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How Did MP#1 Come About?

After we moved north in Oct. 2000, we returned yearly to serve on NCPP weekends sometimes bringing Michigan guests with us. Each time our NC friends promised that "some day" they would come north and help us start a pilgrimage in western Michigan. We didn't worry about it because "some day" was a long time away.  Following the Feb. 2004 weekend we left NC with the usual promise. In March, Russ Reighley called to say the Leadership Council had voted to expand into Michigan, had named Jim Mason as Trainer, and we needed to find a camp.

'Some Day" was here!  We found Camp Henry fairly quickly and then looked at each other and said: " We can't do this".

Apparently GOD was listening.  We soon got an e-mail from a stranger, John Day. Jim Mason had told him we were starting a pilgrimage group in Michigan. John had attended weekend # 7 at Camp Hanes, N.C. Since then he had moved to the Atlanta area and had been involved in a number of other weekends including new communities. He offered to help in Michigan. ( In fall 2004 he relocated to MI.)  In June we went to a summer church service at Camp Henry and met Scott Crane, their new program director. Scott had recently finished seminary and had attended and served on Presbyterian Pilgrimage weekends in Virginia. He wanted to help a group start in Michigan.  By late July seven of us, including John Day from GA, met to discuss moving forward, ready or not. We made a list of possible guests and knew we would need more local team help.  We contacted an Emmaus couple we had met two years previously, and invited them out for breakfast and a chance to get involved in Pilgrimage. They were interested. Later, we contacted a DeColores couple and they too offered to help.


We knew providing a serenade would be a big challenge. Gayle had a friend from BSF whose son was a Methodist minister in a town near Camp Henry, and who serves with a DeColores group in the Muskegon area. He put us in touch with their church's reunion group. The West Shore DeColores group did indeed provide our first serenade and also the second in Novermber.

Jim Mason & Russ Reighley came to Michigan in September 2004 to hold an exploratory meeting at Camp Henry. Jim and Russ approved of Camp Henry and convinced our little band of Michigan pilgrims that we could provide a pilgrimage weekend and promised plenty of help from North Carolina.  We continued to meet monthly to prepare for the April event. Each of us was paired as a co-head cha with a counterpart from North Carolina. We were very excited when the bus rolled in from NC late Monday night, April 25. We had three days to turn Camp Henry into a Pilgrimage site and three days to become one team.  We were blessed to become one big, caring family and more than ready to welcome 27 guests.  There were 58 team members. 13 were from Michigan: (consisting of 8 with NCPP background, 1 DeColores, 1 VA Presbyterian Pilgrimage & 3 Emmaus).  There were 2 from Chicago, and 1 each from PA, TN, TX, and VA.  The help from NC was 39 strong.  The promise had been kept, "Some Day" fulfilled.

George & Gayle Davidson.

Currently, we use other camps for our weekend retreats.

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