Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December 2005 - Volume 47, Number 21
Pilgrim Congregational Church - UCC, 55 Coolidge Avenue, Lexington, MA 02420-1899
From Our Pastor
Earlier this month I participated in a conference for UCC women clergy. We came from all
over New England to take workshops on preaching, leadership, the arts, social justice, mission,
and many other topics geared to help us be better pastors. I learned a lot from the presentations
and even more from eating meals with other pastors and sharing our joys and struggles. Again,
I am reminded of what a privilege it is to serve in a healthy church. Too few congregations are
clear that their mission is to share the Good News with others, not to protect their own turf or to
fight about change. I always feel particularly lucky to be at Pilgrim where infighting is rare and
where the focus is on open doors rather than closing ranks.
One of the speakers at this conference was Kathleen Norris, the well-known essayist. She
said something like this in her keynote speech.
People come to church to hear real language. There is too little beauty in the words we
encounter every day. Advertising reduces communication to slogans and jumpy images.
Television shows pander to an elementary school level of education. The vulgarity of popular
music and entertainment is astounding.
The church is one place where beautiful words are still spoken and sung. It is not elitist like
theater and the arts sometimes seem to be; it’s a place for everyone where the experience of
elevated language is open to all. A soaring Psalm, moving phrases of comfort, ancient and
contemporary poetry in the lyrics of our hymns, and the carefully chosen words of prayers and
sermons, this is the language of worship.
I am especially conscious of this at Advent and Christmas when the familiar stories are told
again and their words touch something deep within us:
―My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior …‖
―In the beginning was the Word. And the word was with God and the Word was God.‖
―In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.‖
I wonder if people do value the beauty of these words which, of course, point to a greater
beauty beyond themselves. Trends in the church have us abandoning old fashioned verbal
communication for power point images, simpler, more contemporary language, and pop-
sounding tunes the better to reach people where they are. I don’t really know which is best. But
I know what I hope. I hope Kathleen Norris is right.
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December 2005 - page
Rehearsals have begun – they are right
WORSHIP ~ ADVENT AND after service on December 4, 11 and 18. Sign up
with Debra Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Invite a friend! PILGRIM AT BROOKHAVEN
December 4 Advent II ~ HOPE THIS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2:30PM
Harry Hutson on Hope For the 5th consecutive year, Pilgrim will be
Harry has written a book on hope and has offering an Advent/Christmas service for the
agreed to share some of the insights gleaned residents of the Brookhaven Retirement Center.
from spending 2 to 3 years pondering this topic. The choir will sing and members of the
A terrific opportunity to reflect on hope — an congregation lead worship. If you would like to
important concept in these fearful times. participate, contact Judy Brain
(Revbrain@aol.com) or just come for the service
December 11 Advent III ~ JOY at 2:30pm. The choir will gather at 2:00 PM.
Mitten Tree Sunday
Bring mittens, hats, gloves and other warm
items to decorate the two live trees in the
sanctuary. Rev. Brain will tell the ―Legend of the
Mitten Trees.‖ On Sunday, December 18 the Chancel Choir
will sing a collection of traditional Christmas
December 18 Advent IV ~ LOVE music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. If
Music Sunday you would like to sing, please contact David
Music by the choir interspersed with readings Mislin at (617) 661-6433 or
and reflections on Advent and Christmas. email@example.com.
Children are welcome to attend worship.
Special activities for the little ones.
December 21 Longest Night, 7:30 pm
Laura Ruth Jarrett will coordinate this quiet
candlelight service. An opportunity to step back
LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE,
from the bustle of Christmas in a quiet holiday
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 7:30 PM
service of prayers, music, communion, and Do you know someone who would
candle-lighting. Ruth Smith will play viola along benefit from this service? Send an
with other soulful music. invitation (available on the table in the
front entry) or offer to pick them up.
