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One Last Hurrah at Roanoke College

Our “post-pilgrimage” has just about wound down now. On Thurs­day night we were the guest speak­ers at a Faith and Rea­son lec­ture and din­ner at Roanoke’s Cen­ter for Reli­gion and Soci­ety. We had a good crowd and a very curi­ous one! Our host finally had to call the ques­tions to a reluc­tant halt so we could pro­ceed on to dinner.

Com­i­cally enough, the most per­sis­tent ques­tion we’ve gotten—both on the road in Europe, and at our Amer­i­can speak­ing appearances—has been how many pairs of shoes we went through! The answer: Andrew wore exactly one pair of Crocs, and I traded in one pair of Keen’s sneaker san­dals for a sec­ond pair about ¾ of the way through our trip. That’s it! Don’t let any­one tell you that you have to have “sturdy” shoes for long-distance hik­ing. Loose and com­fort­able is a much bet­ter option.

There were also lots of great ques­tions after din­ner about the spir­i­tu­al­ity of pil­grim­age and the nature of ecu­menism. One sus­pi­cion that has been con­firmed for us in this whole project is that the peo­ple of God are hun­gry for the unity of the church, but what they have been told or what they have per­ceived of ecu­menism doesn’t do jus­tice to that desire. I myself didn’t know much of any­thing about it before I went to work at the Insti­tute in Stras­bourg. So we will def­i­nitely be con­sid­er­ing ways to con­tinue to spread the word about the rich and fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory and intel­lec­tual devel­op­ment of the ecu­meni­cal move­ment even though our walk is over.

In the mean­while we have been enjoy­ing an unusu­ally lovely Novem­ber in Vir­ginia. The hills are nearly all gray and bare, but the fields are still cov­ered with blond grasses, the sky is blue, and red-winged black­birds flit about all over the place. Out for a drive the other day we stopped by a place where some folks were mak­ing apple but­ter over an open fire with a very long-handled wooden stir­rer. Hunters are frus­trated by the warm weather and abun­dant acorn crop, keep­ing all the deer hap­pily bed­ded down in place. Turkey is for sale every­where. It’s just ordi­nary Amer­i­can life, but after two years liv­ing abroad, we can rec­og­nize its pecu­liar charm that much better.

Any­way, a very blessed Christ the King Sun­day to you all. Crown him with many crowns!

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One Response to One Last Hurrah at Roanoke College

    wynemah hinlicky says:

    It was so good to hear about your jour­ney the other evening. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay for the din­ner, but felt blessed to share the ear­lier part of the evening. It was also good to wor­ship with you on Sun­day. Please for­give me as I think I called you by “Wilkins” instead of “Wil­son” when intro­duc­ing you. I’m actu­ally sur­prised I didn’t say, “Hinlicky-Wiecher” as that’s what usu­ally rolls off my tongue. Any­way, I am so proud of both of you for mak­ing such an adven­ture and uti­liz­ing it a cre­ative way to share in the work of the king­dom. What a gift! I look for­ward to get­ting a copy of the final DVD and, maybe a study guide (?), that could be used for an Adult Study series.

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