A Reflection on Pilgrimage to Navajoland by Jack Ely:
As we look forward to returning to Navajoland next summer on pilgrimage, we want to hold a space to not forget the gift of our life shared with our Navajo friends. To this end, in the month of June, we will be sharing reflection on our blog and in the weekly email from folk who have been on previous pilgrimages, recalling what those relationships and experiences have meant for them. The first of these reflections from Jack Ely is below, and it includes a way to help and stay connected to our friends in Navajoland in the meantime. I hope you enjoy it and are already considering joining the pilgrimage in June of 2022. All ages, both families and individuals, are welcome to travel with us...much more to follow in the coming year.
“As we enter June our church would normally be in the final preparations for our annual pilgrimage to Navajoland, but just as last year the pandemic has prevented this trip. I, for one, want to get back out there as soon as we can. I believe that our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Navajoland has become a part of St. Julian’s DNA and that we would be lessen by not keeping them in our thoughts and plans. We have done that over the last year by donating funds to their COVID relief, acquiring and delivering equipment for their food banks, and conducting our firewood drive. While we are missing out on the visit opportunity, we still can support the physical work we typically do by raising money to cover the costs of a needed structural project. The San Juan Region, where we have always visited, has identified several roofing projects costing as much as $50,000 that need to be done there. While $50,000 is out of our range, there is a project estimated at $1862 that we could fully support. That project is to fix roof leaks at the church of St. Luke’s of the Desert. Many of us are familiar with that quaint, yet moving, little mud brick structure. We rebuilt the bathrooms and painted (as usual) the parish hall there on the next to last time we were there. We are asking folks to sign up and sponsor the materials and labor needed to accomplish this task in the manner we have done in the past symbolically buying shingles, nails, tar paper, etc. to allow the job to be done. There will be sign-up sheets at church and here is an online sign-up page for you to faithfully consider this effort.”