ReGathering: Souls on Pilgrimage

In the midst of a challenging season, Deacon Rob Lewis shares his vision for Souls on Pilgrimage, encouraging the hard work of “askesis.”


The community of All Souls has always called themselves the pilgrim people, from the days of our founding sixteen years ago. Today we are still on that journey as a pilgrim community whose hearts are bound together in Christ, and whose destination is the house of God. The Psalmist writes,

“Happy are those who dwell in your house . . .
happy the folk whose strength is in you,
the highways in the heart,
who pass through the Valley of Weeping (Baca),
they make it into a spring.”

(Psalm 84: 5-7)

In these past few months, our hearts are being formed through a vale of tears, even as we have been separated from each other. We have experienced pain in our church community, intensified by the impact of navigating our lives in the midst of pandemic and social change and upheaval. We realize anew that pain and confusion can turn our hearts upward towards God, inward to each other, and outward to a world in dire need of Jesus.

What is needed is the hard work of askesis, a Greek term that may be best described as a training and workout for our souls. This soul workout can be as simple as sitting quietly with God long enough to listen for Him and His Word. To live out the Gospel in the world, to be missional, to be agents of peace and reconciliation in our torn world, is to first plumb the depths of the Gospel — the “deep, deep, love of Jesus” — in our souls and in our community life together.

By consciously choosing to continue to walk together in pilgrimage, joining ourselves in Christ, we can re-gather and find a way forward. We can turn to the old paths — the good way — to find rest for our souls. (Jeremiah 6:16). As we look forward to re-gathering in our Nave in late July, we are looking for other ways we can be together in the interim. For this reason, we are launching an eight-week church-wide initiative we are calling Re-Gathering: Souls on Pilgrimage. As we begin to look forward to a time of full reunion, we can today begin to:

  • Pray together and for each other. We have created a custom site for the purpose of joining together in prayer, with prayers and readings changing daily from the Book of Common Prayer. Use this site as a resource for your own daily prayer and devotions, knowing others in our community are also praying the same prayers and reading the same texts.
  • Study the Word together through a OneBook/OneChurch study of Philippians, both online and in person, led by our own Patrick Egan.
  • Meet together in small “pop-up” groups. Sign up for one or more of the small “pop-up” groups, whether it be sharing insights from Philippians, discussing a movie, reading a book together, or creating art together. Artists in our midst are working on ways we can receive the Word of Life through community artistic expression. Meeting outside will allow us to get re-acquainted with each other once again. Social distancing guidelines from the CDC will be followed.

We invite you to undertake this work together, as we seek to anchor ourselves in Scripture, bind ourselves together in prayer, and listen to one another in small groups. Click here to go to the webpage for Re-gathering: Souls on Pilgrimage to find out the details.