The Savannah Pilgrimage Project 2017 and beyond

Project Description:
This research project explores the development of a toolbox for creating very short term local interfaith pilgrimages that might deepen our spiritual grounding and weave communities together more strongly.


Pilgrimage has the power to teach, change and connect us to each other in the thickened context of the spaces we share.  

Why did we begin the Savannah Pilgrimage Project?

  • Hunger for more embodied spiritual practices in Unitarian Universalism 
  • Disconnection from place, geographically (especially in high mobility communities)
  • Alienation from our history
  • Division in community (Denominational, Churched/Unchurched, Racial, Economic)
  • Constrained relationality (Religious practice that either takes place alone away from church or together in church.)


Definition:

A pilgrimage is a continuous physical journey which connects persons with one another, persons with places and persons with the sacred.


Outcome:

A group of “pilgrims” from our congregation (and from other religious communities with whom we are in relationship) journey around a circuit of places in Savannah which have collective spiritual importance (or “gravity”). In each place, the individuals and the group undertake contemplative or ritual practices to engage the place. This pilgrimage is a single day project, slated to take place once per year.


Hopes:

  • To produce a congregational-based resource which we can used in Savannah and that we can share with other congregations.
  • To offer embodied way to weave us more closely together with one another, this place and our history.

  • To establish an ongoing and evolving annual practice in the congregation



We had our first pilot pilgrimage in May of 2017. We continue to explore sights and prepare for our pilgrimage next year. If you'd like to get involved (whether you are a member of the UU Church or not), send a note to Rev. Dave at: [email protected]


This project was supported by the Fahs Collaborative for Religious Education, as Rev. Dave was included in the 2016-2017 class of Fahs Research Fellows. We gratefully acknowledge their encouragement and support!