Several individuals at Pilgrim Congregational Church are reading and talking about a new book by Marcus Borg. Borg was one of the scholars of the Jesus Seminar which met frequently during the 1980’s and 90’s to determine which of Jesus’ words in the Bible were most likely to be original to him. (Not too many, if you’re wondering.) Over the years, Borg emerged as an articulate and accessible author. His works have guided millions through questions about the Bible, Jesus, Christianity, and faith. Borg applied the most rigorous academic methods while simultaneously bearing a deep, personal faith. Through leaders like himself, a Progressive Christianity has emerged. It’s a good fit for many in the United Church of Christ, and in Pilgrim Church, where we affirm that “Our faith is 2000 years old; our thinking is not.”
Marcus Borg died January 21, not long after release of his latest and last book, Convictions. This one is a little different, however. Subtitled “How I Learned What Matters Most,” it’s a personal reflection upon how he was raised, what led him to question that childhood faith, and how he came to reform and reclaim it with authenticity, maturity, and intellectual integrity. It’s also an exploration of six of the core convictions of his faith. If you’re looking for academic rigor, this is not the Marcus Borg book you want. But if you’re looking for a way to reflect upon your life journey in terms of faith, questioning, religious teaching and spiritual experience, Convictions is an excellent invitation.
And if you’d like to do some of that reflecting with others, you can join in one of the discussion groups that meet Sundays at 9:00 a.m. or at 11:20 a.m. Or if you prefer, call me and we can explore a new group, or just having conversation together.
Starting this month, Pilgrim Church will be hosting the first of three one-hour workshops on ensuring civility in our community – and how we can make a big difference with small steps.
Civility in Communications—6:30 p.m., Wednesday Feb. 25, Elizabeth J. Nelson, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Minnesota Duluth, presents the current culture of discussions and the importance of acknowledging our interdependence, and shows how dialogue across differences will help us better practice civility in all communication arenas, whether personal or political.
Civility in Community—Noon, Wednesday, March 25, Duluth Mayor Don Ness discusses the importance of civility in public, group and community decision-making and government.
Civility in Action—6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 29, Chuck Frederick, Opinion Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune, discusses techniques to ensure we’re civil when we communicate in person, in print and online.
All one-hour workshops, with presentations by the speakers and discussion among participants, will be at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2310 E. Fourth St., Duluth. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project is an initiative of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. For questions or to register, please call 218-726-0232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. These events are supported by the Pilgrim Congregational Church Social Justice Ministry.