Mark your calendars for 6 pm as we enter the season of Lent with a Glitter + Ashes Liturgy.
What is Glitter+Ash Wednesday?
Glitter is like love. It is irresistible and irrepressible. Ashes are a statement that death and suffering are real. Glitter is a sign of hope amidst. Hope that does not despair. Glitter signals our promise to repent, to show up, to witness, to work. Glitter never gives up–and neither should we.
Ash Wednesday we receive the mark of the cross on our foreheads to begin the 40 days of reflection and repentance in preparation for Easter. Glitter ashes let the world know that Pilgrim UCC is an inclusive, LGBTQ+ positive community of Christians.
Why Are We Doing This?
So many reasons frame this year’s Lenten journey beginning with Glitter+Ahs. From Matt’s unfolding journey with us, to the painful decision our Methodist colleagues made this week, to who we already are as beloved community, we must continue to always bear witness against a public face of intolerance that is often associated with Christianity–especially toward our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We proclaim that Jesus commands us to love, not hate. Glitter ashes are a witness to this inclusive Christian message. By becoming visible, we show our faith in God who empowers us and wants us to repent of hurting each other. We also want people to see how important our faith is to us.
Glitter is an inextricable element of queer history. It is how this beloved community has displayed its gritty, scandalous hope. Glitter+Ash is an inherently inclusive, queer sign of Christian believe, blending symbols of mortality and hope, of penance and celebration.
During Lent, the Christian community looks inward to take account in order to move forward with greater health. At this moment, glitter ashes will be a powerful reminder of St. Augustine’s teaching that we cannot despair, because despair paralyzes, thwarting repentance and impeding the change that we are called to make.
Glitter+Ash captures the relationship between death and new life. We do not live in fear of ash-of death-we place it on our foreheads for the world to see. We know that fear will rise, cramping our hearts. We also know that God calls us not to project that fear onto the Other, the alien, the stranger in our midst. THIS IS OUR LENTEN CALL. God insists that we look for the spark of life, of hope, in ourselves, and one another.
This Ash Wednesday, we will make that spark easier to see. We will stand witness to the gritty, glittery, scandalous hope that exists in the very marrow of our faith and tradition.
On February 24 we welcomed Pilgrim’s newest members.
Update Feb 28: Members and friends of Pilgrim express our welcome and affirm our mutual ministry in Christ, and our wish to continue to grow together in God’s hope and love.
The Church Auxiliary will be meeting Monday, Feb 4 at 10:30 am. The speaker will be Camryn Smith from Real Durham. This month is a potluck, so be thinking about a dish you would like to bring to share with the group. All are welcome.
We will be collecting new and gently used household goods for Housing for New Hope. This is our annual spring drive, expanded a little from solely cleaning supplies to include any household goods— from sheets and towels to mops and brooms. If you think about the dozens of items you needed to set up your own home, there you go! We can collect throughout March, but Monday, March 4th is our big day. There is a labeled bucket in the foyer, but we can take plastic bags or any container that can fit into a trunk.
Pilgrims, thank you for all you do.
Material Aids Committee, Mary Lutz, Joyce Brewer and Maggie Dolbow.
Who is imagining all these characters for the tree in Pilgrim’s front yard? It’s a mystery — maybe involving people whose names start with B or L? The rest of us are grateful to be welcomed with a laugh!
Remember to pack your pennies (and nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars) for Sunday is, of course, Penny Sunday. Be ready to jangle those coins.
Everything our children collect will be used to purchase food for serving at Urban Ministries when it’s our turn to serve dinner.
…. or work toward a more just world with other Pilgrim leaders on Feb 23.
Calling all Pilgrim Board, Ambassadors, and Auxiliary members. Do you have our Lay Leadership retreat on your schedule for February 23, 8:30-12:30? If not, please set aside that Saturday for us to come together to talk about and coordinate Pilgrim’s plans for the Spring and Summer.
Mark your calendars, Congregational Meeting—February 10. To give you time to read, pray, study the decisions before the congregation, you can pick up your copy of the church’s annual reports and proposed 2019 budget for 2019 today from Marty’s desk.
Pilgrim will have a special worship service on February 3 to kick off Black History Month. Our preacher will be Rev. Gloria Winston-Harris, Director of the Office of Spiritual Development and Dialogue for NCCU. She is also Executive Director of Wesley Campus Ministry at North Carolina Central University. This is a new ministry on the NCCU campus and Pilgrim is partnering with it in many ways, including our Christmas Eve offering and an offering from Auxiliary. Rev. Winston-Harris will be bringing some of her students with her. Some of them will be singing with our choir and others will be offering liturgical dance as a part of our worship. In addition, the director of the LBGTQ ministry at Central will be here to participate in worship. The vision of the campus ministry is as follows: “Our vision is to become a people that pursue God’s love in the world, nurture the entire NCCU family, and tear down the walls that divide us.” Come and join us on Feb. 3rd as we help the campus ministry at NCCU live out their vision and that they help us live into that kind of vision for ourselves as the people of Pilgrim.
After worship, let us join together for table fellowship and a meal to get to know one another better.