Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship, May 20, 2018

Gathering and Worship, 4-6 pm, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church’s Chapel

1907 NE 45th Ave., Portland, OR 97213;

Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell, 919-444-9111;



Dear Refugees, Displaced Persons, Pathfinder, Pilgrim, Family Members, and Friends,


Welcome to a newly designed email newsletter! We are trying some new things with this newsletter, and invite your feedback, as we think of creative ways of sharing the ins and outs of life as a growing and changing Community of Pilgrim.


This week’s focus is Acts 2:1-21, a Scripture passage read on Pentecost! This is typically referred to as the “Birthday of the Church!” and the color of the day is red, so please wear something red this coming Sunday. And there is no doubt that Luke’s word-imagery, used in describing the presence of the Holy Spirit descending upon the masses, is incredible—then, and now. There are three parts of this holy fiasco: to begin, there is the “rush of a violent wind”. Next is the divided tongues, “as if fire,” with a tongue resting upon each person. Finally, there is the Spirit, causing each person to speak in a tongue or language, unlike their own. The question we will explore this week is simple: do we still believe God acts like this, blowing like a violent wind through closed doors and setting our heads on fire…a God who can change us, both individually and communally? Or is God tired and old, someone who listens to our prayer requests, but not able to change lives?





Sat., May 19, 2018, 6-9 pm, Dinner at Tom Galey and Lee Ellis’ home for ASL Interpreters;


Sun., May 20, 2018, 10 am, Pentecost! Worship at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, Pastor Brett preaching;


Sunday, May 20, 2018, 4-6 pm, Gathering and Worship of Community of Pilgrims with Tom Letts, our Church Coach, visiting. Pentecost! We are also going to witness and celebrate the baptism of Kathy Fukuyama! Wear something red!


Thursday, May 24, 2018, 7-9 pm, Steering Team Meeting, Kathy Fukuyama’s home.


Sunday, June 17, 2018, 11 am, Portland Pride March, details TBD; give Kathy Fukuyama your t-shirt size Sun., May 20, to order shirts!





A Poem

Pentecost, by Malcolm Guite:


Today we feel the wind beneath our wings

Today the hidden fountain flows and plays

Today the church draws breath at last and sings

As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.

This is the feast of fire, air, and water

Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.

The earth herself awakens to her maker

And is translated out of death to birth.

The right words come today in their right order

And every word spells freedom and release

Today the gospel crosses every border

All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace

Today the lost are found in His translation.

Whose mother-tongue is Love, in every nation.


Buen Camino!


Pastors Brett & Chris

Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; Rev. Chris Dungan (503) 724-7060;

Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship News for May 13, 2018

Dear People of the Way, Devotee, Worshiper, Seeker, Novice, Family member, and Friends,

Greetings and salutations on a beautiful Portland spring day, in which the sunshine and blue skies are just above a cloud layer covering the Portland metro area.

Our focus Scripture this week is Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, in which we are re-introduced to the very first days of the life of the disciples after Jesus' ascension. Again, there is no "church on every corner" in Jerusalem. The early disciples were considered "outsiders" to the Jewish and Roman authorities in those days. They were a young, scrappy, and slightly anxious community of followers of Jesus--the way, the truth, and the life--with no place to meet, save a home here and there. In Jesus' absence, they were making decisions and new processes as they moved forward in life as a clandestine, rag-tag group of disciples and apostles. The first order of the day was to approve a new disciple, as the original 12 were now 11. The 11 were in transition, or what we call "interim" status, using an age old approach of choosing the next person: by casting lots. What is most powerful in this passage for us, as a Community of Pilgrims, is that our forbearers were like us: charged to be people of the Way (Acts 9:2), bringing hope and power of God's beloved community to people for whom the trials of religious and political oppression may have appeared as overwhelming... much like today. In that Spirit, let us invite people to join us as people of the Way as we move forward in life as a new community of faith!


A word of Thanks after filling 45 boxes of food for families and individuals connected with Human Solutions:

Hello All! Thank you so much for the food boxes for our families! The treats in each of them were well-received and very appreciated! We certainly hope to have you all again, and truly appreciate the support!


Christina Newcomb
Volunteer and Donations Coordinator

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Human Solutions
12350 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR 97236
Phone: 503.278.1637

Human Solutions: Building Pathways Out of Poverty


Schedule and Events:

Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12, CoHo Theater, "Luna Gale". Go to the link for more information (Arlena Barnes mentioned this to many of us last Sunday).

