The word “polity” refers to an organization’s governance and authority. In the Congregational tradition, authority rests among members who have joined in a mutual covenant. Each year in January and May, members of Pilgrim gather to make decisions that effect the life of the congregation. In addition, special meetings can be held as needed during the year.
On January 27th, following the worship service, there will be a congregational meeting for the following purposes: To act on a proposed Constitution for the congregation; to authorize a budget for fiscal year 2013, and to elect delegates to the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ, CHUM, and the United Campus Ministries.
Meetings are open to visitors and guests, although only members have voting privileges.
Congregational churches have long been committed to the support, and advocacy for, education. In the early days of this nation, our congregationalist ancestors established schools of higher education, including Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth (originally to give Native Americans an opportunity for higher education), and Oberlin, (one of the first to offer women’s higher education). Even before the Civil War battles were finished, Congregationalists established schools in the southern states to educate former slaves. And throughout our history, Congregationalists have supported public education for children and adolescents.
When Thomas Merton gave up a life of activism for the quiet of life in a monastery, his students were flabbergasted. How could he do this? Merton is rumored to have said, “Because I believe in the power of prayer.”
An important and often unseen ministry at Pilgrim is the ministry of the Prayer Chain, a group of Pilgrims who respond to prayer requests and pray on behalf of others. On Sunday, January 6th, members and friends of the congregation interested in this ministry are invited to meet in the Parlor following the coffee hour. Leaders of this ministry will talk about how the chain has worked in the past and there will be discussion about procedures and policies related to handling prayer requests. Anyone who worships regularly at Pilgrim is invited to participate in this ministry.
Come Sunday to celebrate Epiphany, the season of light, with us. Jackie Falk will preach “Home by Another Way” and communion will be part of the service. Then stay for the 2nd Hour on A Ministry of Prayer.