Missional Wisdom Pilgrimages

Missional Wisdom Pilgrimages

Pilgrimage is a journey from the local setting to a place where an event of religious significance occurred or where objects of religious significance are housed that is undertaken as a spiritual discipline to promote spiritual growth or transformation.  It is an ancient activity associated with many of the world’s religions.  Adherents to Islam are encouraged to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at some point in their lives as a central tenet of their religious practice in order to connect with the origins of Islam and with other pilgrims or Haji. Christians embraced pilgrimage very early, travelling to visit places associated with Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints of the church.  Historically, the church sometimes required pilgrimage as penance or as a rite of passage into religious orders.  Modern day pilgrims travel for a variety of reasons ranging from education to penance to a desire for spiritual growth.

In our efforts to train Christian leaders for the future, the Missional Wisdom Foundation embraces pilgrimage as an important avenue of spiritual formation and transformation.  The Foundation itself was founded based on connections and inspirations that took place on a pilgrimage Elaine Heath and Larry Duggins took to Iona, Scotland.  The role of the Foundation in pilgrimage varies widely.  We have sponsored pilgrimages and we have helped others plan pilgrimages.  Check these pages for information about pilgrimages we have been involved in and pilgrimages we have planned.

Central Texas Conference Young Adult Pilgrimage to Iona

Travel with Bishop Mike Lowry and Dr. Larry Duggins of the Missional Wisdom Foundation to historic Iona Scotland, the seat of Celtic Christianity.  Explore your call to Christian leadership on a quiet island setting said to be a “thin place”, a place where the veil between heaven and earth is thin. Live in Christian community, observe a cycle of daily prayer and worship, and explore your vocational call with spiritual leaders. Limited to young adults ages 18-30 with home churches in the Central Texas Conference of the UMC. Pilgrim’s contribution of $750 covers airfare, lodging, ground transportation, breakfast and dinner.

Participants will be selected from applications received between November 1 and November 30, 2016. Apply online here

Previous Journeys

The Way of St. Cuthbert and Iona, Scotland | Summer 2014 

The Celtic Spirituality pilgrimage began in Glasgow with a short train ride to Melrose, where we started walking the 100K Way of St Cuthbert, retracing the steps of the saint in his journey to Lindisfarne.  

We then traveled across Scotland to Iona for six nights on the Hebridean island known throughout the world as a celtic "thin place', a place where the veil between heaven and earth is thin.  We kept the hours, worshiping in the Iona Abbey at 9 am and 9 pm, and spent the remainder of our days in unprogrammed times of rest, walking and reflection.  We lodged at the Iona Hostel on the north end of the island, preparing our own meals and sharing dinner as a community.  See www.ionahostel.co.uk for more lodging information and www.isle-of-iona.net for more information on Iona.

Iona, Scotland | Summer 2013


Bishop's Pilgrimage to Taizé, France | Spring, 2013

“The life of wholeness, which is to say holiness, lives in a daily walk with Christ.  Our journey to Taize is an offering to impact not only the lives of those who are participating but the lives of people Christian and non-Christian alike, with the gospel, the good news, of God with us in Jesus Christ at a new and far deeper level.  Through this ecumenical, transnational and richly multi-ethnic spiritual learning, I believe God will lead us to new and greater faithfulness in service to the advancing kingdom of God.  Taize is a “thin” place where heaven and earth touch and spiritual leaders are formed in life changing ways.”

                                                                                        Bishop Mike Lowry

The Missional Wisdom Foundation partnered with the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church to sponsor a pilgrimage to Taizé, France for a unique experience of spiritual formation and leadership development.  Bishop Mike Lowry and Rev. Dr. Larry Duggins led a group of 20 pilgrims to the small community where they lived with Christian pilgrims from across the globe.

The Taizé Community is a new monastic community located in the Burgundy region of southern France. The community has developed a unique style of meditative music and worship focused on empowering young people for lives of faith and service. The Taizé community is ecumenical, with 100 brothers from 30 countries and multiple Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christian traditions.


Travel Blogs from Previous Pilgrimages:

Bishop Lowry:  Come Holy Spirit: A Report from Taizé

Jarrod Johnston:  From Texas to Taizé: Living in Community

Burgundy's Taize community, founded in 1940, welcomes visitors who'd like to spend a few days getting close to God through meditation, singing and simple living. At any given time there are several thousand here from about a hundred countries, enjoying a week-long retreat. Learn more on Taizé

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