Saturday, May 12, 4 pm, Sacred Flight Concert, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, Chris Dungan narrating;

Sunday, May 13, 4-6 Community Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church. In honor of Mothers' Day, the men are invited to bring desserts.

Wed., May 16, 7-9 pm, documentary film, "Priced Out," St. Charles Parish, 5310 NE 42nd St., Portland, OR, 97218.

Sat., May 19, 6 pm, ASL Interpreters gathering at Tom Galey and Lee Ellis' home; RSVP with Tom and Lee, ASL folks;

Sun., May 20, 10 am worship, Rose City Park Presby. Church, Pentecost; Brett preaching.

Sunday, May 20, 4-6 pm, community gathering and worship, Kathy Fukuyama baptism and Tom Letts visit, Rose City Park PCUSA;

Thursday, May 24, 7 pm, Steering Team, Kathy Fukuyama home;

Sunday, June 17, 11 am, Portland Pride Parade, time and place to meet TBD (give Kathy F your shirt size);


Finally, a poem, in honor of spring, and peace...

In Perpetual Spring, by Amy Gerstler

Gardens are also good places
to sulk. You pass beds of
spiky voodoo lilies  
and trip over the roots  
of a sweet gum tree,  
in search of medieval  
plants whose leaves,  
when they drop off  
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they  
plop into water.

Suddenly the archetypal  
human desire for peace  
with every other species  
wells up in you. The lion  
and the lamb cuddling up. 
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,  
queen of the weeds, revives  
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt  
there is a leaf to cure it.

Buen Camino! And bring a friend and a family member to our Fellowship!

Pastors Brett & Chris

Thank you for our work with Human Solutions!

We received this lovely note from Human Solutions after our great packing of 45 boxes for families in need of some support this month!

Hello all,


Thank you so much for the food boxes for our families!  The treats in each of them were well-received and very appreciated!  We certainly hope to have you all again, and truly appreciate the support!





Christina Newcomb

Volunteer and Donations Coordinator


Pronouns: She / Her / Hers


Human Solutions

12350 SE Powell Blvd.

Portland, OR 97236

Phone: 503.278.1637

Human Solutions Shelter Wish List



Human Solutions: Building Pathways Out of Poverty

Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship, May 6, 2018

Dear Movers, Shakers, Walkers, Bikers, Those who use Walkers, Canes, or Crutches,


Greetings from Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship!  We are entering the 6th Sunday of Eastertide, drawing closer to Pentecost, the birthday of the assembly, the gathering, of what we call today, "church".  It is always helpful to remember that Jesus and his 12 disciples were a small little group of communitarians, sharing food and money daily.  Even on Pentecost, there were no churches. My, how things have changed over the generations!




This Sunday we focus on John 15:9-17, "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father." John's Jesus reveals a new relationship we have with Jesus: we are not "servants" only, but are elevated by Jesus (aka, God), to be called "friend". This is incredible! We are called to be friends with God, seeking the goodness of God as God seeks and nurtures goodness in us. In ancient Greek philosophy, there were three kinds of "friendship": friendship of use, and friendship in which we share things in common that we both enjoy. These two friendship are short-lived. The third kind of friendship is based on goodness, in which we admire the goodness in others, and help one another strive for goodness. This kind of friendship endures. It is this third kind of friendship that Jesus imagines with us when Jesus calls us "friends." Brother Jesus, who walks with us on the pilgrimage of life, calls us "friend", and off we go! Let the adventure of this incredible friendship with God continue to unfold!





Coming Events!


* Saturday, May 5, 2018, 11-5 pm, Deafopia Expo, OR Association of the Deaf,, Washington School for the Deaf, 611 Grand Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661


* Sunday, May 6, 4-6 pm, we will not  meet at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, but will meet at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church: we will meet together this Sunday to embody the above passage: "Love one another as I have loved you," packing food together for Human Solutions, in which we will help feed 45 individuals!


* Sunday, May 6, 7:30 pm, performance of Lake Oswego Millennium Community Band, Lake Ridge High School, Lake Oswego, OR.


* Saturday, May 12, 4 pm, Sacred Flight Concert, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, Rev. Chris Dungan, Narrating;


* Wednesday, 7 pm, a showing of the film, Price Out, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, 5310 NE 42nd Ave., Portland, OR. 


