Newsletter, Community of Pilgrims, Sept. 8, 2019

THIS SUNDAY: Sept. 8, 2019, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 1907 NE 45thAve., Portland, OR, 97213 Contact Pastor Brett Webb-Mitchell (919) 444-9111;
Happy 2ndAnniversary, Community of Pilgrims!

On Sunday, Sept. 10th, 2017, we began meeting as a Community of Pilgrims Presbyterian Fellowship! We had a lot of people visiting us that day, wishing us well on our first Sunday together. According to the etiquette books and blogs, “while the perfect two-year anniversary gift, if you want to pick something that follows custom, is cotton, with the more modern take being china or porcelain,” joining us this Sunday, dear friends, would be a wonderful gift. Your joining us as a Community of Pilgrims would be a godsend. As you know, we always have a potluck at the end of our gathering and worship time together, and we would love to see you all as we celebrate the second anniversary of Community of Pilgrims! And our dessert that evening is root beer floats! Join us in this celebration of our being a new faith community in the Portland-Vancouver area!

The focus Scripture for us this week is the letter of Paul to Philemon, about Philemon welcoming back his slave Onesimus. This is a fascinating letter, given the politics of slavery in those days of Roman occupation, in which we find Paul struggling to be faithful to the Gospel, which liberates us, while confronting the ancient (and modern) tradition of slavery. After all, in the baptismal formula of Galatians 3:28, slavery is abolished as the old distinctions between Jew and Greek, male and female, slave and master, are secondary to our first allegiance as members of the body of Christ, in which we are all equals with one another as members of Christ’s beloved community. As was true with Paul is true for us today. The struggle in Paul’s day and today is this: being faithful to the Gospel, as followers of Jesus Christ, which might mean we have no choice but to confront modern rituals and social practices that are antithetical to that very same Gospel. Join us this Sunday, our second anniversary Sunday, as we explore what it means to practice faithfulness in our world today as a community of faith!  
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. 
* 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.



Praise Song for the Day, by Elizabeth Alexander

(In honor of our 2ndAnniversary)

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of someone and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.


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