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Spring 2024 I.S.L.E.

Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2024.png

Since 2017, Kristen Tropeano and Rev. Dr. Eric Pugh, have worked to create immersive spiritual learning experiences for the students at Strawbridge UMC and the Texas Annual Conference. We believe that taking students out of their everyday routines, and presenting them with faith learning in a new environment, helps students to be able to name and claim their own faith journey.

Examples of previous I.S.L.E.'s can be found at the bottom of this page.

An I.SL.E. is...

  • Immersive - providing, involving, or characterized by deep absorption in something. 

  • Spiritual - The Spirit is all around us, and not just in a pew or Sunday School Room.

  • Learning - We actively involve students in a wide range of experiences, which often benefit others and the community, while also advancing the goals of a given curriculum.

  • Experience - practical contact with and observation of facts or events

    • Experience is a unique Wesleyan component to theology. John Wesley emphasized experience as a source to discern questions of faith and life in the Christian tradition.

  • Small, (3-5 day) stand alone educational pilgrimage that serves to enhance and enrich the discipleship programs and ministries of the local church, specifically confirmation. 

    • Learning and discussions will be designed to connect our vows of our Baptismal Covenant, with our Methodist Heritage and our Social Principals, using scripture, tradition, reason and experience.

    • Designed for groups of 20 or less either from one church or many. 

    • Serves as a means to connect local churches with our Methodist heritage in real and tangible ways to bring black and white text and history to life. 

  • Each pilgrimage includes preparation and debriefing materials, conversations with trusted partners, holistic engagement in these communities, & investment in your young people. 

  • Each experience will have required reading of relevant cultural material to help pilgrims gain insight and perspective from an individual or individuals who have dealt personally with part of the experience. 

  • Provide mentally and spiritually challenging experiences for young people which require personal reflection and allow for deeper spiritual formation.

Previous I.S.L.E.'s include

  • Systemic/Institutional Injustice & Poverty through Chicago & Evanston

  • Civil Rights through Birmingham & Atlanta & Selma (slavery to mass incarceration)

  • American Methodism through Baltimore, Philadelphia, & the District of Columbia

  • *Culture & Community Immersive Experience through Houston & Galveston.

  • Segregation through Tulsa & Oklahoma (Tulsa massacre & Native Persons territories)

  • A Faith that Creates through St. Louis, ways we worship through artistic creation

  • Sacred Songs & Spaces through New York, the intersection of sacred and secular in our everyday lives.

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