Pilgrimage of Trust to St. Louis
I am writing to invite you on a pilgrimage of trust to St. Louis, Missouri, near Ferguson, Missouri, hosted by the monastic community from Taize, France.
Last September, I traveled to the MIT chapel in Boston, MA to hear Brother John and Brother Emile from the Taize community speak about this pilgrimage.
After inviting us on the pilgrimage of trust in St. Louis, Brother John said, “We understand the divides in this area are very deep. When we first arrived in St. Louis, people were like, ‘Who are these French guys?’ But as we talked, they realized that we don’t have answers, we are coming in to create spaces of prayer and trust. We understand that trusting God and others requires us to take risks, to step outside our comfort zones.”
Brother Emile added, “It’s like an event one of the Taize brothers organized in Africa, to bring people of many different countries together. In the months leading up to the event, even the day before, people kept saying, ‘This is not possible. Africa does not have the structure for this kind of event.’ Yet, the event went off and afterward everyone commented on what a meaningful event it was. Faith is about seeing possibilities in places where we have not seen them before.”
Possibilities of justice and compassion.
Like a seed planted in the ground, these words sunk into the soil of disbelief, frustration and mistrust.
“Is it actually possible to start somewhere? Is it possible to find a way forward?” We began to wonder collectively.
After Brothers John and Emile spoke, we broke out into workshops on ways of cultivating justice. Then we gathered for worship, packing the MIT chapel, sitting shoulder to shoulder on the floor and in the chairs.
As we pondered our frustrations, voices rose up around us, voices of people from different countries, difference races, different generations, singing:
“Let all who are thirsty come. Let all who wish receive the water of life freely.”
On that day, these voices enveloped all who heard them with the beginnings of hope. For the young people had decided to start somewhere. They had decided to start by going to Ferguson, to listen, to learn and to build relationships.
You too are invited on this pilgrimage.
What: The Pilgrimage of Trust
Where: St. Louis, Missouri
When: May 26th– 29th
Costs: Ages 18-35, $45 plus travel (includes food and lodging), Ages 35+, $45 plus travel and hotel costs
Why: This event is meant to bring together people of various backgrounds, whether that be socio-economic, racial, faith or more. Each day will be focused on the Common Prayer in the style of the Taizé community (morning, afternoon and evening) and will offer workshops in between the prayers.
Website (which includes a video): https://pilgrimageoftruststl.com
I am traveling to St. Louis for this event. Please consider joining me as together we make a pilgrimage of trust. To learn more or to join the pilgrimage, please contact me by phone at 860-581-0493 or by email at email@example.com.