A message to the Celtic and Nordic evening worship community

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Dear friends,

Summer blessings to you all!

As September peeks its head into our calendars, so does the resumption of Celtic and Nordic evening contemplative worship at Pilgrim Lutheran Church.  On Sunday, September 11 at 6:51 pm, the Celtic service will have as its theme “Mine is the Morning: Tragedy and Beyond,” as we reflect together on 9/11 and much more.  On Sunday, September 25 at 6:51 pm, the Nordic service will have as its theme “Pausing at the Threshold,” we will welcome back as a musical guest Rocky Mjos on guitar and lute, and the service will also feature the beautiful melody of “Til Ungdommen” that was a heart song for the Norwegian people in so many of their memorial services this summer, following the shooting tragedy.  Our theme for the evening services this year is “Roads Everywhere and Signs in Our Hearts,” which is a quote from the poem Guds hjerte (“God’s Heart”) by beloved Norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen.  You can hear the pilgrim echoes in this theme, as we seek the Spirit’s guidance in the journey of life.

If you would like to help with these evening contemplative services, please contact the Pilgrim office (651-699-6886, or pilgrim@pilgrimstpaul.org).  We welcome your participation as coffee hosts, ushers, readers, and helping with setting up the worship space before the service.  And, we also invite you to help spread the word of welcome to these services.  We have fliers for bulletin boards and small cards as well, that you are welcome to pick up and take around town with you.  Just stop by the office and pick up a handful, and help us be the hands and feet of welcome.

Looking ahead, here are some Sunday night/afternoon gatherings to consider:

On Sunday night, Oct. 9, at 5 pm, preceding the evening Celtic service, you are invited to a time of sharing about Iona and pilgrimage, led by those who were a part of the Pilgrim pilgrimage to Iona this past June.  Photos and video will be shared; it will be a great chance to get a taste of this holy place.

Two Sunday concerts upcoming at Pilgrim:  Some of you may recall Saana Ensemble, who were guest musicians at one of the Nordic evening services last year.  They are a Finnish vocal ensemble, and they are offering a free CD release concert at Pilgrim on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 3 pm.

And then on Sunday night, Sept. 18, at 6:51 pm, Pilgrim is hosting our “Fall Collage Concert: Rose Ensemble and friends,” which will showcase some of the musicians that regularly rehearse at Pilgrim: The Rose Ensemble, Cantara Women’s Choir, and Peggy Larson, artist-in-residence and Rocky Mjos, lute and voice.  Woven around each resident ensemble will be performances by local favorites Seven Suns Ensemble, a wonderful mix of traditional Indian and western instruments.  No tickets; it’s a free-will offering.

In this year ahead, we will be marking ten years of the Celtic contemplative service (in March, 2012), as well as Pilgrim’s 90th anniversary.  Pilgrim anniversary season festivities include:  welcoming this year’s Pilgrim theologian in residence on Sunday morning, Sept. 11, The Rev. Dr. David Anderson, a nationally recognized leader in children’s and youth ministries, who will be preaching that day on the theme of “A Christian Adult Is a Christian Parent”; dedication of Pilgrim’s new “green” metal sanctuary roof (Sunday morning, Sept. 18); a three-week series of Sunday morning forums on Lutheranism by Dr. Mary Lowe of Augsburg College (beginning Sunday morning, Sept. 25); an eleven-week Bible study survey course on Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 28, led by Pastor Harry Mueller; welcoming the delivery of the new Pilgrim organ pipes (Sunday morning, Oct. 2); Anniversary Sunday with distinguished guest preacher Pastor Ann Svennungsen (Sunday morning, Oct. 9); Reformation Sunday guest preacher Brother Mickey O’Neill McGrath, OSFS, who will also offer a forum on “Saved by Beauty,” (Sunday morning, Oct. 30); beginning to play the new Pilgrim organ (end of November); and our annual Celtic Christmas Eve service at 6:51 pm on Dec. 24.   This fall, we will also be making plans for a summer, 2012 pilgrimage to Holden Village in Washington state, as they celebrate their 50th anniversary.  This is the last summer for a few years that they are accepting guests, as they move into “work camp” mode for the next two summers, during their mine remediation work.   And this fall, you are invited to join a six-month “Circle of Trust,” (sign up by Sept. 20; info in the September Pilgrim newsletter, which you can find on-line) led by Pastor Diane Hooge, one of Pilgrim’s Renewers-in-Residence during my sabbatical.

Speaking of my sabbatical, it’s good to be back.  I look forward to telling you about it, on Sunday morning, Sept. 18, at 9:45 am, when I present “Reflections of a Grateful Pilgrim: Sabbatical Images and Tales.”

We are blessed by the Spirit among us.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Pastor Carol Tomer

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