Sunday – August 3 – Edinburgh to Newark to Boynton Beach

Parents and friends please note: the pilgrims are flying home from Europe on Sunday, so there will be no Skype nor blog update. For those assisting with transfer of pilgrims and luggage, our flight from Newark is United 1269, arriving into West Palm Beach at 5:13pm.

ALL pilgrims and facilitators will go directly from the airport to the altar of St. Joseph’s (prior to unloading bags) for our short ending of the pilgrimage prayers. All family and friends of St. Joseph’s are welcome to join us upon our return at St.Joseph’s for the short service. If someone is there before us to open the church and turn on the lights, I would be most grateful.

We are scheduled to celebrate our pilgrimage with the sharing of our collects during the 9:30am service next Sunday (August 10). The reading of the collects will be repeated at a 11:45am service that will be scheduled in conjunction with our Stockholders’ Dinner later in the fall.

LLL Fr. Marty

Saturday – August 2 – Lindisfarne to Jedburgh to Melrose to Rosslyn to Edinburgh

Well, the pilgrimage of the sun just ended its streak
With rain, cold and wind, the weather turned bleak.
But the blessings abounded even as Lindisfarne we departed
For a special Celtic Exhibition by Mary Fleeson had just started.
We were able to walk down to St. Cuthbert’s Centre,
And participate in the hands-on with husband Mark as our mentor.
Then with final hugs goodbye we got on the bus.
And at the causeway our returned rocks were thrown by each of us.
Then we went to the Borders to Jedburgh and Melrose Abbey
With a stop in between at Scotts Views where the youth were a little crabby
They stayed out of the weather on the bus – they’ve been spoiled by the sun,
But the weather didn’t keep the facilitators from still having fun.
We stopped at our favorite Orkney ice cream shop (thank you Paul Wegner for paying –
When I announced your generosity on the bus, all the pilgrims were hurraying.)
We made it up to Rosslyn just in time for Maureen’s talk at 5pm.
The attentiveness of the youth showed that this place was special now to them.
Then Fiona sat us down as the crowd was ushered out,
she had a private talk with us about Rosslyn’s history and layout.
Then Fiona and her husband George and Maureen the Rosslyn guide
Joined us for our closing Eucharist with only them and us inside.
It really was a special treat to enjoy the quiet beauty of the space,
We’re grateful to the folks at Rosslyn for worshipping in this holy place.
Then we drove to our last night’s hotel near the Edinburgh airport,
We said goodnight to George (who finally goes home tonight – he’s been quite a sport).
And an added bonus to pilgrims of old: Ian Morrison joined us at dinner
He’s the coach driver from pilgrimages of recent years, and he really is a winner.
We reminisced and shared our prayers at a final meal together,
It’s been a wonderful final pilgrimage day despite the rainy weather.

Friday – August 1 – Lindisfarne

We received permission from the authorities to gather at the Priory outside
It was so quiet and peaceful — we were all alone – the tourists stopped by the tide.
We remembered all the pilgrims who had gone before and worshipped on this location
You could sense a spirit of holiness here even though all that’s left is the priory’s foundation.
We could see and hear the birds around as they fluttered all around
And in the distance the singing seals in the bay added a soothing reflective sound.
We prayed and had our Eucharist choosing hymns that we could best sing
And since it was Sophia and Anna’s birthdays, we ended with birthday blessings.
The youth requested free time to enjoy their last day in this place,
So we used the afternoon for exploring and cleaning up our space,
And then cooked up all our food as has become our last night tradition,
Inviting over all our friends (and this year was quite an ambition).
We had Andy and Anna and Martha Raine, and Mary Fleeson came with all the rest,
Including husband Mark, daughter Aurien, and Callum their son (the girls liked him the best).
We enjoyed the feast and celebrated birthdays with ice cream and brownies and more,
And our guests left the party with bags of food as we hugged them all out the door.
This group really bonded with our Lindisfarne friends – perhaps because we’re a smaller in number,
But saying goodbye to this island and our new Lindisfarne friends, tomorrow will sure be a bummer.