December 24 Christmas Eve
Intergenerational Pageant, 6:00 pm The ―Longest Night‖ is an outreach
The Christmas story unfolds in tableau, service sponsored by Pilgrim. Prayers,
narration, and music. Families can be together music, and communion and candle-
either participating in the pageant or watching it. lighting. This service has two purposes:
December 25 ~ Carol Sing
• To provide a time of quiet reflection in
Christmas songs and stories
a sacred setting amid a busy and
increasingly secular holiday season.
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT REHEARSALS • To acknowledge that sometimes
people come to the Christmas season
bearing grief and loss. These feelings
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 3
often become most acute when our initial phase - all while enjoying a fine meal,
expectation of merriment is the greatest. some very special entertainment, and of course
the company of your fellow Pilgrims. Join us in
building a better Foundation for our Future!
BIBLE STUDY COMMUNION CLEAN-UP HELP
TUESDAYS, 11:00AM – 12:15PM
With all the commitments people have after
The Bible Study Group will meet for its last
church, it has become difficult to get enough
session of 2005 on December 13 with its study
people to help with communion clean-up. All this
of the Gospel of Thomas. All are welcome!
entails is the washing and drying of the
communion cups. With the additional trays we
We will resume in 2006 on January 10 in the
now have for the choir and the congregation in
the balcony, there are more cups that need to be
washed. While this is an indication that our
congregation is indeed growing, a good problem,
EDUCATION MINISTRIES UPDATE it also means that we need more help with the
clean up! So, if anyone has some free time after
The Educational Ministries Committee met
church on communion Sundays, it would be
recently to reorganize and plan for the future of
much appreciated if you could come downstairs
the church school, adult education, inter-
to the kitchen to help wash and dry. Thanks very
generational activities, and PYF. There are much!
subcommittees working in all these areas, and we
will keep you posted on our progress through Church Council
Pilgrim’s Progress. If you would like to participate
in any of these subcommittees, please contact
Debra Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org). We PLEASE RETURN YOUR 2006
hope folks whose interest we didn’t know about PLEDGE CARDS!
Many thanks to those of you who have
The major announcement at this time is that already returned your pledge cards for 2006.
Susan Carabbio has graciously and Pledges drive our planning and budget for the
enthusiastically consented to assume the role of new year, so receiving timely pledges is a
church school superintendent. Susan will be tremendous help to Dave McClave, our treasurer,
working with Debra Adams on her transition into and Tom Murphy, who does the budget.
that position. Debra will be devoting more of her
time to the other areas listed above. We are For those of you whose cards were buried –
very enthusiastic about this arrangement! literally or figuratively – by Thanksgiving
preparations, there are additional pledge cards
Mary Scott Morton in the hutch in the narthex. Also, you can ask
anyone on the Stewardship Committee – Jeff
Boehm, Jennifer Cassettari, Harry Hutson, Annie
McQuilken – for a card on Sunday during Coffee
SAVE THE DATE! JANUARY 7, 2006 Hour. Personal notes are fine, too. We love
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN FINAL PHASE hearing from you! You can mail your cards to the
KICK-OFF DINNER office or put them in the Stewardship mailbox in
the hutch. Thank you!
Come to Pilgrim to hear our plans and
preparations, and the status of giving through
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 4
Get ready for the annual Pilgrim Family
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Christmas Party on Saturday, December 10 at
TO THE PILGRIM FAMILY! 5:30pm! There will be exciting entertainment for
young and old alike plus old fashion Christmas
Marjory German is a Suffolk County Juvenile carol singing and a ―special appearance‖ from
Court Judge. She lives in Arlington and enjoys Santa Claus!
activities with her two grown children; costume
design and crafts. We are asking people to bring either an
appetizer or a dessert, and we will provide pizza
Joan Greene is a fulltime accounting for the youngsters. Please look for Connie Guim
coordinator and lives in Lexington. She has (781-861-3744) and the Fellowship team after
three grown children and six grandchildren. She Coffee Hour this Sunday to sign up.
enjoys swimming, playing games with her
grandchildren; and watching sports on TV. She If this is your first Christmas party, you are our
loves to visit Ireland and California where her guest. Don't miss the BEST PARTY OF THE
son and his family reside. YEAR!!
