My break from traveling is almost over, and in a couple days I'll go to California. It's been a good break, but I'm ready now to see and do new things.
I've been thinking, this summer, about welcoming the stranger. A basic instruction in the Rule of St. Benedict is "All guests who present themselves are to . . .
Church Encounter Series
On Wednesday night I went to Willow Creek Community Church. Can I tell you that Willow Creek Church is big? When I say "big," you need to adjust your understanding of big. The parking lot is big enough to have numbered sections, and I still couldn't find my car after the service. Driving up to Willow Creek, the . . .
I've traveled for 18 days now. Tomorrow I go home. I've never, I think, in my life been away from my home for this long. I'm exhausted, tired, and road weary, but I still don't want the trip to end. When I started envisioning this sabbatical time, I knew I wanted to go to Italy to visit Benedict's monastery in Monte . . .
Iona is described as a Holy Place. Some call it a “thin place,” where the separation from Heaven and Earth is thinner and a spiritual encounter is more commonplace than the rest of the world. I’m not sure how to describe Iona, but I can say it’s different here. There’s a deep history of faith on Iona, with St. Columba coming here with . . .
Church Encounter Series
Yesterday morning was a travel day, so I wasn't able to go to church in Glasgow. The train ride from Glasgow to Oban is extraordinary, though, where I felt like I was on the Hogwarts Express, passing through mountains and lakes and ocean inlets. I did make it to Iona in time for Sunday evening worship, though. Worship happens twice a . . .
I've been all over Scotland since I arrived on Wednesday. On Thursday I stayed close in Glasgow, going to the Cathedral and Necropolis. On Thursday I rode the train to Edinburgh, and today I went with a group to the Highlands, where we took a short cruise on Loch Ness. These days have been wonderfully full.
Tomorrow I'm . . .
The second part of my journey has started; I've landed in Scotland. Yesterday was a quick trip to Florence. The high speed train from Rome to Florence was fantastic. We zipped along at 150 mph. Florence is a beautiful city without a straight street in it, but the maze-like experience of getting around adds to the charm. It was a . . .