Newsletter, Community of Pilgrims, Sept. 15, 2019

THIS SUNDAY: Sept. 15, 2019, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 1907 NE 45thAve., Portland, OR, 97213 Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111;
Dear Pilgrims of Summer,

As I write this email letter, it is currently 81 degrees, and the cloudless blue sky is wonderful to behold. This is tomato-harvest season, and there is something about a thick slice of a home-grown tomato, sprinkled with a little salt and pepper, that is out of this world. And the root beer floats we had last week to celebrate our second anniversary was a wonderful reminder of other delicious summer treats! Praise God of rich, juicy tomatoes and root beer floats! !

As we venture forth this Sunday into our third year of being a Christian community of faith in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, the focus Scripture is Luke 15:1-10, with Jesus telling us the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. All of us can relate to “misplacing” sunglasses, keys, money, credit cards, wallets, cell phones, purses, backpacks, and the list can go on and on… and we all well know the intensity of the search for said-misplaced items. We also know the sweet sense of relief and moment of celebration that occurs after we find that item which once was lost but now is found. It is written by many commentary writers that these parables demonstrate God in Christ’s love for each of us and our community of faiths, that the Spirit would search for the lost sheep and the lost coin—and the lost person—until one is found. The sheep and coin are symbols of you and me; of us. And when we are found by the Spirit, “there will be so much joy” says Jesus. Why? Because we are loved. Or as the late-Henri Nouwen reminds us, “we are not loved because we are precious, but we are precious because we are loved."Join us this Sunday for a discussion of our lost and found occasions in life, and the grace and love of God in Christ that fills us with such amazing joy.

Sept. 8, Pastor Brett preaches at First UMC, Hillsboro, 10 am;
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.
Oct. 13, Gather and Worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 4-6 pm. 
Oct. 20, Gather and Worship, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 4-6 pm.
* There will be a gathering of clothes on Sunday, Nov. 10, for Snow Cap, along with packing of rice and such on that Sunday for Snow Cap! Start collecting your clothes for being sent to Snow Cap!
* 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.



Welcoming Blessing, by Jan Richardson

(In this time of changes in our life, let us take a moment reflect on God’s goodness)

When you are lost
in your own life.
When the landscape
you have known
falls away.
When your familiar path
becomes foreign
and you find yourself
a stranger
in the story you had held
most dear.
Then let yourself
be lost.
Let yourself leave
for a place
whose contours
you do not already know,
whose cadences
you have not learned
by heart.
Let yourself land
on a threshold
that mirrors the mystery
of your own
bewildered soul.
It will come
as a surprise,
what arrives
to welcome you
through the door,
making a place for you
at the table
and calling you
by your name.
Let what comes,
Let the glass
be filled.
Let the light
be tended.
Let the hands
lay before you
what will meet you
in your hunger.
Let the laughter.
Let the sweetness
that enters
the sorrow.
Let the solace
that comes
as sustenance
and sudden, unbidden
For what comes,
offer gladness.
For what greets you
with kindly welcome,
offer thanks.
Offer blessing
for those
who gathered you in
and will not
be forgotten—
those who,
when you were
a stranger,
made a place for you
at the table
and called you
by your name. 

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