The first-ever spiritual Pilgrimage along the length of the Connecticut River, from northern New Hampshire to the Atlantic Ocean will be held this spring to highlight the River’s ecological, social, historical, economical, and spiritual impact throughout New England. The Pilgrimage is hosted by The Episcopal Churches of New England, the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Kairos Earth, in partnership with local, statewide, and regional organizations along the River. This 40-day Pilgrimage is open to people of all backgrounds, faiths, and beliefs. For more information, visit the River of Life website: www.kairosearth.org/river/.
Mark Kutolowski, guide for the River of Life Pilgrimage, explains, “Water is central to life and the Connecticut River and its tributaries are a prime example of waterways sustaining the myriad aspects of a region. For anyone interested in engaging in a sacred relationship with the natural world, the River of Life Pilgrimage will allow that on multiple levels along the Connecticut River: from being a core ‘river pilgrim’ and paddling segments of the river, to attending shore-based events hosted by local churches and conservation organizations, to being a ‘Pilgrim in Prayer’ by joining in the daily spiritual readings and lessons from your own location, everyone has the ability to participate.”
Rev. Stephen Blackmer, Executive Director of Kairos Earth, says, “This journey, like any true pilgrimage, is intended to be a doorway to interior transformation and lasting change. The daily prayer and spiritual exercises of the pilgrimage, as well as the land-based gatherings, will be held in the context of the Christian tradition. On a daily basis, we will also be focusing on the health and conservation of the flora and fauna of the Connecticut River.”
Registration for the three- to seven-day paddling segments is now open; space is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so interested participants should sign up early at the website: www.kairosearth.org/paddle-the-river. Events along the Connecticut River will be added throughout the spring – featured locations will be Canaan, VT; Littleton, NH; Hanover, NH/White River Junction, VT; Brattleboro, VT; Springfield, MA; Hartford, CT; Essex, CT; and many others.