First United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge, TN
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Growing in faith and love through worship, discipleship, and service.
Pilgrimage to Compassion
We have heard excellent sermons from all our pastors the last three Sundays on love and compassion. Compassion is being with others as they experience pain and distress, and trying to understand and share their feelings. It is an action, more than an attitude. No doubt, compassion can lead to acts of love with Jesus as our great role model
The Pilgrimage to Compassion (Tuesday-Saturday, July 24-28) has been designed to place our participants
alongside many different people who are experiencing hardship and suffering in their lives. God willing, these encounters will deepen our sense of compassion for those hurting in our world.
Each day the pilgrims will meet at the church at 8 am, starting with singing and devotions led by Jenny Caughman. On Tuesday through Friday mornings, we will head out to our different day's activities with our small groups. Generally, that will consist of one activity or experience in the morning and a different one in the afternoon. Most of us will return to church for a group supper followed by a reflection period. During that time, we will relate our day's experiences, how they made us feel, and whether we saw the face of Jesus in anyone we encountered. Remember that we don't learn from experiences alone; we learn from reflection upon experience. The day should conclude by 7:30 pm.
Following devotions on Saturday, we will hold a summation reflection period. Finally, we will join a group of former prison inmates for a potluck lunch in Knoxville. End of pilgrimage.
Participants will be able to have a diversity of experiences: being with homeless persons at Knox Area Rescue Ministries and at Volunteer Ministries Center; attending a stroke support group meeting and/or an amputee support group meeting at Patricia Neal Rehab Center (PNRC); and also at PNRC, hearing the amazing stories of three different persons with serious disabilities. They will visit some of FUMC's homebound members; will participate in Keystone's program people living with dementia; will hear the stories of poor persons who get their medical care at the Free Medical Clinic or get family services from TORCH (the Outreach Center of Hope); and have lunch with some struggling military veterans. Most of these experiences will be new for our participants.
It is hoped that pilgrims can participate all 4 1/2 days, but we will make every effort to provide worthwhile experiences for those who can give only a couple of days. Cost is $40. There will be a meeting the week before the pilgrimage to outline the final details. Register by July 16. To sign-up, contact Jim Michel (firstname.lastname@example.org), Michael McCutcheon (email@example.com), or Crystal Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't let this outstanding opportunity for personal growth pass you by.