Community of Pilgrims Newsletter, July 22, 2018

THIS SUNDAY: July 22, 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;

Dear Rovers, Barnstormers, Commuters, Displaced Persons, Friends, and Family Members,

A big “THANK YOU” to the Community of Pilgrims for your gift of toys, balls, crayons, markers, paper, coloring pens, pencils, erasers, coloring books, and incredible books for the young children who have been taken away from their moms and dads on our southern border. housed at the Morrison Child and Family Services Center. As I write this newsletter, Linda and Kathy of our Community are delivering these gifts to Sean at the Morrison Center, and other churches have asked for this contact and opportunity to provide for others.

This leads to the focus Scripture for this Sunday, Ephesians 2:11-22, which is a very “pilgrim” centered passage, because the words “aliens” and “strangers” that are strewn throughout the passage can also be translated to “pilgrim.” However, what is even more striking amid the talk of “securing the border and “making America safe again,” the building of walls, and the fortification homes in gated communities, is that God is all about doing the exact opposite. In Christ, God is breaking down “the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (vs. 14), “creating one new humanity, making peace” (vs. 15), and calling us to “be citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone” (vs. 19). In Christ, there is no talk of borders and walls, only longer tables and more chairs in the household of God, for there is plenty for all. Two completely different metaphors and visions of life. As for us, we belong to God, and are participants in the One who is the cornerstone of a whole new world.


Sunday, July 22, 2018, 4-6 pm, Gathering and Worship with Community of Pilgrims, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church;

Thursday, July 26-28, 2018, Pastor Brett will be at the national Reconciling Convocation, with many of my LGBTQ and allies UMC friends in St. Louis, MO;

Sunday, July 29, 2018, Pastor Brett will preach at Trinity UMC in Toledo, OR in the morning.

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, 10:00 am, Pastor Brett preaching at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard, OR.

Wed., Aug. 8, 7 pm, Steering/Guide Team, Chris’ home.

Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, 9:30 and 11:00 am, Pastor Brett will be preaching at First Presbyterian Church, Salem, OR.

*Possibility: seeing “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot,” the life of John Callahan, a Portlander, filmed by Gus Van Sant, another Oregonian, at Cinema 21. Any interest in seeing this Monday night, July 23, 7 pm? San Sai afterwards?


*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!

*Opportunity to discuss and act: From Pastor Linda at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church: “If your folks would be interested in fixing a dinner for the kids from Warm Springs as they are here in the NW College of Construction program-- let me know. Opportunities will be S-Th dinners from July 8-August 8.” Let’s discuss Sunday!


The Forsythia Bush, by Brian Doyle

One morning this summer I was basking in the sun
With the brother closest to me in age. We had been
Brought up almost as twins but then took disparate
Roads, as twins do. He was sobbing and I was near
Tears and the ocean was muttering. I heard a heron.
We had been having the most naked open talk we’d
Had in many years. I wanted to tell him how deeply
I loved him but words are just so weak and shallow.
So I talked about the forsythia bush we used to hide
Under together. It was the safest place on the planet.
The light was always amazing in there and it wasn’t
Ever muddy somehow and you were draped in gold.
It was a hut a huddle a tent a canopy a cave a refuge.
Sometimes you have to use a thing to say something
Else. We do this all the time. We talk sideways, yes?
But sidelong is often the only road that gets to where
You know you need to go. So much means lots more
Than it seems like it could mean. Tears, for example.

Buen Camino!
Pastors Brett & Chris
Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; Rev. Chris Dungan (503) 724-7060;