Newsletter, CoP, Aug. 4, 2019

THIS SUNDAY: Aug. 4, 2019, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Chapel, Rose City Park PCUSA, 1907 NE 45thAve., Portland, OR 97213 Questions? Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111;
Dear Pilgrims of Hope!

Welcome, August! I’m not sure whatever happened to July, but it seems to have gone by so quickly. Let’s continue to savor this summer’s warm weather in August, O Oregonians!

The Scriptural focus this week is Ez. 37:1-14. This is a little bit of a change of focus in terms of following the story-line in Luke, but there is a story here in this tale of a valley of dry bones, in which the Prophet Ezekiel is challenged to bring the bones to life that come to life, to “prophecy to the breath,” and the bones become human beings once again, and where there was once no hope, hope is now alive. In this season of this nation’s life, and the life of the world, there is, as always, a need for a message of hope. We are in an age that feels like the dawning of a new apocalypse, with violence all around us, climate change turning to climate crisis, and the poor and the weak are being threatened like never before. However, in a recent photo I saw, taken on our southern border, with the large metal fence that is found in portions of the border, two California professors built pink seesaws that fit in the slats of the border wall. It is a vision worthy of ancient prophets like Ezekiel and the dry bones becoming alive. The image of children from the two nations playing at the very wall designed to enforce a discrepancy of wealth and power between them is all we need to know about who deserves our allegiance and who does not. The pink seesaws are a picture of hope, of joy, of whimsy, with a total disregard of the latest version of the tower of Babylon built by this and other nations. Join us this Sunday for more stories of hope, like pink seesaws, in this day and age of violence and oppression! God’s message to us? Keep hope alive!
Aug. 4, Pastor Brett preaching at Portsmouth Union Church, Portland, OR;
Aug. 4, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Aug. 11, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Aug. 18, Holy Vacation Day: do something in the afternoon at the 4-6 pm that glorifies God and our life in God, like a walk through the Portland rose gardens, a swim in cool water, watching a movie that challenges our faith, or gathering with family and friends and strangers for a picnic and a life band concert!
Aug. 25, Pastor Brett preaches at First UMC, Gresham;
Aug. 25, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Sept. 1, Gathering and Worship, Rose City Park PCUSA;
Sept. 8, Pastor Brett preaches at First UMC, Hillsboro;
Sept. 8, Second Anniversary of Community of Pilgrims! Rose City Park! 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.



August Morning, by Albert Garcia

In honor of a month with a kind of still and steady heat.

It’s ripe, the melon 
by our sink. Yellow, 
bee-bitten, soft, it perfumes 
the house too sweetly. 
At five I wake, the air 
mournful in its quiet. 
My wife’s eyes swim calmly 
under their lids, her mouth and jaw 
relaxed, different. 
What is happening in the silence 
of this house? Curtains 
hang heavily from their rods. 
Ficus leaves tremble 
at my footsteps. Yet 
the colors outside are perfect-- 
orange geranium, blue lobelia. 
I wander from room to room 
like a man in a museum: 
wife, children, books, flowers, 
melon. Such still air. Soon 
the mid-morning breeze will float in 
like tepid water, then hot. 
How do I start this day, 
I who am unsure 
of how my life has happened 
or how to proceed 
amid this warm and steady sweetness?

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