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We Are In This Pilgrimage Together

The Rev. Morgan Allen
April 18, 2019

Dear Trinity Church & friends,

Grace and Peace to you from God in Christ!  I pray this message finds you well as the Church readies for the Paschal Triduum, set to begin this evening.

As this message arrives in your inbox, I am on the road, minding a mobile Holy Week and remembering a coffee I shared with a parish newcomer some years ago.  In the course of our cups, he shared his story, and I shared mine, and (with some intensity) he explained that he preferred the language of “pilgrimage,” as opposed to “journey,” when describing his life’s experiences.

Nosing around their respective etymologies, I learned that “journey” derives from the Old French journée, meaning a routine “day’s work or travel.”  Alternatively, the tripartite “pilgrimage” comes from the Latin: per, meaning “beyond;” agri, meaning “country;” and aticum, meaning “belonging to.”  Collectively, “pilgrimage” connotes an event belonging to an experience “beyond one’s home,” intimating the expected trials and joys of such an endeavor: getting lost, being surprised, worrying about what the next bend in the road will bring, and anticipating the excitement around the corner after that.

As Holy Week pilgrims, we can reimagine our life’s trials and trespasses as formational moments, when our need of God becomes clearly present, and when we might relent of our prideful notions of self-sufficiency.  Rather than being defined by the world’s despair, then, we discover Grace and define ourselves by God’s hope.  Moreover, we see ourselves not as independent, but as interdependent, mutually supported and supporting in the family of God.  We are in this pilgrimage together, and – when our Friday’s darkness gives way to Sunday’s brightness – we share the joy of that recognition with a kindred community of faith.

As I now prepare for a season in which my family and I will be the newcomers to Trinity’s kindred community, know that we will arrive as a loving pilgrims, eager to spend time and share cups with you.  While none of us can know what the next bend in the road might bring, I am carrying with me the conviction – with some intensity – that it will be our Easter God who meets us there.

In prayer, and, soon, in person,


The Rev. Morgan S. Allen



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