Members of ONA have an extraordinary opportunity to experience Iona with like-minded souls from centers across North America on pilgrimage there September 5–12, 2008, for a program entitled Pilgrim Church, Pilgrim People. We are happy to report that this event is now full. We include it here to demonstrate the type of opporutnities open to ONA members.
The program is described as "an exploration of the theme of pilgrimage as it has been understood Biblically, historically and in contemporary terms.” Why has there been such a resurgence of interest in pilgrimage over the last thirty years? As more and more people describe their faith in terms of a journey, Ian Bradley and Ray Simpson seek to discern the marks of a pilgrim church. Ian Bradley is an author, Ray Simpson the Leader of the Northumbria Community and Kathy Galloway, Leader of the Iona Community, will be here for part of the week."
Conversation with Kathy Galloway will be especially enlightening to us as centers that were, and are, inspired by the witness of the Iona community, and its worshiping, working center on the island of Iona.
We will arrive in Glasgow on September 5th, 2008, and gather together in the afternoon for introductions and then dinner to follow. On September 6th we will travel to Iona and stay until the morning of September 12th. On that date we will travel to Glasgow, stay overnight in a hotel and depart on September 13th.
Participants will plan their own travel to and from Glasgow, to arrive on September 5th and leave on September 13th.
In the months to come, we will explore the theme of pilgrimage on this website. But in the meantime, we can say that Iona has been a place of pilgrimage since St. Columba's arrival to the island with 12 companions in AD 563 when he founded a monastery that later became the heart of the Scottish Church in its early years. Since then pilgrims have travelled to Iona from afar in every century. A new era in the 13th century Benedictine Abbey's life began in 1938 with the creation of the Iona Community by the Rev. George MacLeod. He brought together unemployed craftsmen and ministers in training to work and worship together in the rebuilding of this lovely long-standing and in-need-of-repair building, providing a center for those of a variety of Christian faith traditions who choose to learn, pray and work together for peace and justice in the world. The founders of centers such as Kirkridge and Five Oaks and others were profoundly affected by MacLeod's approach to faith formation and by the ways in which this sacred place evolved to provide grounding by which pilgrims continue to be renewed to return to their countries and communities to do God's radical, healing work.