________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 1 PASTOR’S CORNER THE PASSION I am not going to see Mel Gibson's The Passion. Even before the recent reviews detailing its over-the-top violence, I knew I wouldn’t be going. Yes, I plan to attend the panel discussion at Hancock, which, as a member of the Interfaith Clergy Association, I am helping to sponsor. Yes, I think it is an important, if controversial, movie. Yes, I've read pages and pages of reviews and I think I can probably converse quite intelligently about it. Yes, I think, to some degree, it may be my duty as a pastor to see it. But I'm not going to. I never go to violent movies. I close my eyes at the first sign of blood. At that rate, from what I've heard about this film, I'd end up missing most of it! That the violence is directed toward Jesus, does not make it any more endurable for me. Many churches are promoting The Passion as a tool for evangelism. They are buying blocks of tickets, inviting their friends and busing people to theaters. This is motivated by the belief that Christ's passion – his suffering and death – is what saves us; that God required this sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world. They believe that if we have the opportunity to experience Jesus' suffering in its gruesome reality, we will be overwhelmed with the enormity of his sacrifice and give our lives to him in gratitude. While I do not deny the depths of Christ's suffering, I do not believe that it was unique. (Although Gibson’s movie is intended to prove otherwise.) Others have borne great pain for a longer time with fewer internal resources to help them bear it. Jesus takes his place with all those who suffer – innocently or not – as he dies at the hands of sadistic tormentors. This is, perhaps, the essence of the incarnation, the divine joined to humanity in all its pain and cruelty. But I do not believe that we are saved through the shedding of Jesus' blood. For me, to be a Christian is to come to salvation (wholeness, healing, fullness of life) by the totality of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. We learn what it means to be in relationship with God because of the way he lived – yes, even unto the sacrifice of his life. We come to salvation by accepting God’s gift of abundant life and by imitating Christ. As with any work of art, Mel Gibson's film may be experienced in multiple ways: as a life-changing religious conversion, as a vicarious experience of violence – either as perpetrator or victim, as a disturbing throw-back to the days of Christian anti-Semitism, or as simply a film to be judged on its artistic merits. I choose not to see it. If you do, tell me about it. Judy ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 2 WORSHIP IN FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 29 FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT “Bread, Crown, Tower” • Luke 4:1-13 First in a series of Lenten sermons on Signs and Symbols of Faith In each of the Lenten texts, we will examine our faith using the symbols found in the text. WORSHIP IN MARCH MARCH 7 • COMMUNION “Cloud” • Luke 9:28-44 Jeff Stevens preaching Chancel Choir: “This Bread, This Cup" MARCH 14 “Fertilizer” • Luke 13:1-9 Chancel Choir: “Jesus Walked the Lonesome Valley” Amnesty International letter writing after worship. MARCH 21 "Robe and Ring" • Luke 15:11b-32 Chancel Choir: “Lord For Thy Tender Mercy’s Sake” MARCH 24, WEDNESDAY 7:30 PM TAIZÉ AT PILGRIM A candlelight service of chant and meditation. MARCH 28 LAITY SUNDAY Sharing our own symbols of faith. WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FRIDAY, MARCH 5 9:45 am gathering 11:00 service An ecumenical service at the Community of Christ Church 1386 Massachusetts Ave. A town-wide service to pray for people around the globe. The country of concentration this year is Panama. ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 3 THE BOSNIA PROJECT We want to let you know about an exciting new project the Mission Committee is considering. Pilgrim has a wonderful opportunity to partner with Church World Services (CWS), to help a group of Bosnian families (approx. 50- 65) deal with the after-effects of war. They fled their homes and community in search of safe territory when war broke out. When they returned, they found their community and homes in ruin. In addition to the loss of their homes and belongings, they now have no income and few resources in trying to generate income. They require the most basic human needs: food, water, shelter, hope and love shown by others that actually care about them. The project is expected to take 1 year, beginning March 1, 2004, and has possibilities for a continuing relationship. It will enable CWS to provide: shelter materials, livestock replacement, tools, farm equipment and seeds. This will help families to rebuild homes, reestablish trades, and redevelop food and water sources for themselves and their community. Members of Pilgrim would be going to Bosnia this summer to see this