NASHVILLE, Tenn. December 9, 2016 /Discipleship Ministries/ – Registration is underway for the 2017 Wesley Pilgrimage to England for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders, and the deadline to apply for scholarships is rapidly approaching.
During the 10-day journey, scheduled for July 10-20, pilgrims will learn, pray and explore places where John and Charles Wesley lived and served and will be immersed in the Christ-centered leadership of the Wesley brothers.
“We want people in leadership positions in the church to go on the pilgrimage,” said Steve Manskar, Director of Wesleyan Leadership at Discipleship Ministries and pilgrimage co-leader. “When the pilgrims return home, they have a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the Wesleyan way of making disciples of Jesus Christ and our theology.”
Organizers will award 25 scholarships with funds provided by Discipleship Ministries, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Commission on Archives and History, Manskar said.
The cost of the pilgrimage is $2,195, which includes lodging for 10 nights, most meals, coach travel to pilgrimage sites and more. However, the fee does not include round-trip airfare to England. All pilgrims must pay a $350 non-refundable deposit to secure their place in the pilgrimage.
For more information and to register, go to http://umcdiscipleship.org/wesleypilgrimage.
Commissioned provisional elders or deacons, licensed local pastors, lay servants, lay speakers, lay leaders, certified lay ministers or persons who serve an elected leadership roles are eligible to apply for a scholarship, which reduces the fee to $850.
The scholarship deadline is Jan. 15. To apply, download the application form here.
“When we first were able to provide scholarships, they were first come, first served, and we ended up with a really homogeneous group,” Manskar said. “With the application process, we are able to get a more representational group of the church, and I think it is better because they bring different experiences to the pilgrimage and particularly to the small groups.”
The pilgrimage includes visits to Epworth, the Wesley’s birthplace; Oxford, where John and Charles Wesley led the Holy Club; Bristol, the home of the Methodist societies and class meeting; London, where both Wesley brothers experienced assurance of salvation and John Wesley built the center of British Methodism, and Salisbury, home to a vital Methodist congregation once served by Francis Asbury. Participants will receive three CEUs.
In addition to Manskar, the pilgrimage will be led by:
- Dr. Paul Chilcote, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio
- Rev. Alfred T. Day III, General Secretary of the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH)
Manskar recalled the experience of one person from the 2016 pilgrimage, an ordained elder in the church.
"When he left to make the journey to London, he wasn't sure if he even wanted to stay in ministry. He felt like he was totally burned out,” Manskar said. “As he put it, ‘The flame had gone out.’ He was really questioning his vocation and what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.”
At the end of the pilgrimage, Manskar said the pastor shared with the other pilgrims, “These 10 days have reignited the flame in me. I'm ready to go back and get to work.”
“People who are just starting in ministry come at it from a different place, but their flame gets bigger and brighter,” Manskar said.
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/press-center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.
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