It's Done. The walk ...both of them now over.
I have asked the folks who walked today either in Gander or to Glenwood to find this blog and use the comments to share their experience. It was a good day...the weather was fantastic, we were in good spirits.
It's done .......but our journey continues
We were close to 60 strong in terms of actual walkers, but much larger in number through those who participated through donations, promotion and providing vehicle support, moral support.
Much larger again because we were walking as we believe, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, in the love and family of Christ's Church here on earth, and in Communion with those whom we love but see no longer.
I do hope others will share their experiences in some way.
Thank You Lord,..... I felt strong today.
I set out with the crowd after our prayer at the Irving Restaurant here in Gander, and was able to move through the crown while we were still close together, hugging and touching every person as a gesture of my gratitude .
At one point I looked at those close to me and said..."see you when you get to Glenwood!" They laughed...but I had asked the Lord to bless me with a physical rhythm, and a focused attitude of prayer. I was already loaded up emotionally as you can imagine..... with the imagery of Walking out of the Shadows into the warm light of Creation, and the warm love of the Church. So eventually, I moved to the front of the pack...and made it in exactly three hours.
Iris Newman caught me just before the overpass, and we walked together having a great chat. We both needed it.
I was glad to be in front. Perhaps not for the reasons you might think.
Any one familiar with Anglican worship knows that the Presider, (or Celebrant) always walks in last. When the Bishop is in Church he is at the end of the line. Being last is a sign of leadership, spiritual authority, and a reflection on the Biblical Idea of Humility ......... (Jesus said the Last shall be first... The First shall be Last.)
As I approached Glenwood at "The Head of the Line", I said to Iris, " Being first to the Church building in Glenwood is my way of saying...I am the least of these my Brethren. Those who are walking behind me today are the real leaders of our Church." ...Then, the tears came. Tears of joy mind, because our Church ...............means so much to so many.
Along the way I listened to a wide variety of music, some fast, some slow...some LOUD some quiet. God's blessing is there through sacred and secular music.... the words and music helped me not only to keep a good varied pace, but helped me to pray.
It was a good day.
Quite a few times on the Journey I looked to the Left and Right, enjoying the view...and being before God in reflection for the people and their various circumstances that the Spirit placed in my mind. There were times today while walking that I wept openly.
There were times also when I was overwhelmed by the knowledge of all the people who were walking behind me... knowing you are supported...and knowing that we support each other gives meaning to the Church that is hard to put into words.
Please remember and think about these words: Authentic Community.
Lets make it real, and keep it real! That's when Miracles happen.
About an hour later, the last two pilgrims made it to Glenwood. My wife Karen, and my dear friend Joanie. Joanie is the Patient Care Co-ordinator at the Gander Cancer Clinic and went far above the call of duty to help me through.
Both of these women saved my life. Sure and simple.
I met them as they made the turn, and together all the crew went into St. Andrew's to pray, and Listen to Danielle Coates read the 23 Psalm.
Though we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, we will fear nothing...Because God is with us...and has given us the gift of each other. We are not alone.
Back in Gander, a Second Parish Walk was scheduled to start at 2:30,led by Revd. Brian Candow.
I walked over to St. Martin's Chapel to wish them well. After prayer about 20 people set out on a seven Kilometer walk. I joined in and walked along with them. Again, thanking each one in a quiet way for all the love. I walked for a time with our Church Warden Carl Dyke we shared our thanksgivings and a few tears as God's grace flowed through this group as well.
Back at the Cathedral we had a time of prayer, and once again listened to the 23rd Psalm.
Thank you everyone...Thank you Lord.