Global Ministries has embraced the exciting trend among Disciples and UCC congregations, regions, and conferences with respect to "hands-on" experiences in mission. In participating on a mission pilgrimage, a group embarks on a journey of faith and solidarity with our international ecumenical partners. For this reason, such group travel experiences are called "People-to-People Pilgrimages."
Fortunately, modern day technology has made visiting other parts of the world much easier and less expensive. However, traveling abroad for mission purposes greatly differs from taking an extended family vacation or weekend leisure trip! What is the difference? A mission pilgrimage is a transforming experience through which participants share themselves and God's love in a new way. Participants take common steps of faith in embracing new people, places, and cultures.
In coordinating a mission pilgrimage, it is of utmost importance to remain both flexible and sensitive to the advice and availability of our partners. It is through the People-to-People and area offices that our partners share with us the work and witness of their local faith communities and extend the invitation for our mission groups to travel to and serve in their countries. Working cooperatively, we are able to make successful "hands-on" global faith connections with our international partners!
Mission Trip Resource Listing
| People to People Pilgrimage Resources
Initial Response Form
People to People brochure [English]
People to People brochure [Spanish]
Click to order copies of the People to People brochure
Study Trip Opportunities
People-to-People Pilgrimage Leader Manual
Hints for a Successful Pilgrimage
How to Send Funds to Trip Partners
Article on Multicultural Learning
Mission Trip Resource Listing
CDC travelers' health website (search by country)
International giving guidelines
International Youth Pilgrimages
Guidelines for taking photographs in another culture
Photo essay of Post Earthquakes Construction Project in El Salvador
| What can I expect from the People-to-People Pilgrimage program?
Through the Global Ministries People-to-People Pilgrimage Program, you will receive the assistance of a national staff person—the Program coordinator—throughout the duration of the implementation process. This individual will be available to...
- explore the various possibilities of group activity that would best the interests and goals of the group's proposed mission pilgrimage;
- enable groups to draw on the expertise and guidance of our area offices;
- initiate communication with our overseas partners in coordinating your mission pilgrimage experience;
- provide reflection and orientation materials to help your group prepare for the cross-cultural experience in mission; and
- facilitate group networking with other congregations, regions, and conferences having been involved in planning similar mission pilgrimages.
In solidarity, we will walk humbly toward the future of God's work through the lives, hopes, struggles and faith of people around the world.
| We want to go! Now... what do we do?
The People-to-People Pilgrimage Program can help you make your mission pilgrimage a memorable experience! Following are a few of the initial steps to follow in organizing a successful mission pilgrimage experience...
- Have a brainstorming session on the goals for your mission pilgrimage.
- Make a tentative decision about possible dates of travel as well as the region or country of interest. It's a good idea to identify at least two or three options for both travel dates and destination; the practicality of these options will eventually be explored cooperatively with the Program coordinator.
- Keep in mind that 8-10 is the ideal group size. Because our international partners know best how many people they can accommodate graciously without over stretching their resources and energy, they will determine the maximum number of pilgrims invited to participate.
- Select a group contact person who will begin exploring the possibilities with the Program coordinator.
- Is your conregation, region, or conference already involved?
It's a joy to learn of congregations, regions, and conferences that travel abroad for "hands-on" experiences in mission! If you have already planned a mission pilgrimage through another agency, you are invited to contact the Program coordinator and share highlights of your planned pilgrimage. This dialogue would allow us to cooperatively explore how your group might work with Global Ministries in the future. Perhaps your pilgrimage could be enhanced by visiting a missionary or representatives of a Global Ministries international ecumenical partner in the country to which you are traveling.
Contact your People-to-People Pilgrimage Program office to begin planning a memorable pilgrimage experience!