Paul Johnson is a physician and lives in
Lexington with his wife, Cheryl, and their three SEND A CHRISTMAS CARD OR
boys. Paul grew up in North Carolina and met HOLIDAY GREETING
Cheryl in Connecticut. His interests are
carpentry, blues and a good barbeque. What better time to reach out to a fellow
Pilgrim you haven’t seen in a while, or who is
James Levine is a pharmacy technician. He home bound, or struggling with illness. We have
lives in Lexington and is very interested in being a variety of Holiday Greeting Cards available in
a lay reader/liturgist. the card rack located in the Sunroom or in Pilgrim
Hall. All we need is for you to take a moment to
Eleanor Smith is retired and living in fill one out - stamps are available in the card rack
Lexington. Her interests include sports; as well. You’ll not only help our
miniature dollhouses; collecting Santas; and Pilgrim's Outreach mission, but you’ll certainly
keeping busy. She enjoys helping with sales – make someone’s holidays brighter too!
yard, plant – and ―preparing anything.‖
Happy Holidays and a sincere thank you,
FAIR TRADE COFFEE SALE! Committee
“Equal Exchange – Fair Trade Coffee”
(whole bean and drip grind), tea and hot cocoa 2005 CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
mix, as well as assorted holiday gift baskets will AT PILGRIM!
be sold Sundays, December 4, 11 and 18 DECEMBER 4, 11 AND 18
during Coffee Hour. (See also SERRV article
next page). Back by popular demand – the Christmas
SERRV SALE! Shopping at Pilgrim while we
support our Mission Work seems to speak to the
PILGRIM FAMILY CHRISTMAS PARTY! heart of Christmas, so we are doing it again!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 5:30PM SERRV, also known as A Greater Gift, SERRV
International Partnerships, is a nonprofit
POT LUCK ~ HORS D’OEUVRES ~ organization promoting the social and economic
DESSERT ~ ENTERTAINMENT! ~ progress of people in developing regions of the
CAROL SINGING! ~ SANTA! world by purchasing and marketing their
handcrafts in a direct and just manner. They
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 5
operate under the same principals as the Equal presentation. We should return to Pilgrim around
Exchange-Fair trade coffee, which we serve 4:00pm. Plan to pack a bag lunch and dress
during coffee hour. SERRV items come from warmly! Please contact Claire Moir to sign up or
countries such as South Africa, Peru, Viet Nam, for more information: 781-674-0022 or
Bangladesh and the United States! email@example.com.
This year Beth Graham will also be selling a
new item currently being certified as a new Fair
Trade item, ―Wild African Shea Butter.‖ The MURDER MYSTERY DINNERS
shea butter will be supporting the ―Women’s MARCH 24 AND 25
Gold, the Dagara Shea Butter Project‖ founded
here in Lexington. Additionally, Beth will be Save the dates! The ―MURDER MYSTERY
selling lotions and creams she makes from this DINNERS” will be held on March 24 and 25,
shea butter. The proceeds from her products 2006.
help buy HIV medicines for patients at the St.
Marcus Clinic in Kumasi, Ghana. We’re looking for budding thespians! If you
would like to try your hand at acting, contact Len
We will also have a Fair Trade-Equal Rideout (978-287-9505) or Beth Graham
Exchange Coffee Table set up so you can (781-862-9023) by December 15. We are also
purchase your selection of coffee, tea, cocoa looking for volunteers interested in helping with
and chocolate bars. the production (setup, breakdown, hosts,
The sale of all these items will take place
December 4th, 11th, and 18th. So mark your There will be two "light" rehearsals scheduled
calendars and prepare to do a little Christmas for Sunday, January 15 and 29, noon to 1:30pm.
Thank you, the Mission Committee CONGRATULATIONS!