* Saturday, May 19, 5 pm, Dinner and gathering of ASL Interpreters, Tom Galey and Lee Ellis home;


* Sunday, May 20, 10 am worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, Brett preaching;


* Sunday, May 20, 4 pm, worship, Kathy Fukuyama's baptism; visit with Church Coach Tom Letts;


* Sunday, June 17, 11 am, Portland Pride March!  Place to meet TBD.




Prayer Concerns and Celebrations!


  • Liz as she has her cardioversion procedure on May 3rd.  She is now healing and feeling better!
  • Diana Zapata's mother health. 
  • Ken and Ann Miller as Ken continues to live in intense pain.
  • The family of David Gilkey, for a life well lived.
  • Remembering Rosa Lee Brooks, who died this past week.
  • Linda's friend Pat who recently lost her husband and whose daughter remains in the hospital and for her autistic teenage son.
  • Celebration for the summit between North and South Korea that it may mean peace.
  • People in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Rohingya refugees, and Palestinians and their oppressors.
  • People living on city streets as the gap between rich and poor widens.
  • Craig Stein as he transitions back to Portland and in his search for a new home.
  • Linda and Chuck's wedding anniversary. It would be 28 years of marriage today.
  • Members of the Church at Eagle Creek who love Chris and she loves them.
  • Our community of faith. We are part of a proud tradition of faith communities and more branches will come.
  • Traveling mercies for Nina on her drive to Arizona and for her son's move to Portland.




Finally, a poem:


Instructions on Not Giving Up, by Ada Limon


More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.




Buen Camino!


Pastors Brett & Chris

Weekly News! April 29, 2018

Dear Seekers, Excursionists, Transmigrants, Expedionists, Family Members, and Friends:


On this beautiful Oregon day, we are making our way to Pentecost, as we walk and move slowly to the next "mile marker" of Eastertide: the fifth Sunday of the season. It seems like only yesterday when we sang "Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia!" around the electric piano, and then having breakfast together on a cool Easter morning.


The focus Scripture this Sunday is a wine-lover's favorite: John 15:1-8. In this week's reading, the Gospel writer John uses an often used image of a grape vine and its branches to help and challenge the earlier community he was writing to, helping them to understand and claim their closer relationship with Jesus. A vine and its branches is an image commonly used in Hebrew Scriptures to describe Israel's relationship with Yahweh. In Portland, Oregon, we are surrounded by vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley. We are well aware of the story of Melissa and Ken's growing vineyard, fire, and re-birth in California, Lorinda and Ray's daughter and son-in-law. The pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, is well-known for incredible red wines to be supped along the way. Currently the French movie, "Back in Burgundy" (Living Room Theater), set in a French vineyard, looks at the intricate nature of being family, like vine, branches, and grapes. The movie reminds us of the art of wine growing, where to cut the grapes on the vine, when vines are cut back, when grapes should be picked, the craft of de-stemming the grapes, the art of tasting and smelling good wines, and the way branches wind and wind around each other, creating an intricate pattern of tight curls that make it impossible to tell where one branch starts or another one ends. It isn't just intricate: it's intimate, and the vine shares with its branches the nutrients that keep it growing, and is the life force of the whole plant. I have come to understand that the best grapes are those that grow close to the vine, where the food, the nutrients, are most concentrated. So let us learn from Brother Jesus who said: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit."  Sisters and brothers--branches all of the true vine--let us gather together this Sunday, 4-6 pm! 



We're in the news: Cascade Connections--the Presbytery of the Cascades weekly newsletter--included news of our Fellowship!  Please share with others and invite others to join us. Here's the link:




Our schedule for the next few weeks:


Tue., May 1, meet up at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church for the OR Symphony-related free concert; 7:30 pm.


Sun., May 6, meet at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, packing food for Human Solutions.


Saturday, May 12, Sacred Flight Concert, 4 pm, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church (Chris is narrating); 


Sat., May 19, Meeting and dinner with all ASL interpreters at Tom and Lee's wine will be poured.


Sunday, May 20-21, Tom Letts church coach visit;


Sunday, May 20, Morning worship at Rose City Park, 10 am, Pentecost; sharing with Rose City Park stories of Community of Pilgrims;


Sunday, May 20: Kathy's baptism;


Fri. and Sat., June 29-30, Presbytery meeting in Salem, OR.



And finally, a poem:


Today, by Billy Collins:


If ever there were a spring day so perfect,

so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze


that it made you want to throw

open all the windows in the house


and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,

indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,


a day when the cool brick paths

and the garden bursting with peonies


seemed so etched in sunlight

that you felt like taking


a hammer to the glass paperweight

on the living room end table,


releasing the inhabitants

from their snow-covered cottage


so they could walk out,

holding hands and squinting


into this larger dome of blue and white,

well, today is just that kind of day.