Thursday – July 31 – Lindisfarne to Durham to Newcastle to Lindisfarne

The cathedral at Durham has stood the test of time
It is awe inspiring and majestic with its beauty sublime.
The same could be said for guide Lilian Groves today
For awe inspiring love for her God and Bede does she display.
She spoke to our pilgrims about how friendly a cathedral building could be.
And then led us on a walk, the cathedral’s highlights to see.
We had started our visit with a Eucharist next to Bede’s tomb.
Then down to the undercroft, our lunch in the cafeteria to consume.
Another highlight of the day was our visit to Cuthbert’s shrine.
Where for over 900 years pilgrims have prayed to God divine.
We lit candles and then prayed for those in our lives needing healing,
And then raised our voices and sang “Create in Me” as we were kneeling.
Lilian had written a prayer that she prayed for us at the end
Then after a few final words, we hugged goodbye our Durham friend.
With the tides still in till late, we had to stop somewhere for dinner
And the huge Indian buffet in Newcastle surely was a winner.
There were lots of new things for this adventurous group to try,
And ending with the dessert buffet, the pilgrims’ energy was high.
We traversed the Millennium Walking Bridge for them to burn off steam.
And they cheered each jogger that passed their way with a teenage girlish scream.
Then a walk back to the bus where they slept most of the way,
Which wasn’t too surprising since it had been a long, long day.

Wednesday – July 30 – Lindisfarne

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Another warm sunny day – this weather is amazing
Especially for today, as we were doing some trailblazing.
First a hike to Cuthbert’s Cave for some quite reflection
Then the Pilgrim’s Walk back to Lindisfarne following Debra’s direction.
As we drove in the morning towards our Cuthbert’s Cave hike today
A beautiful rainbow pointed the way.
A reminder of God’s presence throughout our time together
God had blessed this group with incredible weather.
An 80 year-old lady who’s worked in Lindisfarne all her years
Said this is the best weather in her entire career.
The veteran pilgrims back home will find it hard to believe
Most of this pilgrimage we’ve spent wearing short sleeves.
Andy came over for a talk on Motivations
Introducing concepts important for our formation:
Not just to understand the things that we do
But the “why” that’s behind them is really the clue.
The whole Raine family joined us for a festive dinner
The risotto and salmon seemed to be the winner.
Sticky Toffee Pudding with ice cream to finish the food,
Then Compline with Andy and Anna ensued.
And to top it all off we listened to Martha sing and play
And after a final duet with her mom, we all called it a day.

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Tuesday – July 30 – Lindisfarne

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Doing Celtic knotwork as a spiritual meditation was this morning’s plan
And Mary Fleeson teaches it so well that anyone can.
We were all very happy that coach driver George joined us
Having him in our pilgrimage family has been quite a plus.
After lunch and some free time we gathered again
Andy Raine shared a bit about Northumbria and where he had been.

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His personal story was intriguing as he shared getting into dance
And moving to “If It Be Your Will,” we all had a chance.

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We gathered to enjoy an evening meal that was fine
Then walked over to Saint Mary’s for their Compline at nine
The youth experienced plain chant sung by the Marygate Choir
A peaceful end to the day before we’d retire.
But the teen girls decided to have a sleepover
So the cottage with Karen, they all took over,
Once we’d agreed it was okay they readied themselves in a blur
Which left Sherry and Debra as adult empty nesters.
It’s great that they desire to be together in a pack
For this pilgrimage stuff, they’ve developed quite a knack.

Monday – July 28 Lindisfarne

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The morning schedule was liturgical dance with Andy as our guide
so with blue skies and a beautiful yard, we took it outside.
To “Lean on Me,” the group all learned cool new movement
And in a very short time, everyone showed great improvement.

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They moved on to some others that kept everyone involved
Till in the heat of the sun the group’s energy dissolved.
We came in for a pasta buffet about one,
Then a couple of hours for free time and fun.
Debra led the group on a meditative hike to the hut at the north beach,
Thanksgiving reflections for people in our lives were given by each,

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And as reflected we blew bubbles into the air
With each bubble ascending symbolizing our prayers.

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Then over dinner and ice cream we shared highs and lows
And off to an early sleep our tired bunch did go.

