The Path

God Bless the path on which you go,

God bless the earth beneath your feet,

God Bless your destination.

God be a smooth way before you.

A guiding star above you,

A keen eye behind you

This day, this night and forever.


God be with you whatever you pass.

Jesus be with you whatever you climb.

Spirit be with you wherever you stay.

from Celtic Blessings: Prayers for Everyday Life by Ray Simpson

Donna Chase,
Director of Spiritual Formation

I’m writing this devotional as another wonderful church program year is ending and a new summer season is beginning. Times of transition whether in the life of the church or in our homes and personal lives is an opportunity for us to make room for a different rhythm of everyday life.

Especially as we approach summer, we long for a time to slow down, to linger more freely and to rest in God’s love and presence. At church this comes in a variety of ways, but most involve taking a break from heavy onsite programming and allowing more time for relationships to blossom through camps, conferences, and outdoor ministries. Many of us draw away to enjoy summer vacations where we can relax and reconnect with God, ourselves, and one another. Sometimes this happens far away and sometimes it’s in our backyards.

In celebration of our 200th church anniversary our church is offering our members an opportunity to experience the spiritual practice of pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey that involves going somewhere to seek the divine. That might be the Holy Land, or Scotland for us Presbyterians, or it may simply be an intentional journey to a sacred place in your city or state where you seek to encounter God. While we know God can be found everywhere, pilgrims are often guided by simple practices and disciplines.

Jesus and his disciples are good examples of a pilgrim lifestyle as they carried few possessions, relied on the hospitality of strangers, walked most everywhere they went, and celebrated the simple and the sacred in their midst. For us today this might look like leaving behind our normal routines and full schedules and allowing for breathing room and surprises in our days. It might include less focus on accomplishing everything on the to do list and simply enjoying what the day brings. It may mean more time to linger around the table after meals for conversations and stories or even some good music. It may mean cooking fresh simple meals together or enjoying the gift of hospitality from a stranger.

Wrapped around these pilgrim values of simplicity and hospitality is the pilgrim’s call to openness. To be open to the surprises and encounters of the journey is to relinquish our own schedules and sense of control so that we can more fully receive what God has in store. The counterpart to this attitude of openness to the Spirit way of life is gratitude.

May you enjoy a summer of pilgrim mindset and may you


Stand by the roads, and look,

And ask for the ancient paths,

Where the good way is; and walk in it,

And find rest for your souls.

Jeremiah 6:16

O, God, bless the step that I am taking and bless the soft earth beneath my feet.

Old Irish Prayer