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CVOC Pilgrimages

Coming up in May, 2008, is a planned Spring Term Travel Course entitled, "Experiencing Service: Pilgrimage to Koidu, Sierra Leone for the Sharing of Christian Compassion." As but another example of how Christians make pilgrimage for spiritual significance (as our Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Taize community in France), the focus of this experience is for eight UIndy students and two faculty/staff members to offer acts of Christian compassion and to experience Christian community at the city of Koidu-Sefadu in Sierra Leone.

The centerpiece of our pilgrimage will be 12 days of work with "Operation Classroom" to repair and make usable the school library at Koidu. Group preparation the weeks before the trip to Africa will include readings and discussions on West African history, culture and religion; the Christian church in Sierra Leone; what "service" and "mission" can mean for Christians today; and, what are the lasting values of making "pilgrimages of service" for a life of faith.

In May of 2007, eight students along with the chaplains visited France on a pilgrimage to participate in the life of the Ecumenical Christian Community of Taize. The students participated in the prayer of the community each day. They also had the opportunity to participate in small groups with other students from around the world. Each day the students would meet with a brother from the community to explore a passage or theme from Scripture and then meet with their small groups to go deeper in their reflection. This experience proved to be a powerful experience for the students as they opened their minds and hearts to the call of God in their lives. The fruits of this pilgrimage are already being seen in the context of the weekly Taize worship service on campus as each of the students takes leadership in different ways. Another pilgrimage to Taize is planned for May 2009.