Below is what a day on the river will likely include during the River of Life Pilgrimage
Great Silence ~ from rising through first hour of paddling
From our rising through the first hour of paddling each day, we will practice silence. Our intention is that through this silence, we will be open to listen to the Spirit and Creation that transcends the spoken word.
7:00 am ~ Morning Prayer
Our day will begin on the banks of the river with a time of prayer together which will include singing, readings from Scripture, and a time of silent prayer.
7:45 am ~ Breaking camp/packing-up and breakfast
After prayer, pilgrims will work on packing their personal and shared group gear while the guides prepare breakfast. Pilgrims will be welcome to eat breakfast as they are ready.
* Note: On days we are staying at a church in town, morning prayer and breaking camp/packing-up & breakfast will be reversed. Doing this will allow us to pray by the river before we begin our paddle for the day.
9:00 am ~ Morning paddle
We will remain in silence through our first hour of paddling as we take in the serenity and beauty of the river in the morning calm.
* Note: At certain places along the river, we will take a break from paddling and gather on the bank for prayers of blessing for the land. We will stop to honor sacred places of special importance (such as a confluence and falls), as well as places of pain and destruction (such as dams, pollution, and former battlefields).
* Note: Our paddling days may also include a portage, at which time we will need to carry our boats and gear around a dam on a designated portage trail.
12:00 pm ~ Midday prayer and lunch
We will take a break from paddling halfway through the day for a brief time of prayer, learning a Creation-centered spiritual discipline, and sharing a simple lunch.
1:00 pm ~ Afternoon paddle
We will paddle through the afternoon until reaching our designated location for the evening.
* Note: On certain days, we will pause our journey down the river to honor or mourn a specific place on the landscape.
* Note: As with the morning, portages are also possible in the afternoon.
Between 3 pm and 5 pm ~ Arrive at day’s destination
Upon arriving at our destination for the day, we will collectively take care of necessary logistics (i.e., set up camp or load up boats/gear and be shuttled to a hosting church). As we settle in, the guides will prepare dinner and pilgrims will have free time until dinner. Occasionally, we will have a guided reflection during this time as well.
6:00/6:30pm ~ Dinner
When we are staying at camp, we will share our evening meal around the campfire. When we are staying at a host church, our dinner might be with the parishioners or on our own. Other events at the church may follow. Dinner will also be our opportunity to welcome new pilgrims who will be starting the journey with us the next day and to say goodbye to pilgrims who have concluded their section of the pilgrimage.
8:00 pm ~ Evening Prayer/Fireside Gathering
When camping, we will conclude our evening with another time of prayer which will include music & singing, readings from Scripture, and a time of silent prayer around the campfire. We will also have a brief time of reflecting on the day as a group. When we are participating in a host church/evening event, we will pray with the local community and have a shorter period of reflection together to draw our day to a close.
9:00 pm ~ Conclusion of the day
Pilgrims are free to linger around the campfire to continue building community with others or head to their sleeping bags at their leisure to rest up for another beautiful day!