Going Across the Pond

old-rectory-epworthToday was a day that I thought would be fairly typical. Instead, today turned out to be a day that I received some unexpected good news.

Every year, Discipleship Ministries – an agency within the United Methodist Church – sponsors a pilgrimage to England where pilgrims are immersed in early Methodist history. Places such as the Old Rectory, the New Room, and the Aldersgate Monument are seen. Worship is done at places such as Salisbury Methodist Church, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Along with all of that are lectures and other opportunities for learning, fellowship, and getting to really soak up the places and faces of the early movement which became Methodism.

If this sounds like the dream trip that should be on every Metho-nerd’s bucket list, that’s because it is.

Ever since I found out about this pilgrimage I have wanted to go. Last year I applied for a scholarship and was turned down. I was disappointed but, truthfully, I also knew that (1) there would be other opportunities to apply again and (2) it probably would not have been a good idea to try and squeeze in this trip just after relocating to a new state. When the applications for year’s pilgrimage opened, I immediately applied. Today I received an email with a response.

This year’s answer was “Congratulations!”

I’m very excited, humbled, and count myself blessed to have this opportunity to experience the sights where John and Charles Wesley, Francis Asbury, Thomas Coke, and many others were instrumental in beginning what would become a movement that continues to impact the world today. I am eager to not only learn about these places but to see and experience them in person.

I am also eager to enjoy some fish and chips.

I have no doubt that this will enhance the education I am currently pursuing and will give me a greater appreciation for the branch of Christianity that I am part of. I pray that this has a positive and lasting impact in my life as a pastor.

Some other things I’m excited about: Experiencing another country and being able to spend time in places such as Stonehenge and London. I am excited to finally have a reason to apply for my passport and I look forward to my first trans-Atlantic airplane ride (which I will hopefully sleep through). I am looking forward to meeting new colleagues and making new friends. To say that I am just overall excited would be an understatement!

So here I come in July, England! Consider yourselves warned.

Jonathan

2 thoughts on “Going Across the Pond

  1. Congratulations, Jonathan! I know you will enjoy seeing first hand the birthplace of Methodism. If you interest in a great resource for such a journey, I would like to direct you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series, a trilogy about the early years of the 18th-century British itinerant preacher, Francis Asbury. The opening book, Black Country, gives great detail into precisely the pilgrimage you will embark on. The early years of Methodism in England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland are brought to life in this gripping novel. In addition, Black Country finally honors the early preaching circuits of Francis Asbury in England before he departs for the American colonies in 1771. As you may know, this detailing of Asbury’s early circuits in England has not been attempted in the 200 years since his passing in March of 1816. Black Country seeks to honor this brave young man’s efforts on the other side of the pond. The website for the book series is http://www.francisasburytriptych.com. Enjoy the numerous articles and videos about the early Methodist movement in the UK and America. I would love to hear from you after your trip.

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