Sunday, October, 22, 2017-Bible 101-“Jesus Walks on Water” at 11:30 a.m.
Pilgrim Congregational Church
15 Common St, Southborough, MA 01772

Exploring Heaven on Earth

Jesus’s Radical Inclusivity

On the third Sunday of each month, I will be a hosting an hour-long conversation about Values at Pilgrim Church shortly after the regular service (i.e., from 11:30am–12:30pm). This past week, we had our first such conversation: an in-depth look at John 4:1–30. The following post is a recap of that conversation. I suggest you take a minute or two to read…

Consoling, Understanding, Loving

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at the Prayer of St. Francis and thinking about it not only as good fodder for passage meditation, but also as a way to orient our hearts and minds for the day ahead. We started by looking at instruments of peace, then we saw Francis’s prayerful definition of the Kingdom of Heaven. Today, we…

The Bold New Vision

Last week, we began looking at the Prayer of St. Francis by thinking about what it means to be “an instrument of [God’s] peace.” Today, we look at the next section of the prayer where St. Francis lays out a bold new vision for Heaven on Earth and for the pilgrim’s place in that new vision. Where there is hatred, let me…

Instruments of Peace

Passage meditation will require you to choose a text that you can dig into for 20–30 minutes at a time, but it also must be memorable. As I mentioned, I chose the Prayer of St. Francis because it is poetic and easy-to-memorize while also supplying me with plenty to reflect on. As I go throughout my week, I often find words and phrases…

Spiritual Practice: Passage Meditation

In last week’s post I urged you to sit still and just be aware of what’s going on around you for 10–15 minutes. This sort of awareness will continue to be the bedrock of the sorts of practices that we’ll be exploring each week. Today, however, I’m going to ask you to bring your attention to something quite specific: a meaningful spiritual text.…

We Do Not Practice Alone

In my previous post, I mentioned that Religion is a “practice.” This runs counter in many ways to what Protestant Christianity often considers to be the heart of Christianity: belief. After all, we are told that humans are saved by faith alone (sola fide) and that if I simply believe then I will be justified. Make no mistake, however, faith requires practice. Faith…

These Things Take Practice

Sometimes we get lured into believing that our commitment to the faith should be a one time thing. I’ve professed my faith, perhaps I’ve been baptized, perhaps I’ve said some particular prayer or set of prayers or been through some other initiation ritual like Confirmation: why then do I still struggle with this whole God-thing? These things take practice. I remember in…

A New Era of Learning

In the old days, to learn at church you came to worship or Bible study. You attended Sunday School or Confirmation class. This fall, learning at Pilgrim enters the next phase of church life. Institutions of all forms and sizes have been doing virtual learning for years. If you want to train on how to work kids, the Scouts of America have…

DC 2017 Day Five – The Finish Line

Are you generous? Our scripture yesterday was the parable of the mustard seed. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,” Jesus says. It is the tiniest of seeds until it grows. It grows into a tree big enough for birds. When I was 15 years old I went on my first mission trip to Conway, SC cleaning up after hurricane…

DC 2017 Day Four – The Final Countdown

Day #4: The Final Countdown In what way are you poor? We often think about the poor as those who have less. It’s the wrong frame. Poverty isn’t just a lack of financial resources; poverty is emptiness, ill health, and lonliness. I keep walking around the city seeing the men sleeping on benches. As we drive to our church site, there is…