After a very successful 40-day pilgrimage down the entire length of the Connecticut River in the summer of 2017, interest has grown — and we’d like to have more paddling pilgrims experience this wonderful immersion in the practice and spirituality of living in right relationship with the natural world!
Kairos Earth will partner with the Diocese of Rhode Island to offer two 3-day pilgrimages along rivers in Rhode Island in May and September. Click the Wood River Pilgrimage or Blackstone River Pilgrimage links below for more information.
Kairos Earth will also be offering one slightly longer pilgrimage (a maximum of 12 days, divided into 3-day segments) along the Connecticut River between New Hampshire & Vermont. Exact dates have yet to be determined, so click the Connecticut River Pilgrimage link below for several options and to provide your vote on when this pilgrimage occurs.
River of Life: Wood River Pilgrimage, 2018
Thursday, May 17 – Sunday, May 20
River of Life: Blackstone River Pilgrimage, 2018
Wednesday, September 5 – Saturday, September 8
River of Life: Connecticut River Pilgrimage, 2018
Mid- to Late July / Early August — dates TDB
Water is central to life, and living, flowing rivers have played an integral role in ecological, social, economic, and spiritual practice worldwide since time immemorial. The Connecticut River is a prime example of a river carrying the lifeblood of a region.
Over 40-days in the summer of 2017, the River of Life: Connecticut River Pilgrimage consisted of a core group of “river pilgrims” who journeyed the full length of the Connecticut river, hiking or paddling the 410-miles from the headwaters in northern New Hampshire to where the river joins Long Island Sound in Old Saybrook, CT, plus local river’s-edge communities who participated in shore-based events that drew attention to the beauty and challenges — ecological & economic, social & spiritual — along the waterway.
The River of Life: Connecticut River Pilgrimage was sponsored by the Episcopal Dioceses of New Hampshire, Vermont, Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine, in partnership with Province I of the Episcopal Church, the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Kairos Earth.
In summer 2015, Kairos Earth undertook a pilgrimage – a journey to sacred places with the intention of learning, seeking, and gaining insight from the places themselves and the people who inhabit them. This pilgrimage was a six-week bike ride across large swaths of the country, undertaken by Kairos Earth employee Chelsea Scudder, and guided by the following questions:
What is sacred about this place?
What does it mean to treat this place as sacred?
Covering more than 2,500 miles on a bicycle, the Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces Pilgrimage took Chelsea to landscapes across the country to meet with religious leaders, conservationists, and dedicated community members in order to interview them and to ask to hear their stories and reflections on how they are connected to the surrounding landscape.
Within many people is an innate knowledge and intuition that land is sacred. However, this knowledge can go a lifetime and remain unrealized, unspoken, unheard. The pilgrimage created opportunities and spaces for people to talk openly about their genuine connection to the land, free from political agendas or judgments – the opportunity for people to simply say, “This land is sacred. Here is what that means to me.”
Pilgrimage for Earth was an opportunity to participate in healing the Earth community through undertaking a sacred journey – a pilgrimage – from loss to hope. In a time when climate change, mass extinction, and other environmental crises threaten people and other forms of life, Pilgrimage for Earth enacted the healing of the world through liturgy. In the original Greek, liturgy means “the public work” – communal action that both ritually and practically transforms and heals participants and the world. Through experiences including tree planting, guided meditation, singing, silent reflection, engaged conversation, and celebrating the hope and promise of new life, Pilgrims worked to transform their relationship with Earth and cultivate an active spiritual discipline of environmental stewardship. Activities crossed two states, five locations, and featured six liturgical services over the course of four days.
Rooted in the Christian tradition of death and rebirth as exemplified in Easter – itself a transformation of loss into hope – the Pilgrimage welcomed people of all faiths and traditions.
The Pilgrimage was a project of St. James Episcopal Church of Woodstock VT, and Church of the Woods/Kairos Earth of Canterbury, NH – with support from the Episcopal Dioceses of Vermont and New Hampshire.