June 26th, 2022

     Our Adventures in Grace pilgrimage has been a unique and collaborative venture engaging too many people to thank individually but I would like to at least start the thanking. The gratitude of our entire community and my profound personal thanks goes out to:

     All who shared stories, testimonials, hearts and souls, both at base camps and rest stops. This was a very nice combination of parishioners, relatives and friends of both Soul Play and Holy Family. These were not actors; these were real people.

     Staff members here at Holy Family that I will not mention by name, for being willing to be pilgrims.

     Judy Petrie who coordinates details of all our liturgies – many, many details on a weekly basis and certainly for Pilgrimage liturgies.

     Kristen Berryhill who is always here with a smile, a positive attitude and a song in her heart.

     Dr. Peg Hanrahan who engaged our children and families preparing to receive some of the sacraments that we focused on.

     Ginnie Blake West for wise consultation on making our communication clear and concise. She also created surveys for your feedback and analysis of results.

     50 Grace Guides who said “yes” to something that sounded intriguing.

     Mary Whiteside, our Director of Adult Faith, whose sweet, kind and insightful nature is like the bell she used to tell the story of her grandma.

     Dennis Brown who is a true deacon. He serves and has served this adventure with wise consultation and keeps us true to the larger liturgical story. He also led the organization of the small group component of Gatherings in Grace (GIGS).

     Ro Geisler for combining efficient management with wise leadership. We all go to Ro because she is the wise glue that is never far from the heart and soul of Holy Family.

     Michael Patti for sharing his energy and creativity for presentations and to the larger world through our website. He collaborated with Gene Garcia regularly and with Joshua Minden on graphics and more during the Pilgrimage. His response to a request is always, “Watch how fast I go!”

     Marsha Adamczyk for leading this project and all the meetings. She guided and arranged so much and shared the wisdom of her many years of church ministry.

     Gene Garcia for doing what he does so well and so consistently, directing our music and liturgical arts. He collaborated with guest singers and musicians. He played and sang so beautifully. We all sing the song that God has placed in our hearts, but Gene often sings it for all of us. His creativity drives the ideas that our team generates.

The Soul Play Team:

     Laura Field whose soft gentle spirit added so much depth. When she speaks, everyone feels warm. Laura stepped up in the early phase when Terry was recovering from serious health issues.

     Dan Quinn for providing technological support for weekly meetings and meeting rest stops

     Mike O’Gara and Mary Kelly for sharing witness talks

     Joshua Minden whose headset indicates a serious techie but a gentle heart beats within. He creatively recorded, edited and produced our many trail mixes.

     Terry Nelson-Johnson who has been heart of this Pilgrimage. We thank him for his passion. He is profound, funny, crazy, humble. Terry showed his commitment to the Pilgrimage by, among other things, wearing a brick for 4 days. He repeatedly acknowledged our Cross of New Life, and he was a special form of new life beneath it. He navigated serious and mysterious health concerns early on and responded with such strength. Terry animated the Sacred and Grace with the strength of a wrestler, eyes of a child, soul of a lion that delights in the forest of life, the guidance of a teacher. His is an intellect that soars. He revels in the freedom to be crazy.

     All of you for joining, doing something new, daring to see the sacred in a new way, and to be a pilgrim. I am counting on you to spread the word and be the backbone of the adventure that continues.

     This whole Pilgrimage has been church at its best – lay led, creative, evocative, moving and oh, so sacred. New and fresh rituals deepened and complimented the many profound stories that were told.

     The founders of Holy Family had a vision of a flexible sanctuary space – movable altar, ambo and presider chair, so the experience of the sacred could be expanded. Our sanctuary hosts teens performing Passion Play and our youngest parishioners dancing during Spirit Camp. Much of the energy of the Pilgrimage was hosted in the same way.

     Congratulations to all of you because you mediated so much Grace!

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