Newsletter, Community of Pilgrims, Sept. 1, 2019

THIS SUNDAY: Sept. 1, 2019, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 1907 NE 45thAve., Portland, OR, 97213 Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111;
Dear Pilgrims All! Welcome to God's Banquet Feast!

These glorious days of summer heat are something to enjoy, O Oregonians! For we know full well what is around the corner in the coming months! We have truly been blessed with great summer days!

The Scripture focus this week, according to the Revised Common Lectionary, is from Luke 14:1, 7-14. I’m going to move it to Luke 14:15-24, which is the powerful and meaningful Parable of the Great Banquet. It was also the central text for my book, Unexpected Guests at God’s Banquet, which focused on practices of integration of people labeled “disabled” in this society into the Church. The story has much to do with Middle East etiquette, hospitality, and the unexpected integration of people considered disabled--hidden in the by-ways and highways of a town--to a divine banquet feast. It is said that there are more meal-time illustrations and parables in Luke than in any of the other gospel accounts. What the parable reveals is the fabulous company of those who are invited to God’s Banquet Feast. And who are these blessed folk? To paraphrase one of my favorite writers Frederick Buechner, the “beautiful people” all sent in their excuses (real estate, livestock, and sex lives), so the host sends out invitations to the streets to welcome those who are poor, those people who are disabled, and those who are blind, and those who are deaf. “The string ensemble strikes up the overture to The Bartered Bride, champagne glasses are filled, cold pheasant is passed around, and there they sit, with white canes, empty sleeves, orthopedic shoes, and aluminum walkers…rose petals float in the finger bowls. The strings shift into The Liebestod.” Join us this Sunday for a discussion on the nature of the Banquet Feast, the realm of God, and daily discipleship!

Sept. 1, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Sept. 4, Film Night @ Moreland Presbyterian Church. We will join the folks at Moreland for the debut of a film on the Dreamers in the US. This is a documentary film focused on the stories of young people who were born in the US, whose parents migrated to this country. It will be shown at 7 pm in their Fellowship Hall, 1814 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland, OR 97202.
Sept. 8, Pastor Brett preaches at First UMC, Hillsboro;
Sept. 8, Second Anniversary of Community of Pilgrims! Rose City Park! 4-6 pm!
Sept. 15, Gather and Worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 4-6 pm.
Sept. 22, Gather and Worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 4-6 pm.
Sept 25-29, 2019, Pastor Brett in southern Idaho, working with UMC churches.
Sept. 29, Gather and Worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 4-6 pm.
Oct. 6, Gather and Worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church 4-6 pm.
* 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.



And the Table Will Be Wide, by Jan Richardson

And the table will be wide.

And the welcome will be wide.

And the arms will open wide

To gather us in.

And our hearts

Will open wide 

To receive.

And we will come 

As children who trust

There is enough.

And we will come

Unhindered and free.

And our aching 

Will be met

With bread.

And our sorrow 

Will be met

With wine.

And we will open our hands

To the feast

Without shame.

And we will turn

Toward each other

Without fear.

And we will give up

Our appetite

For despair.

And we will taste

And know 

Of delight.

And we will become bread

For a hungering world.

And we will become drink

For those who thirst.

And the blessed 

Will become the blessing.

And everywhere 

Will be the feast.


Buen Camino!
Pastors Brett & Chris 
Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111; brettwebbmitchell@gmail.comRev. Chris Dungan