Pilgrim Church September, 2016 Newsletter
Pilgrim’s Progress—The News of Pilgrim Congregational Church
“celebrating 23 years of faith and friendship”
Regular worship schedule returns—Hope this newsletter finds all our members well and that you had a wonderful, relaxing summer.
On Sunday, September 11, our normal schedule of worship will resume at 10:30 AM in our sanctuary. Our chancel choir will be back to lead us in worship, the children’s sermon happily makes its return, and church school classes will also begin again. Children will worship in the sanctuary for the first 20 minutes with their parents and will then be excused to their classes.
We look forward to welcoming you back from your summer vacations and can’t wait for another exciting year to begin at Pilgrim Church!!
Children’s Fun Festival—One of the suggestions in Reverend Scott’s sabbatical report was that we plan a program here at the church especially for children in our surrounding neighborhoods. To that end we are thinking about holding a fall Sunday afternoon of fun in our parking lot for children from our area with games, prizes and food. The tentative date is Sunday, October 16th, for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
To help plan this very important outreach event, we will be holding a brief organizational meeting after church in the pews of the sanctuary this Sunday, September 11. If you have a smile on your face, a love of children and the desire to put our church’s name out into the community, we look forward to seeing you at the meeting on Sunday! We need the help of all willing and able bodied Pilgrims!
Church Members in the news—On Saturday, September 3rd members Doug Wildrick and Nancy Hill were married in our sanctuary. Doug’s dad, our own Minister Emeritus, The Reverend Dr. Kenyon J. Wildrick, performed the ceremony. Of course, we all know him as our wonderful Ken. We wish Doug and Nancy all the best as they begin their married lives together.
Graham Schmidt’s Boy Scout troop, Troop 228, assisted the Watchung Hills Elks Lodge with their Flag Day ceremonies this past June. A special thank you goes to Graham and his fellow scouts for all they do for the town of Warren and for our country.
As our Boards begin to meet after the long summer we have many plans we are developing for the fall. One very interesting project will be led by our own Ed Han. He will be using Fellowship Hall on a monthly basis to hold support meetings and offer career counseling for individuals who are currently unemployed and looking for a new or different job.
This is such a wonderful idea and we can’t thank Ed enough for envisioning it in the first place and for choosing Pilgrim Church for this incredible community outreach.
Change to the start of worship: For some time now church members have been commenting that it is hard to collect their thoughts or pray while the prelude before church is being played because of all the talking that is going on in the narthex. It is good to be a friendly welcoming church, but many people come to church with worries and concerns upon their hearts and appreciate a time of quiet before worship begins.
To address this concern and to be sensitive to the needs of our members, your Diaconate has unanimously voted to begin worship in a different manner. Starting Sunday, September 18th, at 10:30 AM one of our ministers will enter the pulpit and call everyone to their seats in the sanctuary by offering a prayer of preparation for worship. The prelude will then be played in quiet, followed by the choir introit and the opening hymn. The Diaconate hopes this time of quiet to start worship will enable our service to be as meaning as possible for all those in attendance. We thank you ahead of time for your cooperation and understanding.
When you come to church on Sunday take a moment to notice all the work that was done on our property this summer: new handicap walkway installed in front of the church, power washing of the fence and memorial garden and trimming of all the bushes and scrubs around the church and the parsonage. We never looked so good! Thank you again for your support of our Capital Campaign which provided the funds for the new handicap walkway. We couldn’t do it without you!
A Moment With Our Hymns: Several times this summer Reverend Scott took a few moments on Sunday morning to explain the background of some of the hymns we sing on Sunday morning, and it was well received. There are so many inspirational stories behind our hymns, and once we know those stories those hymns become more meaningful when we sing them. (It is also a way to learn some hymns with which we might not be all that familiar.) Our organist, Nicholas Tino, is also good enough to share his expertise with us as he illuminates a hymn for us as well.
We hope to do this occasionally throughout the year. You never know what kind of a sermon lies behind the words we sing on Sunday morning.
Our school back pack program for the Somerset County Food Bank was a huge success this past spring. Kathy Petricone, our Diaconate co-chair, has been in touch with the Food Bank and has learned that the need is greatest in January and February. So we will plan on collecting food items in early 2017 that hungry children in our area can have on the weekends when school is not in session. Thank you so much for your support of this very worthwhile project.
Rummage Sale Update: Usually we hold an all church Rummage Sale in November. But last year we noticed something. Many, many of the items we spent hours categorizing and pricing were not purchased only to be hauled away by the junk man. So this year we will try something different.
Next spring we will hold a scaled down sale, only selling the items that have helped us raise the most money in the past including women’s, children’s and men’s clothing, boutique items, etc. When plans and dates have been finalized, we will update you in a future newsletter.
Are you ready for a busy fall? I certainly hope so. It is always my wish that we use the summer of recreation to inspire us for a new church year of incredible re-creation. Can’t wait to see you all in worship on Sunday, September 11th at 10:30 AM. Reverend Virginia Scott