THIS SUNDAY: March 31, 2019, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 1907 NE 45thAve., Portland, OR 97213; Questions? Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Pilgrims of Lent!
While the calendar indicated it was spring a few days ago, one can now finally feel the sap rising through the flora and fauna, and the budding of trees and plants all around us is coming on strong. Daylight stretches longer and longer each day till mid-June. On a spit of an island in the Willamette River, the herons are back home and fortifying their nests, expecting offspring at any moment. Short sleeve shirts and shorts are ready to be worn, and all of us are ready for the warmth of the sun to given us natural vitamin D.
This Sunday, the Gospel story is a favorite parable of mine, because I always read something new in it that I had not read or seen or heard before. It is the parable of the Prodigal Child (Luke 15). As Presbyterian writer Frederick Buechner once wrote, “a parable is a small story with a large point. Most of the ones Jesus told have a kind of sad fun about them…[a]nd in the Prodigal Son, the elder brother’s pious pique when the returning Prodigal gets the red-carpet treatment is worthy of Moliere’s Tartuffe.” What is fascinating about this story is always the question: who is the “Prodigal?” Prodigal means to “give or yield profusely; lavish abundance” (dictionary.com). So was it the one son who spent all he had, who comes begging home? Or is it the parent, who holds a huge feast for the errant child? Or the other son, who wastes and spends all his emotional angst abundantly, obsessing about his brother and his dad? Come this Sunday, and let’s find out who among us has ever been the Prodigal Child or the Prodigal Parent?
Sunday March 31, 2019, Pastor Brett at 1stPresby. Church Woodburn;
Sunday, March 31, 2019, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Sunday, April 7, 2019, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Sunday, April 14, 2019, Palm Sunday, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Sunday, April 21, 2019, Easter “Sunrise” Service, 8 am at Moholt’s Home.
Sunday, April 28, 2019, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
* 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 Dailyby 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.
* Another book for our consideration: The Intentional Christian Community Handbookby David Janzen (Paraclete Press, 2013). We may use this book as we delve deeper into understanding what it means to be an intentional Christian community of faith.
Prodigal, by Bob Hicok (in honor of the Gospel reading)
You could drive out of this country
and attack the world with your ambition,
invent wonder plasmas,
become an artist of the provocative gesture,
the suggestive nod, you could leave
wanting the world and return
carrying it, a noisy bundle
of steam and libido, a ball of fire
balanced on your tongue,
you might reclaim Main Street in a limo
longer than a sermon, wave at our red faces
while remembering that you were born
a clod hopper, a farmer’s kid,
and get over that hump once and for all
by telling A Great Man’s stories—
the dirty jokes of dictators, tidbits
of presidential hygiene, insights
into the psychotropic qualities of power
and the American tradition of kissing
moneyed ass. Your uncle would still
call you Roy Boy, pheasants
sun themselves beside the tracks,
waiting for the dew to burn off
before their first flight, and corn
grow so high that if you stood
in the field you’d disappear, the fact
aiming your eyes down the road.
Pastors Brett & Chris
Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; email@example.comRev. Chris Dungan (503) 724-7060; firstname.lastname@example.org