Dear Pilgrim Church,
With many hands and hearts at work last week to create a Gospel Brunch Worship, I am still in awe of our time together celebrating God’s generosity! About 140 people broke bread together, shared in good conversation, and sang together with the Spirit-filled and gifted Wright Family Singers and Leonard DiCosimo.
We remembered together on Sunday that the ancient prophets like Isaiah, to help people understand God’s generosity and promises, described God as offering a great and inclusive meal. Isaiah said God would prepare “a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet….” This connects God’s provision with the recognizable joys of sharing a meal in community together. We are to think of God at work among the delicious smells, the savory tastes, the experience of hunger being satisfied, and the joy that comes from human connection. It explains why the sacrament of communion (the gathering of all God’s people at the table for a meal) is at the center of our faith traditions and teachings. God’s goodness was on full display last Sunday, and I am glad to have shared such a worshipful banquet with you!
This Thursday and Friday, Pilgrim’s offices will be closed, and emergency number posted on your pastor’s voicemail in case of pastoral emergencies.
On Sunday, November 25 worship will include the stories, photos and faith reflections of Pilgrim and Dover UCC folks who went with Pastor Brooke Baker on the BorderLinks trip in October to learn more about the realities of immigration. This special worship will also give us a chance to commemorate and reflect on what it has meant for us to be a Sanctuary Church as we approach the first anniversary of Pilgrim’s vote to make such a commitment together.
At 3:00 pm this Sunday afternoon, a benefit concert is planned at Pilgrim to both launch a new album composed by folk musician Charlie Mosbrook (see details below) and to support the family of our sanctuary guest.
Also – if you haven’t yet attended an overview of Pilgrim’s Safe Church Policy, that will be offered this Sunday after worship in the church parlor, next to the hall. It is mandated for all who work with minors in the church (in addition to background checks) but it is immensely helpful for us to have everyone know and understand it. If you plan to go, you will still have time to grab coffee and snacks before it begins!
As we move into a holiday centered on Thanks-giving, I commit to pray for and remember all among us and in the world who have lost much this year, all whose grief or loneliness may intensify during the holidays. And I commit to remember with gratitude the beloved community of God everywhere, especially at Pilgrim Church. Thank you, friends, for the gift of your faith, friendship, gifts, caring actions and time that help make this the church of our hearts. I wish you a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving week.
Thanksgiving Prayer for Those Who Grieve
Gracious and loving God,
We trust in your love and your goodness, even as we face our loss and find our way through a first holiday season without our loved one. These moments of family tradition and togetherness intensify the reality of loss, and so in this day, let us be reminded of your resurrection promises, and trust, like the writers of Psalms, that you are walking with us even through the valleys and through the shadow of death. Let us find some measure of comfort in one another and the memories we share. Let us find some measure of gratitude for the one no longer with us, even as our hearts break from the absence. Let us make it through this day in ways that we find most helpful – with words or silence, tears or laughter, solitude or company, or perhaps a little of everything. Let us remember how much you love us, and how great your love that transcends life and death to keep us all in your loving hands. Amen.
We invite people of faith and conscience to take part in a weekly interfaith prayer vigil to be held outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office at 925 Keynote Circle, Brooklyn Heights. Our goal is to unite and amplify many faith voices calling for compassion and justice to guide the actions of ICE and to bear witness to ICE-imposed injustices and human rights violations taking place in our communities. We welcome non-partisan signage that lifts up values of justice, peace, compassion and hospitality to the immigrant. You can help us to stand up with and for our immigrant neighbors with your “ministry of presence.” If you are able, please come to this prayer vigil, led by rotating faith leadership every Thursday from 4pm to 4:45 p.m.
Adopt a Tree & Do It Your Way – Preparation for Advent
Our yearly Hanging of the Greens preparation for Advent and Christmas will be 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. Part of the decorating is the placement of pencil trees in the choir loft and sanctuary. They are often lighted and decorated.
Knowing that not everyone can devote hours on a Saturday to decorate the church, we are asking you to adopt a single tree and decorate it after church on today. We are hoping to have as many of you as possible be part of the decorations.
Here are the particulars:
1. The trees will be in the theatre, ready for decorating. You only have to decorate one side, as the other is against the wall.
2. There are lights and decorations available at church.
3. BUT, you can bring decorations of your own. Solids work better generally (patterns disappear from a distance). We ask that colors be Christmas-y (no purple, orange or black).
4. We will wire ornaments, ribbons, etc. to the trees so they can be moved into place easily. Jim McPeak will be on hand to aid in this process. Wire and scissors will be provided. We’re hoping that you can participate in this bit of Christmas fun and know that having some of your handiwork is on display.
There was an excellent worship service on November 11 for Stewardship Sunday (visuals were especially good). We received 43 pledge cards for a total of $128,044 and so we're off to a very good start. The campaign continues through the first part of January, so there's time if you've not yet pledged your support for 2019. Pledge cards are available on the ushers table in the back of the sanctuary. Thank-you for your generosity as we continue to respond to the question What Shall We Bring?
