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Saving the Soul…of America

By |02/11/2017|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley February 5, 2017

February is the beginning of Black History Month. Over the course of this month, we will explore the contributions of Blacks to our religious life. These contributions take many forms; breaching, biblical scholarship, liturgy, music, and social and spiritual transformation (now known as social justice). Frederick Douglass has

Upside-Down Congratulations and Other Disorienting Sayings of Jesus

By |02/06/2017|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley January 29, 2017

Our reading today is typically known as “The Sermon on the Mount” or the “Beatitudes.” Scholars of the Jesus Seminar believe the true translation equivalent is not “blessed are…” but “congratulations.” These are strange congratulations though. Hallmark does not make a card with these sayings. These “Jesus cards”

Sami Emmons

By |01/26/2017|

Given By Sami Emmons January 22, 2017

On this Welcoming Sunday, one of our fellow Pilgrims shares her story. She has been coming to this church for the last three years. This is why she feels a welcoming church is so important. Growing up, she went to a Christian Science church with her grandparents and became

It’s Time to Get Evangelical

By |01/26/2017|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley January 22, 2017

After an eventful week, Rev. Shockley was inspired to speak on the subject of being evangelical. The word, evangelical, has received a bad reputation in today’s society. Let us not consider the word as it has come to be understood but as the dynamic and progressive presentation of

What Would MLK Say On This Inauguration Day?

By |01/24/2017|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley January 15, 2017

On the eve of our presidential inauguration, we consider the question of what would Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. say to the nation. Rev. Shockley uses King’s own words from his 1968 sermon titled The Drum Major Incident. King used passages from Mark in his sermon. We can

Christmas Eve Meditation

By |01/20/2017|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley December 24, 2016

The theme of tonight’s meditation is “How can this be?” There are only two gospels that have a birth narrative, Matthew and Luke. They approach this story from two distinct perspectives. Matthew recounts the story from what was revealed to Joseph, the man’s perspective. Luke recounts the story

Jesse, the Little Shepherd

By |01/20/2017|

Presented by the Children of Pilgrim Church on December 24, 2016

A young shepherd boy names Jesse was left behind to tend the sheep while his father and brothers went to see the baby Jesus. The angels around Bethlehem noticed him as he played his flute. They encouraged him to take his sheep with him to

The Gospel in a Post-Truth World

By |01/07/2017|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley January 1, 2017

According to the Oxford dictionary, the word of the year for 2016 is post-truth. We are in a world where the truth no longer matters. The concept was introduced in 2005 by the comedian, Stephen Colbert. He called it, truthiness. He explains it as the belief in what

I must Be Dreaming

By |01/03/2017|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley December 25, 2016

Jesus’ birth is told from two different perspectives. The Gospel of Luke is told from the perspective of Mary while Matthew speaks from the perspective of Joseph. Today, we are looking at Matthew’s version. It begins with Joseph receiving some bad news, Mary is pregnant. Since they were

All I Want for Christmas Is Justice

By |12/31/2016|

Given By Rev. Madison Shockley December 18, 2016

After his trip to Palestine and the West Bank, Rev. Shockley offers some reflections. The sermon title comes from a theme of a cultural center in Bethlehem. This trip is his third. The first trip was back in 1996 and sponsored by the American Jewish Committee. This most