For any journey you typically pack things to take a long with you. Some people throw a bag together in a few minutes while others make lists and are meticulous about making sure they have everything they need. I fall into the latter category.
Maybe I got this trait from being a Boy Scout and living by the motto, “Be Prepared.” It is a good motto. For example, in my vehicle I have a travel bag with jumper cables, tools, a tarp, water, matches, flashlight, first-aid kit and other emergency gear.
However, as I get older, I am learning to travel light. I remember my first trip overseas. I packed way too much and my bags became an unnecessary burden. This past March, I was on a mission to the Arctic to teach a school for the Anglican Church. I was going to an extreme climate (It never got above -5F). Finding some of the needed items while living in Florida was a challenge. There was a 107 degree temperature change from when I got on the plane in Orlando to when I got off the plane in Yellowknife-Northwest Territories. Careful and deliberate packing was necessary for that journey.
So what do we take with us in this journey home? First if we are going somewhere we need to know our destination and how to get there. We need navigation. It has gotten easier over the years with GPS built into our phones. No need for the road atlas or maps that could never be put back together once opened.
There are landmarks along the way that assure us we are on the right path. Something I saw in the Arctic was Inukshuk. It is typically a number of stones arranged in the form of a human being and often large enough to see from miles away on the arctic tundra. The Inuit people set up Inukshuks to be used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds and even message centers (they might indicate where food was cached). Inukshuks are placed throughout the Arctic landscape, acting as “helpers” to the Inuit.
To get somewhere we rarely do it on our own. There are practical helpers along the way. We benefit from people who have been ahead of us in this journey and who have left markers so that we can arrive safely. When we consider a journey home, we need to pause and ask ourselves where do I start: What is the right direction to find this place of rest and peace? As we embark maybe we need to look for what the Inuit people call Inukshuks, markers to let us know we are on the right path.
Charlie Pierce, Canterbury Board Member:
“Driving into Canterbury, you are struck by the large oak trees and Lake Gem wreathed in green with the large white cross shinning from the far side of the lake.
Here is the opportunity to draw closer to Him and to open up yourself to His grace. You are in a special sanctuary.
Perhaps you have come to a conference or a Diocesan meeting. Supported by a staff committed to a ministry of hospitality and in an environment largely unspoiled by our creations, you can absorb and reflect on the purpose and content that brought you to Canterbury. Your appreciation of this special place deepens. I want to draw your attention to something you do not see. Canterbury has intentionally reached out and nurtured partnerships with organizations who share its mission. Let me share two of these partnerships from my own experience.
Every Tuesday morning at 7:00 am, 60 to 80 men gather for a Bible study. Led by The Reverend Pete Alwinson, the Forge is a dynamic ministry to men. Its mission is to build great men as God defines greatness, and so promote the flourishing of men, women, children, churches and culture in greater Orlando. At the Forge men are fully engaged in Bible learning, sharing with each other and living in the world as sons of the Father.
The deepest partnership is with the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation. This new parish calls the St. Augustine chapel on campus its home. The office of Father Rory Harris, the rector, is in the main Canterbury building. Church ministries and functions use a variety of Canterbury’s facilities. The young adult ministry, the Canterbury Club, is led by Padre Jose Rodriguez, the assistant priest. The Canterbury Club is strongly supported by the Diocese as a significant outreach to college age adults. The Church of the Incarnation brings life and believers into the special sanctuary of Canterbury.
These partnerships, along with others, enliven and enrich Canterbury as a sacred place.”
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