THIS SUNDAY: Nov. 4, 2018, 4 p.m. Gathering and Worship at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church 1907 NE 45th Avenue – Portland, OR.Questions? Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; email@example.com
Dear Faithful Descendants of Emilech, Naomi, Mahlon, Orpah, Chilion, and Ruth,
The words of Ruth (1:1-8) will be the focus of this Sunday’s homily. To say the least, these words are timely and timeless: they are timely, because we need to be reminded of these words in a time where there is the largest migration of people in human history. There are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world currently. While there is plenty of room to welcome them into our countries, cities, towns, villages, churches, mosques, and synagogues, nonetheless, they roam. The passage from Ruth is timeless, because it was written thousands of years ago, and reminds us that, even when on the open roads of life, we are not alone, and are not to travel alone. When Naomi urges Ruth to go to her homeland, Ruth counters her plea with these prescient words: “Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you.”
In a world in which so many people are wandering in search of community and relationships, the Community of Pilgrims—as an intentional Christian community—is given an opportunity and challenge to welcome those who wander, the modern-day Ruths and Naomis. We are to emulate the practice of providing hospitality to all, based on the Rule of Benedict and the gospel, in which it is written: “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for he is going to say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt. 25:35). And to all let due honor be shown, especially to those who share our faith (Gal. 6:10), and to pilgrims…In the reception of the poor and pilgrims the greatest care and solicitude should be shown, because it is especially in them that Christ is received” (Rule of Benedict 53:1-2, 15).
Come this Sunday as we struggle to listen, learn, and apply the lessons from these ancient words to our modern lives and conundrum!
Sunday, Nov. 4, Gathering and Worship at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church’s Chapel;
Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of the Cascades, Columbia Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, WA.
Sunday, Nov. 11, 10:30 am, Brett preaching at First Presby. Church, Woodburn, OR;
Sunday, Nov. 11, 4 pm, Gathering and Worship at Rose City Park Presby. Church’s Chapel.
Sunday, Nov. 18, 10:30 am, Pastor Brett will be preaching at First UMC in Seattle, WA;
Sunday, Nov. 18, 4 pm, Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, Portland, OR, Thanksgiving Memory Bags.
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, Gathering and Worship at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church’s Chapel;
*Regarding the t-shirts: Please pick up your t-shirt this Sunday, and bring cash or a check made out to Community of Pilgrims, in the amount of $8 for adult M, L, and XL, and youth; and $12 for adult 2XL. Thank you!
* We also have plenty of beautiful leather bracelets for each member of the community! Pick one up this Sunday!
* In the coming months, Pastor Chris and I will be quoting from and referencing sections from the book, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily by Joan Chittister, a Benedictine monk, who, in this book, focuses on the nature of living life in an intentional Christian community, which is our aim as Community of Pilgrims. We can either order books for those interested and sending in a request for so-many copies, or feel free to order it or buy it from your favorite book distributor. Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, Joan Chittister, San Francisco: Harper One.
In honor that today, Nov. 1, 2018, is All Saints Day, this poem is beautiful.
All Saints by Malcolm Guite
Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards
Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,
It glances from the eyes, kindles the words
Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright
With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,
The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.
Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing
He weaves them with us in the web of being
They stand beside us even as we grieve,
The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,
Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above
The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,
To triumph where all saints are known and named;
The gathered glories of His wounded love.
Pastors Brett & Chris
Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Chris Dungan (503) 724-7060; email@example.com