Our hearty congratulations to Beth Moseley
VISIT "LIVING NATIVITY" AT HEIFER who was inducted into the Colgate Athletic Hall of
INTERNATIONAL OVERLOOK FARM Fame in October for excellence in field hockey,
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 basketball AND softball. It’s a wonderful triple
achievement and we’re so proud of her!
On Sunday December 11 join us on a field
trip to the ―Living Nativity‖ at Overlook Farm in
Rutland, MA. We’ll see live animals in the barn NEW ADDRESS
and sleigh or hay rides following. Heifer
provides animals to families struggling with The new address for Pilgrim member
hunger and poverty to help them become self- Jane Beckwith is as follows:
reliant. All recipients of Heifer livestock and
Sunrise Assisted Living
agricultural training promise to "Pass on the Gift"
24 Burlington Mall Road, #308
of livestock offspring and training to other
Burlington, MA 01803
families in need, thus sustaining development for
years to come.
There is no charge for the field trip, but a
collection will be taken after the presentation. DATE NAME
Also we are asked to bring some cookies to
share. We will leave from the church at 11:45am 3 Adrienne Stang-Osborne
and carpool to Rutland for a 1:00pm or 2:00pm 10 Holly Carabbio
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 6
11 John Sym from noon to 2:00pm at Depot Square, Lexington.
Jim Wood Please come and donate new, unwrapped toys for
13 Jennifer Armstrong children ages 2-12. For more information contact
Katie Baer Kathy Litchfield, adult advisor to the LYC, at 781-
16 Christopher Pelletier 862-9565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
18 Danielle Enzmann
19 Tim Breton
21 Spencer George
Jane Marshall The next Pilgrim’s Progress deadline will be
26 Leigh Pelletier Sunday, DECEMBER 11, 2005 at noon.
27 Linda Sjoberg This will be the last issue for 2005.
29 Thompson Bond
30 Kim Johnson
31 Jonah Stang-Osborne
If your name is missing from this list, call or email
the office: 781 862-0357 - email@example.com.
ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS FAIR
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 11AM TO 1PM
―Gifts that Help Others‖ will be sold at Hancock
Church, 1912 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington
on December 4 from 11:00am to 1:00pm.
Participating charities include Habitat for
Humanity, Rosie’s Place, Heifer Project, Threads
of Hope, 10,000 Villages, Hancock Youth Group,
and Equal Exchange. Handcrafted items, cards,
and food will be sold. All proceeds go directly to
the charities. For more information call Connie
Devereaux at 781-862-0261.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT & CAROL SING
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 3:00PM
The 15TH annual Park Avenue Congregational
Church ―Christmas Concert and Carol Sing‖ will be
held at PACC, 50 Paul Revere Road in Arlington.
There is a voluntary donation for admission.
Refreshments will be served following the concert.
For more information call 781-643-8680.
LEXINGTON YOUTH COMMISSION’S
“HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE”
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10
The ―Holiday Toy Drive‖ for Lexington families
in need will be held on Saturday, December 10
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 7
FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE
PILGRIM CAPITAL CAMPAIGN KICKS INTO HIGH GEAR!
As we enter the holiday season, our 2005 -2006 capital campaign, “Foundation for the Future,” is
kicking into high gear. We have been blessed with a great team that is working hard to put all the pieces
into place to assure a successful renovation, from continuing with the "quiet phase" of our fundraising
effort and finalizing the details of the interior design, to planning for the fine food and entertainment that
awaits you at our January 7th Final Phase Kick-off Dinner. We have also been blessed by the very positive
response many of you have already made to this call to contribute, but more on that during our formal Kick-
Off Dinner, so stay tuned!
For now, let's turn from the work at hand, and revisit the purpose towards which these efforts are
directed -- the renovation of that "basement," our Fellowship Hall, into a space that is as bright as Pilgrim's
future. The basement has served us well in the 40 years since its dedication, but its design and degree of
wear reflect the time that has passed without significant enhancement.
