FTA 2017 Routes of Faith I - Page 8

DESTINATION TERRAINS OF FAITH Ganges River WORLDWIDE ADVENTURES By Bob Rouse FTA members not only put travelers in touch with their religious roots, they also reveal the places and faces of different religions and diverse cultures. Diversity extends to the many terrains of faith travel, too, from the mountains of Tennessee to a river in South Asia. An island abbey On the west coast of Scotland is the serene Isle of Iona, home to one of the oldest sacred sites in Europe. Iona Abbey was founded in A.D. 563 by St. Columba and 12 Irish followers and became an influential center of Christianity among the Scots. St. Martin’s Cross, which dates to the eighth century, still stands outside the abbey. “Iona retains its spiritual atmosphere and is a popular site for Christian pilgrimage and worship,” says Maggie Anderson of VisitScotland. “There’s an organized walk around the island every Tuesday, with stops at places of historical and religious significance.” The abbey church was restored at the beginning of the 20th century, and work on the living quarters began in 1938, which marks the beginning of the Iona Community. This ecumenical group founded by Rev. George MacLeod embraces Christians from different traditions and walks of life. In 2013, marking the 1,450th anniversary of Columba’s arrival, the island’s ancient carved stones were placed on display in the Abbey Museum. Visitors can also learn from interpretive panels and an educational audio guide. For more info, email Anderson at maggie.anderson@visitscotland. com or visit visitscotland.com. Spirit-filled Smokies A motorcoach heading to the mountains of Tennessee can get loud—in a good way—says Jerry Varner of Making Memories Tours in Washburn, Missouri. “When we take groups to the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, they really bond along the way,” he says. “There’s lots of singing on the bus.” The weeklong event, set for Sept. 24–30 this year, attracts gospel music’s top names and their fans, according to Joy McNealy, Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “Most tour groups stay about three days—with two evenings of concerts—and some stay for the entire event,” McNealy says. “During the day they explore Pigeon Forge’s dining, shopping and attractions; visit Dollywood; or schedule a mountain tour with a step-on guide into the national park.” “It’s a different themed trip for us, and a lot of fun,” Varner says. “We do all the ground logistics and advertise on Southern gospel radio stations.” 2017 marks the 60th year of the event, “Our town comes alive with the sound of gospel music everywhere.” To learn more about the annual event in Pigeon Forge, email McNealy at jmcnealy@cityofpigeonforge.com or visit mypigeonforge.com. 8 routes of faith DESTINATION TERRAINS OF FAITH Ganges River By Bob Rouse FTA members not only put travelers in touch with their religious roots, they also reveal the places and faces of different religions and diverse cultures. Diversity extends to the many terrains of faith travel, too, from the mountains of Tennessee to a river in South Asia. An island abbey On the west coast of Scotland is the serene Isle of Iona, home to one of the oldest sacred sites in Europe. Iona Abbey was founded in A.D. 563 by St. Columba and 12 Irish followers and became an influential center of Christianity among the Scots. St. Martin’s Cross, which dates to the eighth century, still stands outside the abbey. “Iona retains its spiritual atmosphere and is a popular site for Christian pilgrimage and worship,” says Maggie Anderson of VisitScotland. “There’s an organized walk around the island every Tuesday, with stops at places of historical and religious significance.” The abbey church was restored at the beginning of the 20th century, and work on the living quarters began in 1938, which marks the beginning of the Iona Community. This ecumenical group founded by Rev. George MacLeod embraces Christians from different G&FF0BvƷ2bƖfRख#2&rFRCSFfW'6'b6V&( 2'&fFP6N( 26VB6'fVB7FW2vW&R6VBF7FR&&WW6WVf6F'266V&g&FW'&WFfRV2BVGV6FVFwVFRf"&RfVFW'6BvvRFW'6f6G66FB6"f6Bf6G66FB6ࣀ&WFW2bfF7&BfVB6W0F&66VFrFFRVF2bFVW76VR6vW@VN( FvBv( G62W''f&W"brV&W2FW'2v6'W&֗76W&( vVvRFRw&W2FFRFV'FWB6fVFvVf&vRFW&Vǒ&BrFRv( R62( FW&^( 2G2`6vrFR'W2( ХFRvVVrWfVB6WBf"6WB#N( 33F2V"GG&7G2v7VW6>( 2FW2BFV"f266&FrF4VǒvVf&vRFW'FVBbFW&6( 7BFW"w&W27F&WBF&VRF>( GvFGvWfVw2`66W'G>( FB6R7Ff"FRVF&RWfVB( 4Vǒ62( GW&pFRFFWW&RvVf&v^( 2Fr6rBGG&7F3f6BFǗvC"66VGVRVFFW"vF7FWwVFRFFRF&( Ю( ėN( 2FffW&VBFVVBG&f"W2BBbgV( f&W"62( vRFFRw&VBv7F72BGfW'F6R6WFW&v7V&F7FF2( У#r&2FRcFV"bFRWfVB( W"Fv6W2ƗfRvFFR6VBbv7VW62WfW'vW&R( ХFV&&R&WBFRVWfVBvVf&vRV4VǒB6Vǔ6GgvVf&vR6"f6@חvVf&vR6