During the oceanside Eucharist on Second Beach, we moved through several liturgical stations. At one station, pilgrims were asked to reflect on the past week spent in sacred spaces and write a sentence about what God had taught them. In another, pilgrims were reminded that despite the abundance of negative and depressing information about the environment, small things do make a difference and add up to real change—and each pilgrim wrote one small action they wanted to bring back into their daily lives. These were our responses:

What I’ve learned this week

  • Everything is connected…trees breathe…Life is a cycle
  • I learned that I am stronger than I thought.
  • I learned that it can be easy to do your part to protect the earth.
  • Live believing there is sanctuary within the trees and forests, in the oceans and islands, in loving community, in all creation.
  • God created everything, everything he created takes care of us, therefore we need to love and appreciate everything.
  • Spending time in nature can be very humbling.
  • It taught me to be thankful for the earth.
  • I learned a lot of things but the coolest was that all the trees support each other and I think we need to do that as well.
  • I had my first experience in years where I felt genuinely happy.
  • That He is amazing like truly and this graceful Lord is the most wonderful thing to experience.
  • Holiness doesn’t require us. It’s in everything and we can participate.
  • Everything is connected and everything has inherent value.
  • I have learned that nature is resilient and that we can be hopeful about righting the damage that has been done.
  • We are connected—attend to relationships
  • The earth knows. The earth loves. God abides.
  • That the earth is both fragile and resilient. We are all connected. We have much to learn from nature and can apply it to our human world. That I can make a difference if I choose to overcome destructive habits of convenience, even those that are seem small.
  • To love every little thing, to love the way Mother Earth loves.
  • Consider what another person needs and ask them.
  • Everyone can contribute to conserving, sustaining, and restoring creation in their own unique way, using the gifts that God has given them. We are together in God and in love, and in God, there is hope. We, human or otherwise, are all connected in love.
  • Resilience.
  • To appreciate and hold sacred, what so many take for granted.

What small thing can I do

  • I will be more conscious of what I throw away.
  • No plastic disposable water bottles, less food waste, more local food sourcing.
  • When I see people in need, I won’t stand around. I will help them.
  • I can walk to work once in a while. I can eat less meat. I can grow vegetables.
  • Compost. Reduce/Limit appetites.
  • Change my attitude of helplessness/despair. Move toward better things, hope, encouragement to others.
  • I will wash my hands and rinse dishes with cold water instead of automatically turning to hot. I will eat 1 meatless dinner a week.
  • Plant a garden. Be a garden.
  • Consume less meat protein.
  • Support better farms for animals. Not ones where they keep animals uncomfortably.
  • I want to change my attitude towards things. Be more positive and appreciate what I have more.
  • Don’t give up. Keep going.
  • Start composting. Encourage others to do the same.
  • Be more conscious of who/what my actions affect.
  • Try to put a positive spin on everything.
  • I hope I can learn to let God guide me. I need to remember the mustard seed.
  • During this pilgrimage I learned so much about the earth. With this new knowledge, I’ll educate my friends and family.
  • Shop using reusable bags (or shop less!). Eat less meat. Share what I know.
  • Less Amazon, or none….
  • I will give up using plastic utensils.
  • Appreciating what I have and not feeling the need to buy a ton of new stuff.
  • Write about it—share it—cultivate appreciation and love for “the inside”

Lessons from the Pilgrimage
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