Greetings from Pastor Lee Barstow
Dear LCC Community,
My better half Cynthia and I are three weeks away from setting out on the journey of a lifetime. For seven weeks, from May 28 to July 16, we will walk the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) in northern Spain, an ancient pilgrimage route leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, said to hold the remains of St. James, the disciple of Jesus. Cynthia and I will join innumerable pilgrims who have made this walk since the 9th Century, estimated this year to be as many as 300,000.
Friends and family have asked why in the world we are taking on such a challenge, and I must admit we sometimes ask ourselves the same question, especially these days as our departure nears. I’m glad to report we have trained a lot. There are many answers to “why.”
Both of us see the pilgrimage as a precious opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. Cynthia
is particularly eager to connect with fellow walkers from around the world, aka God in relationship. I am very much hoping to learn better how to be fully present even when I experience physical or mental hardship, which will certainly happen. I want to be a loving companion to Cynthia and others I meet along the way. I want to feel wonder at the beauty of the Pyrenees and farmland and forests and ancient towns. I want to fully participate in these other blessings we will encounter on a
daily basis. In other words, I want to deepen my practice of presence of God, including learning to move away from fear-filled distractions. In the words of Micah 6:8, I want “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [my] God.”
It is also my great hope to share with you any learning I am able to glean. After all, given our Congregational polity, I am one amongst our congregation of ministers who is asked to go out, do some extra research, and bring back what I find.
And so, my “Letter from Lee” for May and June will come from the Camino via a blog attached to the church’s website, for which we will send a subscription link as soon as the first post is available, which will be soon.
Thank you in advance for keeping me and Cynthia in your hearts and prayers. May we find beauty and wisdom and more along the way, and may these blessings lift us all.
Peace and blessings,
P.S. A movie that captures the spirit of the Camino is“The Way,” starring Martin Sheen, available on Netflix.,