This article was originally shared December 2019.
Twenty-five men from the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina and beyond recently returned from our 12-day men’s pilgrimage and spiritual retreat to the Holy Land. Our 2019 leadership team included Dr. Peter Walker, Pilgrimage Leader; the Rev. Dr. John Barr, Chaplain; Scott Poelker, Point Man; and Jay Crouse, Coordinator. Again this year, we were able to include two priests from Kenya.
Each year we begin our pilgrimage in the wilderness for two nights of glamorous camping. But, more importantly, the wilderness allows the men to disconnect so they can reconnect with God. And it works, because we are truly in the middle of a wilderness desert. With this centering experience we are then ready to step into the footsteps of Jesus and begin our chronological journey of Jesus’ life in Israel: from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, the Jordan River, the Galilee region and then up to Jerusalem.
Highlights over 12 days include truly walking and hiking 50 miles in the footsteps of Jesus: great adventures of descending Mt. Arbel in the Galilee region, Qumran-the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, remembering our baptisms in the Jordan River, the Mt. of Beatitudes and then reliving Holy Week in Jerusalem.
What makes Behold the Man unique from other pilgrimages is that we have incorporated in our curriculum a 12-day men’s spiritual retreat. Our spiritual men’s retreat includes teaming the men up as two-by-two buddies, providing six small group times to go deeper and help the men process all they are experiencing: the father’s blessing, affirmation and foot washing to name a few.
We are planning our 2020 Behold the Man men’s pilgrimage with our dates set: October 10 to October 23. For more information contact Jay Crouse at (941) 320-0271 or email@example.com.
By Jay Crouse, Coordinator for Men’s Ministry, The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina
(Image by Martin Olando Wesonga)