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After-meeting exploring for faith-based groups

Courtesy Plymouth County CVB

Plymouth, Massachusetts
Faith brought the Pilgrims through much adversity in their colony in Plymouth, Mass. The Pilgrims’ quest for religious freedom became a central theme of the history and culture of the United States.

“We are 45 minutes south of Plymouth and often see faith-based groups, especially Protestants, visit Plimoth Plantation,” said Paula Fisher, director of marketing and group sales for the Plymouth County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Plimoth Plantation is a meticulous re-creation of the settlement the Pilgrims probably built in the first seven years of living in what was to become America.

“The people who role-play the lives of the Pilgrims make it so special,” said Fisher. “They’re extremely talented and educated on the thought processes of the Pilgrims who left England and Holland because they didn’t agree with religious aspects of the Church of England.”

The Mayflower, which sailed to Plymouth in 1620 with the Pilgrims aboard, no longer exists. But the Mayflower II has returned from dry dock after extensive restoration and repairs. Visitors can board the ship to better imagine the lives and daily routines of the adults and children who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to freedom in a new but hostile land.

On the Eel River, Wampanoag Homesite is a living-history exhibit that shows how the 17th-century Wampanoag lived along the coast, planting crops, fishing, hunting, and gathering herbs and berries for food and reeds for making mats and baskets.

April through October, groups can whale watch. “There’s a paddle-wheel cruise that lasts 75 minutes and other boat trips 20 miles out to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod,” said Fisher.


Grand Junction, Colorado
Barb Bowman, deputy director for the Grand Junction Convention and Visitors Bureau, works with the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the Faith Walkers and other faith-based groups.

A United Methodist group that met in the area made the best of Grand Junction’s attractions, she said.

“They did so many things after their conference, including a tour and tasting in Colorado’s wine country, downtown activities, and antiquing or beading in local shops. Some visited Colorado National Monument, with its red-rock canyon. That’s what we recommend for faith-based groups, and they took advantage.”

The group also visited Steadfast Steeds Mustang Horse Sanctuary, which is run by a local First United Methodist Church pastor and his wife. The sanctuary showcases America’s wild horses. Visitors can pet the horses and have their photos taken with the mustangs. At an outdoor cowboy church service in nearby Fruita, ranchers bring their horses and dogs.

“They have interpreters dressed and in character in the historic buildings. It’s the Old Time West,” said Mistalynn Meyeraan, marketing and public relations coordinator at the CVB.

“Groups can hold a breakfast overlooking beautiful Red Rock Canyon preceding a bible study or service,” said Bowman. “We’ve had Easter sunrise services outdoors.”



Dan Dickson

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