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									   ________________________________________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.
   ________________________________________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

                          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,

                       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


      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

                     SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 29
        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

                           FILM NIGHT:
                   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"

        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

                              MARCH BIRTHDAYS

 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 -
   ________________________________________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).

                               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

       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


                     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 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

                                       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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