Saturday, December 23, 2017

Let's Do a Pilgrimage Retreat!

Pilgrimage Retreats with Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell
Organizing Pastor, Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship, Portland, OR

Have you and your church leaders had a hard time thinking about what you want your next Session retreat, men's or women's retreat, all church retreat, or youth group gathering to focus on, and are wanting something new, different, outside the box and experiential, and yet of the Church?  Consider a Pilgrimage Retreat, an ancient practice for current times.

For the last twenty-years I have been on and led pilgrimage around the world with small and large groups - providing workshops on living an everyday pilgrimage life, for all-church events, Session retreats, men's or women's groups gatherings, youth retreats, and mission trips shaped as pilgrimage.  I have worked with churches and other faith organizations in Oregon, around the country and abroad.  Along with leading workshops, retreats and actual pilgrimages, I've also published three books on pilgrimage that I use for these sessions, the latest being Practicing Pilgrimage (Wipf and Stock, 2016), and have many articles published on this theme in both popular and church-related publications.

Reverends Beth and Greg Neel of Westminster Presbyterian Church said of my leading their all-church retreat at Rockaway Camp Grounds: "Brett is a natural teacher and his winsome style is laid on a foundation of deep spiritual practice and wide-ranging study of pilgrimage.  Brett engaged a variety of ages in a variety of activities, so that all who participated came away feeling as though they really had been on a meaningful pilgrimage” (Beth); and “Brett is gifted at assisting persons at different places on their faith journey to be on pilgrimage together.  He connects faith to the present and provides language that allows for questions, growth, and even possibly an ‘Aha!’ moment" (Gregg). Rev. Del Burnett of First Presbyterian Church, Salem said this about our time together at Suttle Lake on the men's retreat, “The Everyday Pilgrim Retreat led by Brett was a wonderful blending of biblical insight, personal experience and interactive engagement for our men.  The content was rooted in scripture and enriched by a morning pilgrimage, in which we were able to experience the pilgrim spirit.  Brett was a marvelous guide for our weekend experience.” And Rev. Sharon Edwards of First Presbyterian Church, Corvallis said this of their church leader retreat on pilgrimage at Mt. Angel Abbey said: “Brett's passionate and energetic presence helped us use the lens of ‘pilgrimage’ to examine the past, present and future of our lives.”

So, as you are thinking about a creative and out of the "box" experience for your church's next retreat, please consider a pilgrimage-focused theme and explore what it means to follow Jesus on our everyday pilgrimage lives in this contemporary world.

Feel free to contact me, Brett Webb-Mitchell,; or 919-444-9111. Fee scale is sliding, so let’s talk about you and your church, and go on a pilgrimage!