Georgia Presbyterian Pilgrimage

Georgia Presbyterian Pilgrimage

A Note to Clergy

A Note to Clergy -

Pilgrimage (formerly "Cursillo") is a three day spiritual retreat in which the main activity is learning about God's love and Christ's will for us. It provides a foundation for both individual and community spiritual growth.

The weekend is an experience in Christian sharing and living. During the three days, 15 talks are presented -- five by pastors, and the rest by lay people - all dealing with different aspects of living one's life in God's grace.

The weekend includes chapel each day, communion, small group discussions, sharing, music, singing, laughter, and prayer. Georgia Presbyterian Pilgrimage (GPP) weekends are held twice a year at the very comfortable Pinnacle Retreat Center in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains of Clayton, Georgia.

Presbyterian Pilgrimage is …

  • Biblical.
  • Reformed
  • Adherent to Presbyterian doctrine

Presbyterian Pilgrimage is not …

  • A conversion experience
  • A couples retreat
  • Political

Presbyterian Pilgrimage is faithful to the teaching of scripture and to the reformed doctrine of the Presbyterian Church. Five of the weekend talks are given by Presbyterian clergy. In fact, the first Talk of the weekend, “Reformed Theology” is delivered by a clergy member. The rest of the talk-givers must follow tightly composed outlines that adhere to reformed theology. The Presbyterian Cursillo operation manual was written by Rev. Fred Keith as part of his doctoral thesis at Columbia Theological Seminary.

The purpose of Presbyterian Pilgrimage is to help the people who attend our weekend retreats better understand God's love for them and begin to understand and appropriate Jesus' will for their lives. It helps turn members into leaders. Sometimes married couples attend together – and we have heard great stories about the positive impact of the weekend on marriages -- but we make an effort to allow each person to have his or her own experience during the weekend. We leave our differences at home and come together united in God's love.

While Pilgrimage is lay-led, each renewal weekend does have at least three ordained Presbyterian pastors on staff as “Spiritual Advisors.” Some of the clergy who have been involved in Pilgrimage include:

  • Rev. Pem Cooley
  • Rev. Paul Evans
  • Rev. Julie Ferguson
  • Rev. Sandy Fox
  • Rev. Dave Grove
  • Rev. James Harper
  • Rev. Sam Henderson
  • Rev. Maryellen Hittel
  • Rev. Leon Jeffords
  • Rev. Ben Laughlin
  • Rev. Tom Lewis
  • Rev. John Martin
  • Rev. Tim McConnell
  • Rev. Monty Nelson
  • Rev. Dave Pearce

Here's what some of these pastors have to say about Pilgrimage:

“Cursillo has broadened our members' awareness of the joy and magnitude of the Lord's ministry through PC USA and has re-enforced connections to sister churches in the Presbytery.” Rev. John Martin

“I have seen many [members who attended Cursillo] make a positive impact on the Church in Commerce. … They are working for the harmony and peace of our Church in meaningful ways.” Rev. Monty Nelson

“Since becoming involved with Georgia Presbyterian Cursillo in 1997, I have seen many people attend a Cursillo weekend and return to their churches spiritually renewed. The 3-day weekend is filled with joy, worship, and wonderful talks that promote self-reflection on various aspects of the Christian faith. In a short 72-hours, people who were once strangers become friends, have meaningful discussions with one another, and leave with a renewed sense of purpose in their life and service to the church.” Rev. Julie Ferguson

Georgia Presbyterian Pilgrimage was formed in 1995 as Georgia Presbyterian Cursillo. In 2015 we celebrate our 20th anniversary and changed our name to Georgia Presbyterian Pilgrimage. In this time, more than 40 Georgia congregations have sent participants to GPC/GPP weekends. These include:

  • Austell Presbyterian
  • Bartow Cumberland Presbyterian
  • BelAir Presbyterian
  • Belle Terrace Presbyterian
  • Carrollton Presbyterian
  • Cedartown Presbyterian
  • Church of St. Andrew
  • Clairmont Presbyterian
  • Columbia Presbyterian
  • Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian
  • Eastminster Presbyterian (Marietta)
  • Fellowship Presbyterian
  • First Presbyterian Atlanta
  • First Presbyterian Calhoun
  • First Presbyterian Cartersville
  • First Presbyterian Cleveland
  • First Presbyterian Commerce
  • First Presbyterian Cornelia
  • First Presbyterian Douglasville
  • First Presbyterian Gainesville
  • First Presbyterian Marietta
  • First Presbyterian Milledgeville
  • First Presbyterian Winder
  • First Presbyterian Woodstock
  • Lawrenceville Presbyterian
  • Fellowship Presbyterian
  • North Avenue Presbyterian
  • Oak Mountain Presbyterian
  • Oakhurst Presbyterian
  • Parkway Presbyterian
  • Peachtree Presbyterian
  • Providence Presbyterian
  • Redeemer Presbyterian
  • Rehoboth Presbyterian
  • Rockmart Presbyterian
  • Roswell Presbyterian
  • Shallowford Presbyterian
  • Smyrna Presbyterian
  • Southminster Presbyterian
  • St. Luke's Presbyterian
  • Swainsboro Presbyterian
  • Wiley Presbyterian

During the past 20 years, we also have been involved in starting three Presbyterian Cursillo/Pilgrimage communities: Tennessee Valley Presbyterian Cursillo, Alabama Presbyterian Cursillo, and Florida Presbyterian Pilgrimage (originally Cursillo).

The Pilgrimage weekend is only a beginning. What participants learn and share during the weekend will hopefully be taken back and put into practice in their local congregation and community. They will be supported by many others who have attended a weekend before or with you. Small groups of people who have attended a weekend meet regularly to affirm one another and to share the Christian life of Grace. These activities inspire, challenge, and encourage Christian action in homes, churches and communities.

We're so serious about engaging pastors that the $100 registration fee is waived for Georgia Presbyterian clergy and their spouses attending Pilgrimage for the first time. We would love to have you join us.

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