"If the world has shape, it is because we give it one." Thus wrote Lawrence A Hoffman in Sacred Places and the Pilgrimage of Life (1991, 7). It is a statement that makes us pause and think. Hoffman makes his case, showing how we give shape to what is in our environment based on who we are, what we do, and on what we're focused.
We have given a particular shape to our Pan-Methodist Pilgrimage in youTheology. We go to Harlem, New York; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; and Washington DC. However, we have chosen those cities with care and intention. Likewise, we don't just go anywhere in these places. Rather, we go to sites and venues that have significance for the American Methodist heritage and tradition; places that Hoffman would call, "sites of historical sacrality" (1991, 9). These are primarily historic churches where we see and hear the rich history and learn about how God has been active in the lives of God's people bringing redemption and restoration. Thus, we are challenged to live surrendered to God.
Loving God, Loving Neighbor