Whatever the nature of the final interior design, the Fellowship Hall we will have will be a newer,
brighter, and much more flexible space than what we have today. As we measure the space we have
against our current requirements, the need for renovation is immediately apparent. It is not a warm,
welcoming space beckoning members new and old to "come on down." Its compartmentalization and
severe lack of storage space is a daily challenge to those who would use the space for Christian education,
Pilgrim Nursery School and church meetings, requiring time and effort to set up and take down, leaving less
time for learning, meeting and having fun.
The lack of a large open space sets an artificial limit on the number of Pilgrims for which we have "room
at the table." This is simply not acceptable. We are a thriving, growing congregation and our Fellowship
Hall should have space for every one of us.
So there you have it, a clear need for change. A call that is being heard. Pilgrims hard at work
preparing a firmer foundation for our future.
One last note in this capital campaign journal entry as we enter the next phase of this exciting project.
We are grateful for the very gracious contributions and pledges we have received to date. The willingness
of so many Pilgrims to step up and participate is a testament to the continued vigor of our church. But we
all need to be thinking now of what we can do. The renovation project will not be a gift from a few of us to
the rest. It is a gift all of us will be giving to ourselves and to our children, grandchildren and all the
generations of Pilgrims that follow.
We look forward to seeing each and every one of you at dinner on January 7th. Until then, if you have
any questions on the campaign or have an interest in getting involved to help us make this happen, feel
free to call Gregory North (781-862-2662) or Chris Reaske (781-674-3155).
Foundation for the Future Committee
Pilgrim’s Progress 9 September 2005 - Volume 47, Number 15
Pilgrim Congregational Church - UCC, 55 Coolidge Avenue, Lexington, MA 02420-1899
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his Word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5
With the coming of Advent, we look forward to telling the old, old story of Jesus’ birth
in a way that makes it come alive for us today. Children and youth will be learning this story
during classes in addition to acting the story out during rehearsals for the Christmas Eve
pageant. If you and/or your child have never participated in the pageant, we welcome you to
come and join us. It will be an evening you will never forget.
If you would like to make angel and/or shepherd costumes or simply help us match them
up with participants, your help is welcomed and appreciated. We also need help the night of the
There are many great Christmas books for families but I have 2 more books that are
recommended by the UCC. The first, December by Eve Bunting, is the story of a homeless boy
and his mother who share their cardboard-box home with a stranger. The other, The Nativity by
Julie Vivas, is a modern, whimsical retelling of the nativity. We would love to add these two
books to our church school collection. We are also in need of some plastic or wooden
(unbreakable) nativity pieces. Children love to play with blocks and the addition of these pieces
would expand their play opportunities. Please speak to me if you would like to help us in this
way. Your support of the educational ministries programs is always appreciated.
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 9
Youth who will be 15-18 yrs old this summer are invited to
participate in the Faith Youth Institute at Andover Newton
Theological School. The theme is “Blessed Are You”. The institute
runs during the week of July 8-16. For more information, you can
visit their website at www.ants.edu/learning/fyi.
Passing on Our Faith
We will not hide the stories of our faith from our children we will tell to the
coming generation the glorious deeds of our God...” ps. 78:4.
Use one or more of the following to share your faith experiences with the
children in our midst. Try catching a child at coffee hour for a quick
1) Which Bible story is especially meaningful to you?
2) What is one thing about faith that you want the children to know?
3) What is your favorite Bible verse?
4) Write a prayer about what your faith means, giving thanks, and asking
God for blessings.
Adapted from “Passing on our faith” in Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 10
2005 MISSION HOLIDAY GIVING
Some of the projects that Pilgrim Church is supporting this Holiday Season are listed
here. We hope that you and your family will be inspired to find an outreach that touches
your heart with the true meaning of Christmas.
City Mission Society (CMS) –
Christmas Shops & Our Giving Tree
This Christmas Pilgrim Church will once again be providing gifts to City Mission
Society. CMS works with needy individuals in the Greater Boston Metropolitan area.