Buen Camino!


Pastors Brett & Chris

Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship, April 22, 2018

Dear Walkers, Movers, Daughters and Sons of God, Wayfarers, Refugees, Family Members, and Friends, 

It is spring time in Portland, O! The air, filled with pollen now, also has warmth to it, which many of us have missed. The sun is with us longer, pulling "daytime" into a greater span of life. Even the rain smells differently. For sojourners, on the road of life, we welcome brother sun and sister moon, glad to have more brother sun with us these days.

The focus verse this week is Luke 24:13-35, the Emmaus passage. This is an oft-repeated verse and story on many Christian pilgrimages, because we believe that Christ's Spirit is made known in those moments that salad is served up and ready to eat, prayer is prayed, bread is broken, a meal is before us, a cup of cheer on our right hand (or left), and dessert calls our name, candles lit, with time to talk and listen, share and tell, what has been happening in our respective daily sojourns. The Christ in me sees the Christ in you at those moments. This Scripture invites us to use our imaginations and hear the walk to Emmaus as a prototype of our own faith journey. As we move through this Easter season, there may be some incredibly insights that we might discover, similar to what the two travelers experienced. Perhaps we recognize the possibility of seeing the face of Christ in every stranger we meet. We might relate to the disappointment and loss of hope that Cleopas expresses. We might take some comfort in hearing that those closest to Jesus faced challenges in sustaining belief just as we do at times.We might also consider the opportunity or risk of extending hospitality. Or, we could spend some time reflecting on the common bond we share with others in every time and place in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup before us. As a Community of Pilgrims, let this story guide our stories of life on the common road waiting before us all.


Our Schedule for the coming days and months:

* Delgani String Quartet, Friday, April 20, Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, 2828 SE Stephens St., Portland, OR (there is a small cost); 7:30 pm.

* Thursday, April 26, meeting with the Steering Team, place, TBD, and time, 7:00 pm.

* Tue., May 1, gathering together for the OR Symphony-related free concert at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church;

* Sunday, May 6, Colonial Heights Presbyterian Fellowship, helping Human Solutions. 

* Sunday, May 20, Brett preaching at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church in the morning;

* Sunday, May 20, Pentecost: Kathy Fukuyama baptized;

* Sunday and Monday, May 20-21, Tom Letts, Church Coach with us.

* Sunday, June 17, 11 am., walk in Portland Pride Parade.


I end this email sharing time with this thought by poet Rainer Maria Rilke:

The flower ends
When the wind wants it to,
and you must become like that--
that is, filled with deep trust.


See you on the pathway of life!

Buen Camino!

Pastors Brett & Chris

Radio Interview on KBOO 90.7 FM Radio in Portland April 23, 2018

I had a chance to talk with my colleague in ministry, Rev. John Shuck, about the work I am doing within the OR-ID UMC Conference as the LGBTQ+ Advisory Coordinator, along with the Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship, on his program that was spot-lighting local and national activism.  Glad for the time to chat with John.  Here's the link to the program:

Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship, April 8, 2018

Dear Suburban and Urban Nomads, Wanderers, Excursionists, Family members, and Friends,


It is a rainy yet warm day in Portland, OR, with spring busting out all over. There is the promise of some sun tomorrow, and for that, along with the rain, we will be thankful.


Our focus Scripture this week is John 20:19-31. In a world of television shows and movies with their "pre-quels", like "Star Wars" and "The X Men", and "sequels" with the upcoming modernization of "Mary Poppins" and now "Star Wars" (again), the Bible offers a similar glimpse with its storyline. The Hebrew Scriptures and the early parts of the Gospels set the context and storyline well for the coming of Jesus' birth, who prophets foretold, along with a host of biblical characters going all the way back to Eve and Adam, Sarah and Abraham, Ruth and Naomi, David...and the list goes on. And now we have the "sequel" to the main event: the resurrection! Since we are Easter people ourselves, living in the days after the resurrection event, it is fascinating to see and hear how news, or gossip--in which the root word is Gospel--spread around Jerusalem, from the women being told that Jesus has risen from the dead, to the disciples in hiding, to John (also in hiding somewhere), and Peter in hiding elsewhere (apparently not with John)... Before flames alighted on the heads of followers in the story of Pentecost, my hunch is that news of Jesus' resurrection spread like wild fire among those who would covet the news, as well as among those who would rue the day they heard this news.  What made it Good News?  It would be the heart, mind, and the body of the one(s) who received this news.  Come join us on Sunday, 4-6 pm, back in the Chapel at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, as we discuss and explore and live out the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how we see Christ in our lives and the lives of others.




