May 30, 2014
Pilgrim Congregational Church in Duluth Minnesota will celebrate the end of the academic year on Sunday, June 1 with a service filled with youthful energy! Children and youth of the congregation will present the musical Are We There Yet? by Tom Long and Allen Pote. The dancing and singing troupe is under the direction of Rachael Kresha.
In addition, the congregation will honor four graduates of Duluth East High School: Will Dahlmann, Sophie Hillmeyer, Georgia Jacobson, and Miranda Peterson. All four students were confirmed at Pilgrim and are members of the congregation.
Following worship, the congregation is invited to a School’s Out! party in the Fellowship Hall. A picnic meal will be served by the Christian Education Ministry.
May 19, 2014
Ever felt like you needed a friend? Within Pilgrim Congregational Church, a small group of members are trained to “befriend” persons who are experiencing life’s transitions or are isolated from the larger community due to health or age. Befrienders receive extensive training in active listening and empathetic care. They meet monthly for peer supervision and support. They provide a wide network of individual attention for individual needs within our congregation.
Befrienders often accompany members of Pilgrim or their friends during life transitions and change. They provide a listening ear and steady support when life is particularly stressful. They have befriended individuals experiencing grief, health crises, cancer treatments, substance abuse recovery, employment difficulties, pregnancy and child birth, and family expansion by adoption. Befriender relationships may consist of a single conversation or visit or may last for several years.
Befrienders visit elderly members who reside in assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. Befrienders provide a link to Pilgrim and a consistent friendship during life’s later years.
Upon occasion, Befrienders also assist the minister with hospital calls and contacts with newer members or guests of the congregation.
Jane Shull and Paula Bjoralt were commissioned as Befriender coordinators in November of 2009 and the first class of Befrienders was commissioned the following summer. On Sunday, May 25, Pilgrim will recognize and thank Jane and Paula for their years of service. At the same time we will commission Julie Drake and Bob Hensley as Befriender Co-ordinators.
If you are interested in either having a Befriender or being trained as a Befriender, please contact the church office.
May 5, 2014
The United Church of Christ has a long tradition of working for social justice and last week it’s most recent advocacy effort caught national media attention. Two years ago, North Carolina not only banned gay marriage; the law makes it a misdemeanor for an officiant to perform a wedding ceremony without a license. Last Monday, the United Church of Christ filed suit against the state of North Carolina, contending that the legislation is unconstitutional because it infringes on the rights of clergy to religious freedom. Melissa Harris of msnbc summarized the social justice history of our denomination as an introduction to an interview with Ben Guess, our denominational minister for Local Church Ministries. You can watch the summary piece at www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry/watch/faith-based-action-oriented-toward-justice-246227523719. The interview and discussion of the current lawsuit can be found at www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry/watch/faith-based-argument-for-marriage-equality-246241347575