project in action. As part of the project we would be delivering health and school kits made by our youth and adults. If you would like to go on this trip or just be involved in the details and planning, please see one of us: Teresa Deible, Debra Adams, Stephanie Wentworth, Lisa McIlrath, Clair Moir, Helen Troy, or Sandy Gardiner. You can also call or email Teresa at 781-860-7767 or firstname.lastname@example.org. RAY GREENE IN CONCERT HERE AT PILGRIM CHURCH SUNDAY, MARCH 28 5:00 PM FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR Dear Friends, As we enter this season of Lent, I want to call your attention to two very special events coming up in March. The first, Taizé at Pilgrim: A Service of Chant and Meditation, will be held on Wednesday, March 24 at 7:30pm. The Taizé community in France has developed a liturgy based upon the repetition of simple chants, interspersed with short scripture readings and periods of silent meditation and prayer. Taizé worship is extremely simple and informal, and many people find that it provides an unparalleled ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 4 opportunity for spiritual renewal. I hope that this service will provide such an occasion for the Pilgrim community as we travel together through the Lenten season. On the other end of the spectrum, Ray Greene and his band will be joining us on Sunday, March 28, at 5:00pm for an exhilarating evening of gospel music. This concert promises to be a joy filled event as Ray treats us to music from his recent CD in preparation for a tour of the southeastern United States. Tickets will be available beginning on February 29 for a donation of $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Because this will be a joyous event for the entire family, all children under 12 get in for free. Everyone who enjoyed the Mardi Gras service will not want to miss this special concert. As always, feel free to contact me with questions. All best, David ORTHOPEDIC CARE FOR KIDS Do you know of a child with problems of the bones, muscles, or joints? If so, Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield provides free, expert orthopedic care to children from birth to 18 years of age. Please call (413) 787-2080 for information or to schedule an appointment. It's easy, it's free, it's quality medical care, and it may be one of the best things you ever do for a child. Shriners Hospital is where Stefany, our young visitor from Honduras, is receiving her medical treatment. We would like to assist the hospital by collecting aluminum tabs from soda cans. The money received from this recycling project is used to buy medical and non-medical items for Shriners Hospital for Children. There will be a collection site at Pilgrim Church. Please spread the word with friends, family, co-workers and schools. Emily Collins EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDREN IN NEED Would you like to offer a child living in Honduras the opportunity to attend school? For the small gift of $21.00 a child will receive a uniform and shoes, and be able to enroll in school. There are many poor children who are not attending school simply because their families cannot afford the clothing. Tom and I will be returning to Honduras in April, and will meet with the director of the school. We have purchased and delivered uniforms in the past, ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 5 and it is an incredible experience to watch the children's excitement when they receive their clothing, and know they will be joining their friends attending school. If you wish to contribute to this project, please make your check out to Pilgrim Church with "Honduran Education" in the memo line. Tom and Emily Collins RAISING CHILDREN IN A STRESSFUL WORLD SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 29 12:00-1:30PM Come and enjoy a soup and sandwich lunch before gathering for an informal discussion about raising children in today’s world. Led by Debra Adams, our Minister of Education, this will be a time for naming our own fears for the children in our lives as well as naming some of the stresses our children face growing up. We will also share ideas and strategies for helping our children cope. Grandparents, parents, Pilgrim Church family – all are welcome and encouraged to participate. Child care activities will be provided during the discussion. "TRACES OF THE TRADE" SUNDAY, MARCH 7 • 4:00 - 6:00 PM Implementing our Opening Hearts and Minds pledge, Pilgrim is sponsoring a community-wide event featuring one family's journey as they delve into their hidden past as the largest and most successful slave-trading family in U. S. history. "Traces of the Trade" is a television documentary in process. Dain Perry, the presenter and member of the family, shows film clips and leads a discussion on the contemporary legacy of slavery, for both black and white Americans. Hearty snacks will be served. Invite your friends, especially middle and high-school students. FILM NIGHT: "THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST" FRIDAY, MARCH 19 • 7:00 PM Join us for popcorn, a great movie, and great company, as we watch the film adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis' amazing vision of Christ’s humanity, temptation and earthly loves. The film explores Jesus’ human struggle and his relationship to Mary Magdalene. We start our discussion there, likely covering a number of orthodox and ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 6 unorthodox ideas on the humanity of Christ (Mel’ Gibson’s The Passion, the Gnostic Gospels, the DaVinci Code, and others). The film is R rated but all are welcome. PANEL ON "THE PASSION" SUNDAY, MARCH 21 • 7:00 PM HANCOCK CHURCH A panel discussion will feature Prof. Paula Fredricksen, New Testament scholar, and members of different faith communities. The topic is Mel Gibson's film on the crucifixion of Jesus. What do scholars and Christian and Jewish leaders have to say about it? Sponsored by the Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association. CARING CONVERSATIONS PART 3 MARCH 31, 7:00 - 9:00 PM Securing the Future: Legal Tools for Caregivers Are you involved in the caring ministries of the church? Do you have responsibility for the care of elderly relatives? Would you like to know more about legal issues around caring for your loved one? The special Caring Conversations series hosted at Pilgrim by the Caregiver's group continues! Our guest speakers are from the Lexington Minuteman Senior Services. Their goal is to help educate and assist seniors as well as those concerned about seniors. The following is a brief description of the second session with an abbreviated bio for the Presenter: This Caring Conversation will clarify the basic recommended estate planning documents, discuss how to make sure they actually work, and explore the pros and cons of wills, trusts, and joint property. Presented by: Robert B. Pomeroy, Esq. Mr. Pomeroy received his Juris Doctor degree from Franklin Pierce Law School in 1990 and his B.A. from the University of Maine in 1984. He is a member of both the Massachusetts and Maine Bar and actively practices estate planning in both jurisdictions. He is a principal in the estate planning firm of Bonazzoli, Pomeroy & Brooks, P.C. which concentrates its practice in the areas of estate planning, probate administration and retirement planning. This is the final session in our Caring Conversation Series. Seating is limited and will be opened to other local churches so reserve your seat as soon as possible. There is no requirement to attend all three sessions. Refreshments ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 7 will be served. If you'd like to come but need a ride we can make arrangements for you to attend. Contact Martha Kimball at 781-862-2812 or Teresa Deible at 781-860-7767. MARCH BIRTHDAYS DATE NAME 1 Sis Dexter David Johnson Warren Johnson Sean Pento 3 Tommy Agne 6 Lori Porter 11 Gregory Dayton 12 Heidi Waibel Bartley Barbara Kupfrian Lesley Scott Morton 13 Rebecca McQuilken-Scholze 14 Sandra Beckwith Ledgard Mary K. Reaske 16 Kathy Litchfield Kathy Savage Mace 18 Tannor Johnson 19 David Kirby Rick Young 20 Skylar Lawler Eric Siegel 22 Sharon Lawler 28 Faye Armstrong Nancy Savage 29 Ed Bond Jim Cowan Noa Dayton 30 Teresa Deible 31 Pamela Beckwith If your name is missing from this list, call or email the office: 781 862-0357 - email@example.com. ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 8 COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD INTERFAITH JOURNEYS: A Sharing of Experiences Far and Near Thursday, February 26 at 7:30 - 9:15 p.m. at Follen Church's Marshman Center, 763 Mass. Ave., East Lexington, this program of informal stories, anecdotes and observations of lessons learned about UU-Muslim Dialogue and Jewish-Muslim/Christian Dialogue will be presented. The public is welcome - no admission charge. BOSTON WOMEN'S RAINBOW CHORUS Saturday, February 28 at 8:00 p.m. the Boston Women's Rainbow Chorus will present a concert at the Congregational Church of Needham, UCC, 1154 Great Plain Avenue. The event marks its 4th anniversary of becoming an Open and Affirming congregation and proceeds will support the work of the ONA committee in promoting understanding of diversity and creating welcoming environments. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door at 7:30 p.m. CREATING A CULTURE OF PEACE The Spirituality of the Practice of Non-Violent Communication Saturday, March 13, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm Youville Place 10 Pelham Rd, Lexington, MA 02421 Presenters: Suzanne Belote and Brayton Shanley Founders of AGAPE Community Free Will Offering Please bring a box lunch. Please respond by March 6 to Sr. Gladys Marhefka at the above address or call her at 781-862-4700, ext. 35 (days); 781-862-0938 (evenings). HOSPICE CARE VOLUNTEER TRAINING APRIL 5, 2004 Hospice Care, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that serves patients with life- limiting illness and their families. Hospice volunteers perform a vital role in augmenting hospice services by providing companionship to patients, respite time for family ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 9 members, and help with errands. Volunteers may also focus on providing bereavement support to family members. Our volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and range in ages from the 20’s to 80’s. Their common bond is a desire to share their time and compassion with others. A strong need exists for daytime volunteers, but help is also needed during evenings and weekends. Join us for this special opportunity to contribute to others in your community. No previous experience is necessary. Hospice Care. Inc. provides training and ongoing support. The next training session will begin on April 5. For more information, please call Karen Potter at 781-279-4100. FISH OF LEXINGTON F.I.S.H. stands for friendly, independent, sympathetic help and is one of the organizations supported through Mission funds. We drive Lexington residents in need of transportation to hospital and doctor appointments. Drivers are committed for only one day each month. If anyone is interested in volunteering time for driving, please call Sis Dexter at 781-862-8628. We are also in need of volunteers willing to telephone the drivers – they are PHONE FISH. If you can make a few calls, one day a month, please call Tom Rand at 781-861-6696. Any help will be appreciated. Sis Dexter EDUCATIONAL MINISTRIES Dear Friends, This is such a busy time of year for the Educational Program at Pilgrim. As we move into Lent we have new stories to hear, new ideas to think about and new mysteries to uncover. As our children learn about the stories Jesus told and the lessons they teach us, the children will be challenged to think about them in ways that relate to their own lives. Our teachers will also be challenged to try to sort out complex ideas in order to answer your children’s questions. Church school is a happenin’ place! Recently Pilgrim children participated in Souper Bowl Sunday and brought in several canned goods along with over $38. These were added to the church’s total sent out to area shelters, kitchens and food pantries. I will be working with Sharon Lawler to help children who wish to find more ways to serve others. Our children have been active in mission opportunities but this will be more organized and intentional. Church Council and the Educational Ministries committee have been exploring the possibility of starting the Safe Church process. The first meeting is set for March 7th. ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 10 The following step will be to educate ourselves and then we will no doubt have forums to include the whole congregation. If you would like to know more about the Safe Church Policy you can ask me or find information on the Mass. Conference website at macucc.org. Peace, Debra Raising Children in a Stressful World Please plan to join us on February 29th for a family style lunch of homemade soup and sandwiches before gathering for an informal discussion about the issues our children face in the world today. This is a discussion about the changing world and how it affects our children. If you work with children, have young children, have older children, have grandchildren or just plain care about the welfare of all children- this is for you. Please come and share your ideas. The discussion will last approximately 45 minutes. Children will be entertained with activities by adults and older youth during the discussion. So we are sure to have enough chairs and food for all, please email or call Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-944-8180 or Susan Bennett at 781-861-9568 if you plan to attend. Lost and Found Someone left a camera downstairs a few weeks ago. Please see me if it belongs to you. Also, there is a children’s book titled “Dingoes for Dinner” that someone left behind quite a while ago. You will find that on the Children’s Welcome Table. Safe Church Church Council and the Educational Ministries committee will begin the Safe Church process. The first meeting is set for March 7th. The next step will be educating ourselves and then we will no doubt have forums to include the whole congregation. If you would like to know more about the Safe Church Policy you can ask me or find information on the Mass. Conference website at macucc.org. Field Trip A small group will travel to a church in Westminster to explore the Rotation Model for our own church school program. Teachers from that church will tell us about the program and if Pilgrim is interested in learning more, a smaller group will go on a ________________________________________Pilgrim’s Progress 27 February 2004 - page 11 Sunday morning to see it in action. There is room for a few more in the car pool, so if you are interested in joining us please let Debra know. The next Pilgrim’s Progress deadline will be March 7 at noon.
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