Written by Steven Liechty
Quinn G. Caldwell
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…Jerusalem, built as a city that is bound firmly together. To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel." - Psalm 122
Know what I wish we had in the UCC? A place to make a pilgrimage to. You know, a sacred destination we're all supposed to have on our bucket lists. A center of the faith. A navel of the universe.
They call our species homo viator, human on a journey. Seems like it's built into us to want to travel to some important place before we die, to translocate our bodies along with a bunch of others from boring old home to a place imbued with God. Just about every religion has a highly recommended holy site or two. And of course we share some good ones with other Christians, and one especially good one with Jews and Muslims as well.
But I'm talking about a specifically UCC one, a place that everybody in the UCC longs to go (or ought to long to go), a widely shared experience that ties us together.
If we were to choose such a place, to create it for ourselves, where would it be? Why? (And before you jump to a certain very obvious initial thought, say the following out loud to yourself to see if you can do it with a straight face: "Jerusalem. Mecca. The Ganges. Cleveland.") What place is central enough and important enough to the UCC to make it worth us all journeying there? Why? Tell us in the comments on our Facebook page.
God, you are here and everywhere. Still, it's nice to get away for a while. So I'll be seeing you in our special spot soon. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is Pastor and Teacher at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, in Syracuse, New York, and co-editor, with Curtis J. Preston, of the Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ, published by The Pilgrim Press.