After the Road Bends

There was a discussion on Twitter recently regarding whether there is such thing as a fixed “core” identity, or whether identity is more fluid than that. It’s an interesting question, but I haven’t really thought it through, and it wasn’t my conversation. Still, I jumped in anyway, with a story:

Recently I was on a walk with a friend around a pond. We were talking about how our individual perspectives on our own life events change, the further out we get from them. I observed (as we sat on a bench looking across the pond at the spot where we had started) that that starting point was exactly the same starting point it had been the whole time, yet it looked very different from our present vantage point on the bench than it did if we had just turned around and looked at it after a couple of yards.

Also, both of those vantage points (a few yards ahead of the starting point, and directly across the pond from it) were different again from the way that starting point would have looked if we had turned around halfway; in fact, we might not even have been able to see the start from there because of the distance and the trees in the way.

This isn’t exactly about identity, but it does illustrate and maybe elucidate the idea that our identity grows and shifts over time, based partly on experiences, partly on how we react to them–and partly on how we react to them much later in light of other experiences.

It hadn’t occurred to me until that walk with my friend that this is kind of what we do here at the Pilgrimage, especially with Stepping Into the Storyand The Walkwe notice the spots we’ve traversed on our life’s path already, from where we are now. There are some things that are actually clearer from a greater distance than they were when we were in the midst of them. And sometimes other people’s paths crossing ours help us to make sense of the journey we’ve been on so far, too, as well as giving us hope that we’re still on it.

Speaking of those classes, Stepping Into the Story is only two weeks away. Is it time to take a look at who you are at the moment, considering where you’ve been? We’d love for you to join us.

This Way Up (Part 3): Just Checking

Matthew 11:1-24

When our circumstances don’t change–for months or even years–and the thing we believed we were preparing the way for the Lord to do doesn’t seem to be happening at all, it is very tempting to ask God, “Was I wrong about You?”

Is it okay to ask that question?


Mini-Message: Rev Barbara Jernigan

Main Message: Pastor Jenn (Rev Jennifer A G Layte)

This Way Up (Part 2): Now You Do It

Matthew 9:35-10:42

“In our Empire-bound world, everything Jesus has described is actually what it means to be like God–to be “at His level”–to have His authority…Jesus is so united to His Father, even though, when facing His own cross, He will ask for the cup to be taken from Him, He can’t really imagine wanting to do anything else but the will of the Father. It’s almost as if He can’t imagine us wanting to do anything else, either.”


Mini-Message: Rev. Barbara Jernigan

Main Message: Pastor Jenn (Rev Jennifer A G Layte)

An Informal Gathering of Info Gatherers

Tomorrow morning (morning, depending on your geographical location, that is) we will be hosting the first ever Pilgrimage InfoGathering on zoom. There’s a second one in the evening (similarly depending) a week from tomorrow. It is so exciting to have gotten to the point on Pilgrimage where a broader base of people than my own personal friends, but also including my own personal friends, want to learn more about this community we’re building and journey we’re on together.

I anticipate hosting gatherings like this every quarter or so, but if you’re free tomorrow (Wednesday, 30 June) at 10AM Eastern, or next week (Wednesday, 7 July) at 7PM Eastern, it’s not too late to RSVP and receive the link! Get ready with some questions and come along. I look forward to meeting you.

This Way Up (Part 2): Storm Clouds Gather

Matthew 8:23-34

The storm we’re in can be the craziest we’ve ever experienced, and Jesus asleep has more authority over our circumstances than anyone or anything else. We don’t need to be afraid as long as He’s in the boat.


Mini Message: Rev Barbara Jernigan

Main Message: Rev Jennifer A G Layte (Pastor Jenn)

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