Friday, September 26, 2008

Egeria News

Have you ever sat at a table full of new acquaintances in a parish coffee hour as a visitor and been told "Oh-- if only we'd known you were going to visit -- you wouldn't have needed a hotel!". Well, I have -- several times. I've also had wonderful people from all over the world scrawl out their contact information on a scrap of paper and plead with me -- seriously! -- to stay with them if I ever come to their village/city/country, so that they could show me all the beautiful and holy sites near their home, and introduce me to their friends and family, and feed me until I explode.

This is not because I am so terrific -- people just really, truly love to meet and host their Orthodox brothers and sisters, even if they don't know them very well, because on a deeper level we are all one body. Egeria is a great way to facilitate people being able to meet and exchange fellowship this way. If you don't believe me, just for a lark I am going to list the actual places I have stayed and been hosted purely on Orthodox connections -- not including monasteries. Here goes!

Eugene, Oregon (1993)
Glastonbury, England (1994)
Aberdeen, Scotland (1998)
Birmingham, England (1998)
Athens, Greece (1999)
Thessaloniki, Greece (1999)
Chania, Crete (1999)
New York, NY (1999)
Montreal, Quebec (1999-2000 New Years!)
Stromness, Orkney, Scotland (2000)
Edinburgh , Scotland (2000)
Edmonton, Canada (2001)
Wappingers Falls, NY (2001)
Everson, WA (2004)
Friday Harbour , WA (2004)
Calgary, Alberta (2005)
Chicago, IL (2006)
Big Island, Hawaii (2008)

That last one is happening this October! :-) Anyway, I have probably missed some, and of course I have been many more places -- these are just the times and places that we didn't pay for accommodation! There are many more places too -- even other countries -- where we have standing invitations to visit. Most Orthodox people do seem to have such standing invitations, and one thing Egeria can help do is to -- in a sense -- pool all of these possibilities into one place! Imagine a one stop shop for Orthodox hospitality or home exchange around the world, so that no matter how far we go in our travels and adventures, there is a friendly light in a window when we get there.


Ambrose Nankivell said...

Birmingham 1999, I think you'll find. ;) Sorry the local priest was a touch err, argumentative

Victoria 2008 was lovely, too.

Jenny Hainsworth said...

Oh, wait -- it was actually summer 2000, because I was pregnant with Ella! In fact, remember it was at your parents' house that I first felt her kick! Wow, weird.

I forgot all about that priest until you mentioned it ;-) I guess I wasn't too scarred by that conversation!