THIS SUNDAY: June 16, 2019, Pride Parade! Questions? Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Marchers, Walkers, and Watchers of Parades and Pilgrimages!
I write this opening paragraph to all of you from the Hotel Eugene (soon to be The Graduate Eugene Hotel) on the last day of the Oregon-Idaho United Methodist Church Annual Conference. It has been an exciting and busy four days, as the gathering votes for delegates to the General Conference 2020, in which there is some hope of un-doing some of the damage that was done regarding LGBTQ+ people in the Special Conference of February 2019. There is no doubt that people in this Conference are yearning for a way forward that includes the voices and presence of people who are LGBTQ+ and people of color while preserving the good parts of Methodism.
The focus Scripture this week is Romans 5:1-5. The line that stuck out as I read and re-read this passage is as follows: “we boast in our hope of sharing in the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Many of us have known good times in life and times of great suffering. But Paul reminds us that our suffering needs to be considered and maybe re-framed in the great narrative or story of God, in which suffering produces endurance, which produces character, and leads to hope, which does not disappoint us, because God’s love is in us as a community of faith. This is part and parcel of being community of faith with each other: we remind each others of the hope and love we find in each other, because God's Spirit is in each one of us. As we march tomorrow and witness the stories of LGBTQ+ people on parade, many who have known great suffering in life as we have in ours, let us be people of hope! Of joy! Of love! See you at the parade or on the sidelines tomorrow! No Gathering and Worship tomorrow! Just a big, wonderful parade of life!
Happy Pride! On the morning of Sunday, June 16, 2019, we are going to be marching in the Portland LGBTQ+ Pride Parade, under the banner of Community of Welcoming Congregations (CWC), which is an interreligious group welcoming all communities of faith to walk together. Wear your Community of Pilgrims (CoP) t-shirt! And I’ll have plenty of flyers for CoP for folks to hand out to people in the parade. Meet at 10:45 am at NW 8thand Everett in the North Park Blocks. Our position is number 57! Look for Community of Welcoming Congregations banner and signs!
June 12-15, Pastor Brett at OR-ID UMC Annual Conference, Eugene, OR;
June 16, 2019: LGBTQ+ Pride Parade, Portland, OR, All morning! No Gathering and Worship at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church!
June 23, 2019, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
June 30, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
July 7, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
July 14, Moreland Presbyterian Church morning worship!
* Regarding the CoP 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.
* Finally, Community and Growthby Jean Vanier will be picked up as a book for us to read together.
Prayers of Celebrations and Concerns
1. Traveling mercies for Brett, and Chris’ friends Ash and Jim.
2. Continuing prayers for Sue Malter, Liz Mitchell, and Chuck Stilson.
3. For the family of Quinn, who continues to undergo immunotherapy while also anticipating the arrival of a new baby brother or sister.
4. For all the children who will soon be out of school, that they may have good summers and freedom from food insecurity.
From "One or Two Things," by Mary Oliver
The god of dirt came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things, I lay
on the grass listening
to his dog voice,
frog voice; now,
he said, and now,
and never once mentioned forever,
which has nevertheless always been,
like a sharp iron hoof,
at the center of my mind.
One or two things are all you need
to travel over the blue pond, over the deep
roughage of the trees and through the stiff
flowers of lightning-- some deep
memory of pleasure, some cutting
knowledge of pain.
But to lift the hoof!
For that you need an idea.
For years and years I struggled
just to love my life. And then
rose, weightless, in the wind.
"Don't love your life
too much," it said,
and vanished into the world.
Pastors Brett & Chris