"Pilgrim is a teaching and discipleship resource that helps inquirers and new Christians explore what it means to travel through life with Christ. A Christian course for the twenty-first century, Pilgrim offers an approach of participation, not persuasion. Following the practice of the ancient disciplines of biblical reflection and prayer with quotes from the Christian tradition throughout the ages, Pilgrim assumes little or no knowledge of the Christian faith. Individuals or small groups on the journey of discipleship in the Episcopal tradition can use Pilgrim at any point.
There are many different aspects to helping people learn about the Christian faith. We have taken as our starting point Jesus’ summary of the commandments. We are called to offer our lives to God through loving God with all our mind, soul, strength and heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Learning about Christian faith and growing in Christian faith is about more than what we believe. It’s also about the ways in which we pray and develop our relationship with God, about the way we live our lives and about living in God’s vision for the Church and for the world.
There are two stages of material in Pilgrim. There are four short Pilgrim books (each comprising a course of six sessions) in the “Follow” Stage designed for those who are enquirers and very new to the faith. Then there are four short Pilgrim books (again, each comprising a six-session course) in the “Grow” Stage designed for those who want to go further and learn more.
Pilgrim is made up of two parts, each with four courses contained in four booklets:
Follow: Do you turn to Christ? Releasing in March 2016
1. Turning to Christ
2. The Lord's Prayer
3. The Commandments
4. The Beatitudes
Grow: Will you continue in the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship? Releasing October 2016
5. The Creeds
6. The Eucharist
7. The Bible
8. Church & Kingdom
Each course offers six sessions each that combine a simple prayer, reflection on a biblical selection using lectio divina, an article by a modern writer, and reflection questions.
The short courses in the four “Follow” stage books can be approached in any order. Together, we believe they offer a balanced introduction to the Christian life and journey. Our hope and prayer is that Pilgrim will help to introduce people to the Christian Way and also equip them to live their whole lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. It will help inquirers and those new to the Christian faith as well as those who are new to The Episcopal Church or Episcopalians who wish to refresh and renew their learning commitment to Christ.
The aim of the “Grow” stage is to help people to learn the essentials for a life of discipleship. A disciple is to be called to live in a rhythm of being with Jesus in community and to be sent out to live out the Christian faith in the whole of his or her life.
Disciples need the support of other Christians and to be part of a community. We need opportunities to reflect and pray together and to explore the riches of our faith. The Grow stage supports that process both for new Christians and for those who have been Christians for many years. Some groups who use the Grow material will be moving on from the Follow stage of Pilgrim. Some will be specially convened just for this stage.
The Pilgrim Leader’s Guide has lots of helpful material for those who are leading any Pilgrim Group. A single guide covers all eight booklets and gives an overview of the program as well as a process of how to lead a group of youth or adults in discussing the material. This is an essential tool for anyone who wishes to offer any portion of Pilgrim in a small group, whether in church, school, or home. Worship material, liturgies for enrollment in the catechumenate, and additional resources are also included.