Newsletter, Community of Pilgrims, Dec. 23, 2018

THIS SUNDAY: Dec. 23, 2018, 4 p.m. Gathering and Worship at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church’s Chapel. 1907 NE 45th Avenue – Portland, OR. Questions? Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111;


Dear Movers, Shakers, and those who are Slouching Towards Bethlehem,

This Friday, Dec. 21st, is Winter’s Solstice, in which the 21st is the longest day of darkness and shortest of light, with the 22nd heralding a change afoot as we start to see more light from that day forward until June and Summer's Solstice. Sunday, Dec. 23rd, is the Fourth Sunday of Advent, in which the Gospel text is Luke 1:39-55, which includes Mary’s song that we know as “the Magnificat” (meaning “magnify” in Latin), in which change is afoot. While I grew up with Mary--humble, meek, and mild, the silent one in the creche scene, the holy womb of God, the young 15 year old woman who is scared and compliant--the Magnificat reveals a person who is not silent in this Jewish-Christian story. This is the longest speech spoken by a woman in the Bible. And she speaks of a change not to come, but change that is afoot in the present, and ongoing: “God has shown strength with God’s arm; God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. God has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly; God has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that these words are “the most passionate, the wildest, one might even say the most revolutionary hymn ever sung.” Countries like India, Guatemala, and Argentina have outright banned the Magnificat from being recited in liturgy or in public. Come this Sunday and let us explore the power of Mary’s song and how it has changed lives in the past, present, and future, as descendants of Abraham and Sarah as we slouch towards Bethlehem. Change is afoot!



Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, 4-6 pm: 4th Sunday of Advent and Our Christmas Eve Service, Gathering and Worship at Rose City Park. We will bring our boxes of food from our Advent gathering at this time for a blessing as we bring food to the Women’s Shelter of Human Solutions, Portland, OR.

Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, 10:00 am, Breakfast and Worship, Moholt’s home,

Sunday, Jan. 6, 2018, Epiphany! 4-6 pm Gathering and Worship at the home of Arlena Barnes and Bill Kinsey,

Sunday, Jan. 13, 2018, Baptism of the Lord Sunday, Rose City Park Presby. Church;

Sunday, Jan. 20, 2018, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park Presby. Church;

Sunday, Jan. 27, 2018, Pastor Brett preaching at 1st Presbyterian Church, Salem;

Sunday, Jan. 27, 2018, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park Presby. Church.



*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.



A Winter’s Solstice Prayer, by Edward Hayes

The dark shadow of space leans over us…

We are mindful that the darkness of greed, exploitation, and hatred

Also lengthens its shadow over our small planet Earth.

As our ancestors feared death and evil and all the dark powers of winter,

We fear that the darkness of war, discrimination, and selfishness may doom us and our plant to an eternal winter.

May we find hope in the lights we have kindled on this sacred night,

Hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice that spans the world.

In the heart of every person on this Earth burns the spark of luminous goodness;

I no heart is there total darkness.

May we who have celebrated this winter solstice,

By our lives and service, by our prayers and love,

Call forth from one another the light and the love that is hidden in every heart.



Buen Camino!

Pastors Brett & Chris

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