A Mindful Walk: A Pilgrimage on Foot
July 14 - 27, 2018 (14 days/13 nights)
Walk the beautiful rolling hills and pastoral river valleys of central Transylvania. This pilgrimage is a collaboration between the UUPCC and Starr King School for the Ministry (SKSM). Students at SKSM, Meadville Lombard Theological School and potentially other seminaries will have the option of getting credit for the pilgrimage.
Prof. Megan Dowdell from SKSM and UUPCC Board member Rev. Andrew Weber (who is conversant in Hungarian) will lead the content portion of the pilgrimage. Our UUPCC Travel Coordinators John Dale and Csilla Kolcsar will coordinate the logistics.
Not for the casual walker. Daily walking distances will range from 10 - 28 km (6-17 miles) in length, and will utilize secondary and tertiary roads of varying surfaces (dirt, gravel & paved) along with horse-cart paths and hiking trails. Walkers will be provided with detailed maps and reflective safety vests to wear on paved roads.
Accommodations will be provided in Unitarian towns and villages utilizing congregational and municipal guest houses along with home stays where necessary. Homemade, nourishing meals will be provided by local Unitarian congregations. Luggage vans will carry extra gear from destination to destination, and sag wagons will pick up those walkers who wish to end their day early. Evening programs will include lectures, discussion groups, worship and meditation, along with music, and local folklore.
The trip will begin and end in the Transylvanian city of Cluj (Kolozsvár). The eight-day walk will start in a village just outside of Târgu - Mures (Marosvásárhely), and finish in the twin Unitarian villages of Belin/Alta-Mare (Bölön/Nagyajta) where hikers will spend the night before boarding buses the next day for Deva (Déva). During the walk, pilgrims will engage in short didactic sessions on religious history, Transylvanian community life, as well as personal spiritual practices. Our walking will culminate in a climb to the mountain-top fortress above Deva where we will gather for an evening vesper service outside the prison cell where Francis David, the first Bishop of the Unitarian Church, was martyred. On the final day of the trip we will again board buses for the return to Cluj (Kolosvár) for our farewell dinner and folklore show.
The UUPCC and Starr King are exploring ways to fundraise so that we can reduce the cost of the pilgrimage for theological students. If you'd like to support this effort with a gift, please visit the UUPCC's homepage (www.uupcc.org) and hit the Donate button in the upper right corner. Your donation will be gratefully received.
If the pilgrimage is over-subscribed, theological students will have priority.
The UUPCC will likely offer an extension to Budapest--details will be posted later in the summer.
Stay tuned for more details and registration instructions! To get on an email list of interested people, contact the UUPCC office at email@example.com.