We are also dedicating our Giving Tree (located in the Sun Room) to children of the
new and rapidly growing UCC Church – the Hispanic Community Church of Boston -
located in Jamaica Plain. You can provide new items and place under the tree and
these items will be donated to CMS Christmas shops; OR you can take a tag off the tree
and buy the gift identified for a particular child. Suitable gift items for under the tree
New Clothing - especially for infants, older teens, and adults
Toys, books, and sports balls
Perfume, wallets, stationery and small gifts.
Items will be collected through Sunday December 18. Make sure your gift is
not wrapped because volunteers need to sort through items. Also, City Mission Society
needs people to collect, sort and pack gifts at the First Congregational Church, 21
Church Street in Winchester on the following dates: December 3 & 4; December 10 &
11; and December 17 & 18. (Please note: the place has changed but the dates remain
the same.) They are also in need of people to transport items to the shop in Jamaica
Plain on December 20, and to host at their Christmas party in Jamaica Plain on
December 21. Children are welcome to assist.
If you have questions - contact Emily Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Sharon Lawler (email@example.com), or contact Gwen at CMS, 617-742-6840 ext.
Mitten Tree Sunday, December 11
This has become an annual celebration for us! This year Mitten Tree Sunday is on
Sunday, December 11. Please bring mittens, hats, and scarves for the East End
House in Cambridge. During the service you will place your items on one of the
Christmas trees located in the front of the sanctuary. We are also collecting non-
perishable food items to be delivered to East End House December 11. If you prefer to
make a cash donation you can write a check to Pilgrim with East End House noted in
the memo line.
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 11
You could also provide one of the Mitten Trees for this event. Please contact
assistant moderator Gregory North (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
[NOTE: The correct date of Mitten Tree Sunday is December 11, NOT December 4
as previously written.]
SERRV - Equal Exchange & Fair Trade Gifts for sale
December 4, 11 and 18
The Mission Committee will be offering gift items from A Greater Gift, also known as
SERRV. There will be many handcrafted and foods items from around the world for
sale. Purchasing A Greater Gift item brings hope and justice to developing countries,
and communities within the United States. Items are marketed in a way to bring a fair
return to their manufacturer. We will also be selling a wide variety of Equal Exchange,
Fair Trade coffee, cocoa, tea and chocolate bars.
A new item, currently being certified as a Fair Trade item, is ―Wild African Shea
Butter‖ with a local connection right here in Lexington! Beth Graham will be selling
small jars of this pure unrefined shea butter for the "Women's Gold, the Dagara Shea
Butter Project." Additionally, Beth will be selling lotions and creams that she makes
from this shea butter and the proceeds will help buy HIV medicines for patients at the
St. Marcus Clinic in Kumasi, Ghana. See Beth and the display table for more
The sale of all of these items will take place December 4, 11 and 18 during
Coffee Hour. Do your Christmas Shopping at Pilgrim and help make a better world!
Sponsor A Child
For an alternative gift idea for offering hope to a child in a third world country, please
visit www.helpinghonduraskids.org. This organization is trustworthy, and all the money
goes directly to the children.
Offerings from the Special Worship Services during the
Longest Night, December 21: VNA Hospice
Christmas Eve, December 24: Kids In Need
Christmas Sunday, December 25: UCC Christmas Fund
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 12
Thank you for your generous support!
The Mission Committee
Poinsettias will decorate the church on Sunday, December 18 and Christmas Eve.
If you wish to order a poinsettia plant, fill in the form below and send it to the church office by
Monday, December 12, with an accompanying check made payable to Pilgrim Congregational
Poinsettias are $8.00 per plant. Plants may be taken after either service. Thank you.
I/We would like to order __________ poinsettia(s) for the Christmas services.
Enclosed is my/our check in the amount of $ __________.
Optional: ―In memory of
Pilgrim’s Progress 02 December - page 13
―In celebration of, In honor of, etc.
Please indicate your choice of color: ______ red
Please check one:
_______ I will leave my plant(s) to be distributed to a shut-in.
_______ I will take my plant(s) after the service.