MORE THAN TOURISTS: THE SPIRITUAL IMPACT OF TRAVEL

There’s something powerful about moving away from our customary routines and “geographical security.” Bill Bryson (a prolific author of travel books) expresses my experience. “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”

Sarah and I have had the privilege of leading four tours (both the Tour of Israel and the Journeys of Paul cruise) with Trinity members and friends. I often get inquiries about “What’s next?” So, with a bit of trepidation, I would like to share our plans for future travel/pilgrimages. I do so mindful of James 4:13-15, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow… Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” So, if the Lord wills, here is what we have in mind:

In the summer 2017 (most likely late June or July), Sarah and I are leading a tour of Scotland and Ireland that focuses on the history of Celtic Christianity, learning about
St. Patrick, Aidan, Columba, Bridget and Cuthbert. We plan to visit the quaint historic islands of Lindisfarne and Iona in Scotland. We will explore our Presbyterian roots in Edinburgh, including John Knox’s sites. We will then tour Ireland, to see Patrick’s historic sites of Slane and Tara, and the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin. We also plan to visit Belfast and do a tour on C. S. Lewis’ birthplace and early life there. If you’ve read Tom Cahill’s book, How the Irish Saved Civilization, you have some idea of the rich personalities and events that still impact us today.

In spring 2018, Sarah and I would like to take our next trip to Israel, and most likely include a visit to the ancient city of Petra in modern day Jordan (featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).

We don’t have any plans at this time for 2019.

In summer 2020 we are excited to lead another new tour featuring sites of the Protestant Reformation, primarily in Germany and Switzerland. This tour will also include attending the world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play, held every ten years in that Bavarian town
60 miles from Munich, Germany.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

See you in Church—and maybe on a plane or tour bus!

Faithfully yours,

Doug