Sanctuary for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays is a heartwarming and comforting concept, yet we live in a world where unfortunately this is not a possibility for many. This applies to some who frequent Pilgrim’s food pantry who are experiencing homelessness and some for whom stable housing is elusive.
We know this is true for Eulogio, while we have tried our best to make Pilgrim much like home for him and his family when they visit; we understand it is not. At least it is Sanctuary. In the same way that Pilgrim’s food pantry lives out the mission of the church to nourish those in the community who are in need of food, Pilgrim’s loving and generous offering of sanctuary serves a need just as acute.
We would like to be sure that during these uncertain and fearful times that at least this one family can have an "almost like home" sanctuary holiday experience. In order to make this happen we need some help! We are hoping to provide a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for Eulogio and his family. If you would like to contribute, please send donations to the office with the memo ‘sanctuary fund’. Every little bit helps, so please feel free to sponsor anything from a side dish to the whole turkey!
Food Pantry Needs...
It's that time of year ... the Food Pantry has great need for socks, hats, gloves, scarves for adults and kids! Please consider winter stuff for men. As always, we need personal products such as toothpaste, bars of soap, toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant and feminine hygiene products. Thanks in advance for your generosity ... it's getting cold out there!
Stand with Us – Interfaith Prayer Vigil Thursdays
Charlie Mosbrook Concert for Sanctuary Family
Sunday, November 25 at 3pm – $15 (sliding scale)
For over 25 years, award-winning songwriter Charlie Mosbrook has been dedicated to the performance, presentation, and preservation of original and traditional folk music. His rich baritone voice and noteworthy guitar work highlight his performances. Charlie will perform songs from his new release, Remember Who We Are,
and many others. Proceeds will assist Pilgrim’s sanctuary guest Eulogio
and his family with direct support for necessities such as utilities and food. Free parking, refreshments available, fully accessible. Please share on social media! You can buy $15 tickets online here: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3903226
or just pay at the door.
Seeking Sunday School Teachers
We have a small but wonderful group of children at Pilgrim, and depend on caring adult church members to teach and share activities with them on Sundays (after Passing of the Peace) on a rotating basis, once or twice monthly as preferred. Teaching experience a bonus, background check with Safe Church Policy orientation needed, love of children a must! Please see Halldor Gudmundsson or Xander Gallagher.
Matt and Lucy’s Versions Birth
One of the highlights of our Sunday School this fall is going to be the Christmas Musical Pageant, Matt and Lucy’s Versions Birth. The Sunday School children and youth with the help from animals in our choir will perform the pageant during service on December 9.
We are going to use the Sunday school hour on November 25 and December 2 for rehearsals. If you know of a child who would like to participate, it is important to attend on those days, if at all possible. There will also be roles that will not need rehearsal time.
We welcome any costumes that are appropriate and helpful for our Christmas pageant. Please contact Halldor if your angel suits don’t fit you anymore or if you have recently retired from shepherding and want to give away your uniform.
Escucha y Repite! (Listen and Repeat!)
United States residents have an international reputation for cultural and linguistic ignorance, despite our nation’s diversity. In recent conversations at Pilgrim, several of us noted that our desire to educate ourselves as part of our sanctuary church commitment, and to be loving and hospitable neighbors, would be well served by an introductory Spanish class. Join us for this journey of discovery with basic vocabulary and phrases, but also education to further our understanding of Central America. On Wednesday, November 28 we will gather in the parlor for an introduction and taste of Spanish-speaking from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. For those who wish to continue, we will provide workbooks, schedule once monthly gatherings, and assign a few easy learning activities for students to do on our own between classes.
World AIDS Day December 1
Interfaith memorial service at 2:00 p.m.
On World AIDS Day, we invite you to gather with people of faith for a worship service filled with prayerful remembrance, hope, education and fellowship. This is an annual gathering of ecumenical partners who care about progress in prevention, awareness, treatment and advocacy for all persons affected by and/or living with HIV/AIDS. Pilgrim Congregational and Franklin Circle Christian Church (Disciples) welcome ALL to this service, where our guest speaker will be medical social worker Naimah O’Neal, a powerful advocate and long-time activist living with HIV and working to end the epidemic. Please join us on this 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. This year, Pilgrim hosts.
Service followed by refreshments and time to socialize, learn and ACT UP!
Yoga Offerings Weekly
Various yoga classes are offered at Pilgrim every week, by different instructors, at different (low) costs. Give it a try – and center your mind, body and spirit, as well as getting a great workout!
- Monday at 6:30pm w/Elaine (moderate level)
- Monday at 6:30pm w/Andy (naked, men only)
- Tuesday at 6:30pm w/Chaz
- Friday at 6pm w/Dan (naked, men only)
- Saturday at 8:30am w/Chaz