Jesus. And then, we will allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit to a Land of Love.
I hope you will join me on this pilgrimage. You can find information for it on the Mountain Sky Conference website. Please sign up by Sept. 4. Invite others to join us by posting on social media. My hope is that every United Methodist in the Mountain Sky Conference will join this pilgrimage/
I look forward to journeying with you!
Racism is deeply rooted in our society and the waters of Baptism remind us that we are called to a different way. Please click on the following images to view the video invitations and call to action from Chesie Lee and the Rev. Akliah Bixler and her family.
Chesie Lee video
Bixler Family video
If you have questions, please contact Rev. Bich Thy (Betty) Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org.