The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

River of Life Connecticut River Pilgrimage

What was it all about?

River of Life pilgrimage down the Connecticut River, May 31-July 9, 2017. Paddling through Connecticut July 3-9. Local info and links below. The main website for the entire 40-day pilgrimage is kairosearth.org/river.

Watch a video reflection by Bishop Ian T. Douglas here.

  • Pilgrims set out each morning in prayer and silence, and paddled a predetermined distance. Lunch stops were on their own or hosted by local churches. Sometimes the pilgrims had dinner on their own and camped by the river; other times churches hosted them for dinner, overnight, and breakfast.
  • Pilgrims followed daily prayers and spiritual practices, and used the River of Life Prayer Book (link here). 
  • Connecticut residents had four opportunities to join for day paddles in the state: July 3 (Springfield to Enfield); July 4 (Enfield to Hartford); July 5 (Hartford to Middletown); and July 8 (East Haddam to Essex).
  • There were three public-invited events in Connecticut: July 4 at Church of the Good Shepherd, Hartford (Eucharist and Fiesta); July 7 in East Haddam (picnic and panel discussion); and July 8 in Essex (concluding liturgy and celebration).

Selected articles published on the river pilgrimage:

  • May 30 article by David Paulsen of Episcopal News Service with background information (and more) here
  • June 29 article with upate by David Paulsen of Episcopal News Service here
  • June 11 article by Kathy McCormack of Associated Press. Version published in Chicago Daily Herald here.
  • July 4 article - and video - by Amanda Morris of the Hartford Courant here.
  • (On the July 7 lunch in Haddam) July 17 article by Cheryl Czuba, published in Haddam Now, here.
Thanks to all in ECCT who coordinated, led, or hosted events for the core river pilgrims
  • July 3, Holy Trinity, Enfield. Provided transportation from the pull-in site, optional activities, shower facilities, dinner, worship, overnight in the parish hall, breakfast, and transportation back to the boat launch site.
  • July 4, Good Shepherd, Hartford and Christ Church Cathedral. Provided transportation from the pull-in site to Good Shepherd, worship and dinner (public events), transportation from Good Shepherd to the Cathedral, shower facilities, overnight in the Reception Room in the Cathedral House, breakfast, and transportation back to the boat launch site. Other Episcopal churches in Hartford contributing to the liturgy and fiesta included Trinity, Grace, and St. Monica's. Also contributing to the liturgy was Mothers United Against Violence.
  • July 5, Holy Trinity, Middletown. Provided transportation from the pull-in site, shower facilities, optional massage, dinner, worship, overnight in the parish hall, breakfast, and transportation back to the boat launch site. Trinity, Portland provided secure overnight parking for the kayaks.
  • July 6, Cheryl Czuba of St. James', Higganum helped organize a group from St. James to provide lunch for the river pilgrims.
  • July 7, St. Stephen's, East Haddam. Provided transportation from the pull-in site, optional activities, shower facilities, picnic dinner and panel discussion (public events) worship, overnight in the parish hall, breakfast, and transportation back to the boat launch site. Link here to watch the panel discussion (YouTube channel link)
  • July 8, the Rev. Phil Bjornberg of Trinity, Portland, helped organize a prayer stop in Deep River that included the town selectman and other faith leaders of Portland.
  • July 8, the Rev. Cn. Mark K.J. Robinson of St. Ann's, Old Lyme made site arrangements for the concluding celebration, hosted by Kairos Earth, at the Dauntless, Essex. Kathy Rowe of St. Ann's created and printed the worship bulletin; Bishop Jeffrey and Anne Rowthorn wrote the concluding liturgy.
  • July 8-9, St. John's, Essex. Provided overnight accommodations with host families, breakfast, Sunday worship, and lunch.
  • July 9, Grace, Old Saybrook. Hosted the final concluding event for core river pilgrims from any 3+ day segment, with dinner and quiet worship.
Sponsors

Hosted by the seven Episcopal dioceses of New England and the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, partnering with Kairos Earth of New Hampshire to provide overall organization and coordination, promotion, river/spiritual guides, and logistical support.

Other partners include the White Mountain School, Metanoia of Vermont, Connecticut River Watershed Council, and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge.