September 30, 2013
We live in a global community. At Pilgrim, we remind ourselves that our lives are intimately connected to, and dependent upon, all who inhabit this planet with us. We believe the created world is a treasure God has entrusted to us and we are given responsibility to care for it, protect it, and pass it on to our children and our children’s children.
We are keenly aware that the lifestyle and conveniences to which we have become accustomed are exacting a horrendous toll upon the planet and upon many who live on it. There are no quick and easy solutions to the planet’s pain or our neighbor’s plight. But at Pilgrim, we are working at raising our own awareness, making what changes we can, and encouraging each other to think about earth’s sustainability.
Volunteers deliver food waste produced on our premises to WLSSD or a nearby collection point. We collect and recycle glossy paper to support our music program and ink and toner cartridges. We are studying the results of a recent energy audit and implementing recommendations as we can. Twenty households in the congregation took advantage of a home energy audit offered through the congregation and Duluth energy and efficiency program last year.
One of our Sunday school classes is studying food waste as part of a Food Justice unit. Our Social Justice Ministry is committed to examining climate change as a priority in our understanding of mission.
On October 6, we celebrate Holy Communion, knowing that as we share this sacrament with Christians around the world, we all breath the same air, drink from the same waters, and live under the same sky. The Social Justice Ministry will show the film Taking Root at 11:20–the film is the story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai and her efforts to build a national program of tree planting in Kenya. Children and youth are welcome to view the film with adults.
September 17, 2013
Most people who find meaning in a faith tradition hope that their children will also value that tradition. It’s only natural to want to pass on the things we love and cherish. At Pilgrim, we will spend the weekend of September 21 and 22 learning about how children’s faith is most likely to be formed.
Wade Zick,, who works for the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ, has studied and researched Faith Forming Communities. Faith (Christian or otherwise) is most often shaped in the intimate community of the home. That faith can be reinforced and strengthened by a larger community of faith such as a congregation or synagogue or mosque.
On Saturday, September 21, Wade will facilitate a discussion with parents, grandparents and others who are directly involved in raising children. He will urge parents to think about their own faith and values and to examine the ways in which those values are woven into the fabric of life at home. “Faith Forming Families” will meet from 9:30-noon. Child care will be available and there is no charge for participants.
On Sunday, September 22, Wade will address the congregation in the morning worship service. At 11:20 he will meet with adults for a question and answer session and further discussion about Pilgrim as a “Faith Forming Community.” Both the service and the discussion afterwards are open to the public and those of other faith traditions.
Faith Forming Congregations tend to have five characteristics:
1. Adults and children participate in worship together.
2. Parents and grandparents engage in faith practices at home.
3. The faith community practices intergenerational ministry.
4. There is conversation and reflection on the meaning of service and mission.
5. Lay and clergy leadership continually are engaged in leadership development.
Pilgrim is looking forward to learning from and with Wade Zick.
September 10, 2013
Jesus told more than a few parables about money. At Pilgrim, we understand stewardship ministry to include encouraging families in developing financial health. In part, that means making responsible plans that provide for children and their care, taking care of one’s own health needs and living situations, making plans for the eventual distribution of assets, and using financial resources to help create a better world. To this end, the stewardship ministry sponsors occasional seminars to acquaint members and friends with the questions they need to consider when talking with their own financial planning professional or adviser. These seminars do not promote any particular plans or products; they are strictly informational so that families are better equipped to make sound decisions.
Seminars are being offered Wednesday, September 11 and September 18. Each evening, the seminar from 6:30-7:30 will focus on financial planning for families with children. The seminar from 7:45-8:45 will focus on financial planning for mature families. Friends and guests of the Pilgrim are welcome to attend. There is no charge. Child care is provided.
September 3, 2013
Music is an essential part of worship at Pilgrim Congregational Church. Although we are firmly rooted in classical church traditions, Rachael Kresha, our Director of Music, and Bret Amundson, our Director of Choral Music, provide variety in musical styles and opportunities. Auditions are not necessary to participate in our choirs–Rachael and Bret willingly help singers and ringers figure out how they can contribute to our music program. More information about each of our choirs is available on Pilgrim’s Music and Arts page.
Rehearsals for the 2013-2014 season are as follows:
Bella Campana–small handbell ensemble for experienced handbell ringers
Rehearses Wednesdays, 5:30-6:00 pm, beginning September 4
Bellissimo Handbell Ringers–larger handbell choir
Rehearses Wednesdays, 6:00-7:00, beginning September 4
Pilgrim Choir–vocal choir, no auditions necessary
Rehearses Wednesdays, 7:15-8:30, beginning September 11
Joyful Voices–an occasional choir which rehearses a few specific weeks for a given Sunday’s anthem
Rehearses occasionally on Wednesdays, 7:15-8:00, beginning September 11
It is not necessary to read music to sing in Joyful Voices!
Joyful Noise–is an integrative music program for children ages 5-10. This is part of our music outreach. Children in Joyful Noise are not required to attend Pilgrim or come on Sundays. Pre-register for the semester . Classes meet on Thursdays, 6:00 pm, beginning September 26.
Music is an important element in our Sunday School program as well and each Sunday a musician works with our children from 11:00-11:15.
Contact Rachael Kresha or Bret Amundson for more details about any of our music programs.