For a couple years now I've been hearing about something called the "peace walk" that happens every year in Lehigh Valley. Officially called the Christmas Peace Pilgrimage, it's a 10-mile walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem, two of the most historically relevant towns in Moravian heritage. And according to my mom, the purpose of it is two-fold: 1.) symbolize the journey Mary and Joseph made back in the day and 2.) encourage peace rather than violence in a non-political setting.

Although I'm all for peace, I'm not a fan of exercise, so I've never done the walk myself ... but Mom did.

Yesterday, Mom sent me an email telling me all about her experience in the 50th Annual Nazareth to Bethlehem Christmas Peace Pilgrimage held on Saturday. With a friend from church by her side, Mom drove to Bethlehem to meet the bus that would take her to the starting off point for the pilgrimage at Nazareth Moravian Church Center Square. Then as the clock struck noon, Mom and 240 other "pilgrims" began their walk along Route 191toward Bethlehem.

The thing about Mom is she's a very active person, so she probably could've walked the full 10 miles without a break. But since the Peace Pilgrimage is for everybody - regardless of age or fitness level - they stopped several times along the way to take a breather, get a drink of water and talk about the 50 year history of the walk and its purpose. (Check out the 2005 mayoral proclamation about the CPP.)

Just as it was getting dark, each person was given a candle as they made their way into historic downtown Bethlehem. Flickering candles in-hand, the group made their way to Central Moravian Church to sing Christmas carols before ending their journey with supper and an inspirational speaker.

Have you ever done the Christmas Peace Pilgrimage?

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/blmurch/ / CC BY 2.0)