Dear Adventurers, Commuters, Passengers, Voyagers, Family members, and Friends:
In our “elevator speech” for Community of Pilgrims—We are an intentional Christian community, in which we practice service and fellowship, worship and prayer, and education and discipleship, as we follow Jesus, and embrace all—I unpacked “as we follow Jesus” a little bit.
This week, I will unpack, “embrace all." The focus Scripture this week is John 6:51-58, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” When we read Jesus talk this way in the Gospels, we think of Holy Communion, gathering around the table, receiving spiritual food we need to survive in this world while living, by grace, in God’s presence. I read this passage quickly as I sat at the front desk of the free medical clinic at Outside In shelter. No one is turned away from health care at Outside In. Through the open doors walked all kinds of people—the older man addicted to meth who hasn’t showered for weeks, alongside the showered and shaved young gay man dressed in white Polo shirt and pink shorts; the young tattooed woman who broke her arm the day before and now her left arm is swollen as she scratches a head full of lice, crying the entire time; and the attractive middle-aged transgender male-to-female client with peroxide blonde hair—and everyone needed something. We were giving out clean socks, hygiene kits, directions to needle exchange programs, and shelter advice. Reading the Bible in the context of Outside In, I was reminded that God cares not only for our spiritual needs, but also for everyone's physical needs, as I watched the Gospel unfold before my very eyes. We embrace all because Jesus embraces all. How have you seen the Gospel unfold before your eyes this week, in which we witness God's Spirit meet and embrace the needs of all of us?
Wed., Aug. 15, Pastor Chris leaves for vacation;
Thur., Aug. 16-Sunday, Aug. 19, Pastor Brett will be theologian-in-residence at Camp Hope on the OR Coast (Camp Magruder), which is a camp for people with intellectual disabilities. Worship will still “happen”, from 4-6 pm at Rose City Park on Aug. 19.
Sunday, Aug. 19, 4-6 pm, Community of Pilgrims meets at Rose City Park Presby. Church.
Fri., Aug. 24-Wed., Aug. 29, Pastor Brett will be staff for “Listening with Open Hearts” Conference for the United Methodist Church at Collins Retreat Center. Again, we will gather together on Aug. 26 for worship.
Sunday, Sept. 2, Pastor Brett leaves for India for Continuing Ed. Pilgrimage.
**Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, we are excited about celebrating the first anniversary of the Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018! On our first Sunday, 31 people joined us! Come join us again for a special anniversary Sunday, when we hope to have 32 people join us!**
*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!
“Late Summer” by Jennifer Grotz
Before the moths have even appeared
to orbit around them, the streetlamps come on,
a long row of them glowing uselessly
along the ring of garden that circles the city center,
where your steps count down the dulling of daylight.
At your feet, a bee crawls in small circles like a toy unwinding.
Summer specializes in time, slows it down almost to dream.
And the noisy day goes so quiet you can hear
the bedraggled man who visits each trash receptacle
mutter in disbelief: Everything in the world is being thrown away!
Summer lingers, but it’s about ending. It’s about how things
redden and ripen and burst and come down. It’s when
city workers cut down trees, demolishing
one limb at a time, spilling the crumbs
of twigs and leaves all over the tablecloth of street.
Sunglasses! the man softly exclaims
while beside him blooms a large gray rose of pigeons
huddled around a dropped piece of bread.
Pastors Brett & Chris
Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Chris Dungan (503) 724-7060; email@example.com