On our upcoming schedule, there is the following happening:


* May 6: we will be meeting at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church for a service project-oriented time together;


* May 20-21, Tom Letts of Denver, CO, our Church Coach, is coming to spend time with us;


* May 20, I'll be preaching in the morning at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church (10 am).  Join us and share with others news of the Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship;


* May 20 is also Pentecost!  Plan to come that afternoon as we celebrate the baptism of Kathy Fukuyama!




A poem and prayer by Teresa of Avila (16th century)


Christ Has No Body


Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.



Buen Camino,


Pastors Brett & Chris

Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship, Holy Week 2018

Dear Walkers, Movers and Shakers, Radical Pilgrims of the Pilgrim God, and Family members,


During this week, we recognize that Jesus, the Pilgrim God, has entered Jerusalem, honoring the Passover of God's people. Tonight, on this Maundy Thursday, we begin what is known in Latin as the Triduum, the three days that take us through the supper Jesus had with all his disciples, to his death on the cross, finally taking us to Easter wonder. During this time, my "things to do" list is now "lists", as I juggle (somewhat successfully) the work of serving both our new Presbyterian fellowship, as well as the work with LGBTQ+ issues and people of faith in the OR-ID United Methodist Church conference church. I don't know about you, but I am needing to be reminded that, at the end of the day, and at the end of the Triduum, this verse which we will read tonight from John's Gospel, where Jesus says, "For I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done to you," keeps me grounded and hopeful. To love, to serve, to work with, to be in solidarity with, to walk along with, to cry with, to laugh with...just like Jesus did with those surrounding him in those ancient days, we are called to do the same, today, with the Spirit of Christ in us all.


Blessed Triduum to one and all. Shall we move on?




Our schedule is rather quirky and wonderful, significant and solemn:


* March 29, 2018: Meet at Liz Mitchell's home, 7 pm, 9460 SW Martha St., Tigard, OR, 97224, for Maundy Thursday.


* March 30, 2018, Meet at Portland Art Museum 6 pm, Gift Shop entrance, bring $5 if not a member of Portland Art Museum to see their display, Common Ground.  I shared the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in an earlier email.  Print those words out and bring it with you as we consider his words on Good Friday and look carefully into the eyes of those who live in camps of refugees. Dinner afterwards at the McMenniman's Pub near Portland State University for follow-up discussion.


* April 1, 2018, 9 am, Sarah and Tims' home, 7544 SW 90th Pl, Portland, OR, at 9 am. Breakfast casserole provided; bring hot cross buns and fruit to celebrate this day!




Prayer Concerns and Celebrations:


Traveling mercies for Kathy, Tom and Lee, David Tower, Moholt's, Nina, and all those traveling for spring break.

Continued prayers for Blake, Lorinda's sister. She has moved into her new home.

For Dick Gilkey as he nears death. For Alida who is in a good place and ready to say good by, and for David who has been to visit Dick.

For Evan, Rick's oldest son, who lives on the streets.

For Bruce, Chuck and Ginny's son, who was in the hospital with liver damage that he may stop drinking.

For yesterday's great turn out for the March For Our Lives, that the gun epidemic may be ending.

Continued prayers for the people in Yemen and Syria that their lives matter and peace may be possible.

Thanksgiving for Rose City Park Presbyterian and for Colonial Heights Presbyterian for allowing us to use their space for our gatherings.

Thanksgiving for Nina's efforts in organizing our community projects for Valentine's Day and for Easter.

For Human Solutions whose roof failed and for all shelters and non-profits that help homeless people.



Maundy Thursday, by Malcolm Guite

Here is the source of every sacrament,

The all-transforming presence of the Lord,

Replenishing our every element

Remaking us in his creative Word.

For here the earth herself gives bread and wine,

The air delights to bear his Spirit’s speech,

The fire dances where the candles shine,

The waters cleanse us with His gentle touch.

And here He shows the full extent of love

To us whose love is always incomplete,

In vain we search the heavens high above,

The God of love is kneeling at our feet.

Though we betray Him, though it is the night.

He meets us here and loves us into light.


Buen Camino on this week of a Holy Pilgrimage,


Pastors Brett & Chris