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What is Pilgrimage?

Click here to download a brochure about NC Presbyterian Pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage is an intensive three day Christian experience that is designed to provide a significant foundation for individual and community spiritual growth. Grace and Growth are combined in an exciting and energetic way.

At the Pilgrimage the participants become increasingly aware that they are a part of a community abounding in God's grace. The three days are a triple encounter: with Christ; with Christian brothers and sisters; and with a Christian community.

History of Presbyterian Pilgrimage

Presbyterian Pilgrimage is an outgrowth of a movement, which originated as the Roman Catholic Cursillo in Spain in 1948 and moved to America in the late 50's. In fact the Presbyterian weekends in North Carolina were called Cursillos until 1997. The first Cursillos within the US (Roman Catholic) were held in Miami, Florida in 1971. In addition to the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian movements, there are similar expressions in the Methodist, Reformed Episcopal, Lutheran, and other Christian churches. Today, more than 2 million Christians in 50 nations have attended a Cursillo, Pilgrimage, or similar weekend.

Format of the Weekend

The weekend is an experience in Christian sharing and living. During the 72 hours, fourteen talks will be presented: four talks are given by pastors and ten by lay people. The weekend also includes chapel each morning, communion, small group discussions, sharing, music, singing, laughter, and prayer. The talks are discussed by the participants and will include a Christian perspective on the following subjects;

  • Ideals
  • Grace
  • Lay People in the Church
  • Importance of Study
  • A day in the Life of a Christian
  • Christian Action
  • Obstacles to a Life in Grace
  • Christian Actions in the Community

Each of the talks deals with living one's life in God's grace.

Who Goes to a Pilgrimage?

A Pilgrimage is not designed to convert anyone to Christianity. It is meant for those who are already faithful and committed to Christ and His church. Once again, the goal is to encourage Christians in their lives of faith and increase their awareness of grace and service to the church and world. During a Pilgrimage weekend, those who have previously attended are called ''The Team," and it is their responsibility to serve you in every possible way.

When is a Pilgrimage Held?

Pilgrimages are held seven times per year, usually in February, March, April, May, September, October and November at various facilities throughout the Wilkesboro, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Fayetteville area of central North Carolina. The sites are chosen to provide the easiest possible access for the participants at a reasonable cost.

For a list of upcoming weekend dates, please go to our weekend dates page.

How Can I Attend a Pilgrimage?

If you would like to attend a Pilgrimage weekend please contact an individual who has previously attended. Please also speak to your pastor since a pastor must sign the registration when you decide to attend. To obtain more information and to find a location closest to you, please contact Us.

What Happens After the Weekend?

The weekend is only a beginning. What you learn and share during the weekend will hopefully betaken back and put into practice in your local congregation and community. You will be supported by many others who have attended a weekend before or with you. Small groups of people who have attended a weekend meet regularly (usually weekly) to affirm one another and to share the Christian life of Grace. These activities inspire, challenge, and encourage Christian action in homes, churches and communities.

How Much Does the Weekend Cost?

Costs are kept to an absolute minimum to cover the cost of lodging, meals, and supplies for the weekend. Since it is not desired that a lack of funds might keep any person from attending, scholarships are available. Weekend costs are expected to range around $210.

May I Go with a Spouse or Friend?

Yes, it is strongly recommended that spouses and friends attend a first Pilgrimage weekend together. Marriages and friendships can be strengthened and deepened by the experience.

A Closing Note

Not everyone who attends a Pilgrimage weekend will receive the same benefit; but all who attend will be blessed, and most will be strengthened in their desire to be a blessing in their churches and Christian communities.

Pilgrimage Map