Reflections on a pilgrimage:

Youth from St. John's J2A (Journey to Adulthood) group travel to Washington, D.C.

By Robin O'Brien, June 2017

As quoted from our J2A manual: "A J2A Pilgrimage is not a vacation or a sightseeing tour or a mission trip. Vacations create time for relaxation and refreshment. Sightseeing tours are a time for taking in the wonders of a distant land and culture. Mission trips are principally a chance to share in spreading the Gospel. Pilgrimage is all of that and more- it is a time we set aside to journey in the footsteps of the faithful Christians who have gone before us. By mindfully walking in their footsteps, we put ourselves in touch with our tradition, our roots, our God."

I have asked the kids about the Pilgrimage, to name what was memorable for them. Here are their answers:

Makayla: I liked the Natural History Museum, but did not like the Space Museum. Where I most felt close to God was at the High Church service. I learned a lot about the Holocaust and learned more about the High Church.

MaKenzie: My favorite memory from Washington, D.C. Was the ENTIRE TRIP, from the people, and the walking, the food, and the experience. I learned that you have to be very respectful in High Church. Everything is more formal, and not as casual as our church.

Ace: My favorite part of the trip was the Space Museum. What surprised me was that there wasn't communion during High Church. Did not like the heat, but learned how hard a real Pilgrimage must be.

Levi: My favorite part of the trip was the Holocaust Museum, but did not like all the walking; got blisters on my feet! Was surprised by the swinging of the incense during High Church. I learned about the Holocaust and how it was a lot worse than I thought."

The mentors, Travis and Robin were also very moved by the High Church service at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The procession of choir and priests with the wonderful swinging incense, circling around the congregation three times while singing produced a very reverent, respectful and "thin space to God" atmosphere!