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Sunday – July 27 Lindisfarne

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Spread out in three houses two blocks apart
We each did our own thing for breakfast to start
Then met up with Group Three at their Greystones Cottage
Where we all were spellbound by Allie’s St. Margaret of Scotland knowledge.
They we walked to St. Mary’s for the service at 10:45
To be greeted by Fr. Paul as soon as we arrived
He introduced our presence to the whole congregation
Then we witnessed three baptisms in this historic location
And as a highlight for all that really was great
The homily was given by the legendary Rev. Kate.
Most then created their own “coffee hour”
With a pilgrimage to the ice cream shop for some cones to devour.
After lunch we prepared for our Skype to Boynton Beach
We shared our version of Psalm 23 with verses written by each.
We were thankful to Sean who was so cordial and generous
Who lent us his wifi and hotel space for us.
(Remember his wife Jackie and for her breast cancer to heal
To add her to your prayer list would be truly ideal.)
Then with free time till dinner a dance revolution occurred
Then some took a walk through the town afterward.
In the evening the Raines joined us for a dinner party that was dandy:
There was Martha, and Joel, and Anna – and of course, Andy.
In recent pilgrimages here, part of our family they’ve become
And to see this group bond with them was totally awesome.
The volume was loud and the energy was relentless
(Was it from the brownies or the candy sharing that seemed endless?)
But it all seemed a part of them getting to know each other
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Saturday – July 26, 2014 Whitley Bay to Jarrow to Lindisfarne

The youth were so intrigued by their introduction to Venerable Bede
That they decided together: to Bede’s World we would proceed.
So we left Whitley Bay early to visit his museum across from St. Paul’s in Jarrow,
With the luggage van all loaded with all of our cargo.

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The pilgrims enjoyed the step back in time and the history
And how the pigs got so hairy still remains quite a mystery.

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We continued on north to Lindisfarne to cross over to Holy Isle
After unloading all the bags, we said goodbye to George for a while.
(There was no room available for him to stay on Lindisfarne with us
So before the tide had come in, he headed to the mainland with his bus.)

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We took a walk through the town to acquaint the pilgrims to their new home
Highlighting all the special places where later they will want to roam.

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And for the first time on this pilgrimage – something no one will forget:
The skies opened up and we got a little wet.
We had dined on Rich’s grilling for our late Saturday lunch,
So we had a late light dinner – on potatoes, salad, and soup we did munch.
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They we all shared our thoughts on where we had each seen God today.
We are finding God everywhere as we travel the pilgrim way.

Friday – July 25, 2014 Whitley Bay to Jarrow to WAY PAST Wal-mart

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A pilgrimage to Jarrow and St. Paul’s started our day
A great commentary on Bede by Jimmy Guy came our way.
(I promised him prayers by our own DOK
for he’s facing serious medical issues today.)

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You may recall the first ever bicycle pilgrimage two years ago
Bede’s Pilgrimage Way begins at Jarrow and to Monkwearmouth we were to go,
But the map was so confusing that eventually it was tossed
More often than showing us the way it caused us to get lost.
Well, now it’s two years later and we learned from that event
We had googlemaps and mapquest maps to know where we were sent

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With Debra in the lead this time we thought we planned this to perfection
Since females do not fear to stop and ask for some direction.

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And stop we did – several times – and each time from a local
Were sent back to where we just had been (the crowd started getting vocal).
We took a break and were reminded it’s not about a race to win:
It’s not about us getting there: it’s the experience to take in.
A beautiful ride through parks and fields and neighborhoods real charming,
And getting advice from local kids on bikes, was really quite heartwarming.
We pedaled along some of us singing some songs and taking in the views
And soon we saw a landmark that was certainly a clue:

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Yes, we’d pilgrimaged to Walmart – like the pilgrims two years ago
But we continued on past soccer fields and farms and horses – just so you know:
Yes, we made it well past Wal-Mart, to a bus stop before we ran out of time
The fact that we’d gone further than last year made everything seem fine.
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So we headed back to town at DaVanti’s Italian restaurant to eat.
Good food and conversation (and for the girls – the cute Albanian waiter was sweet).

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We shared our reflections and prayer before we went to sleep,
A few bumps and bruises from our day, but overall – still eleven healthy sheep.