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Welcome back to the E-News for September
So much has happened, indeed so much has changed since our last Pilgrim E-News – way back in April. Who could have possibly anticipated the adaptations we have all needed to make since then? We’re please to report that the Pilgrim community has been creative in responding to the challenges of life during COVID-19, and that we have learned much that will hold us in good stead in coming years. The congregation is in good heart, and has a renewed sense of commitment to being an open and accepting expression of the love of God.
And this is precisely the focus of September's E-News. How do we support each other and the communities in which we live by being good neighbours in this time of social upheaval? The goal posts have shifted, and isolation has brought people to realise more and more the importance and preciousness of relationships and community.
Read on to learn more about Pilgrim’s Mission program headed up by Rev Sandy Boyce and Mission Development Committee Chairperson, Dr Marelle Harisun. Discover something about the ‘Love your Neighbourhood Project ‘ being led by Rev Dr Dean Eland. Find out how to link into the YouTube-based ‘Pilgrim World Service’, an initiative of Pilgrim’s Chaplain at Large, Geoff Boyce.
We hope you enjoy learning more about what’s happening at Pilgrim during this season of exceptional challenges and opportunities.
Grace and peace,
Greg Elsdon [Rev Dr]
Live Streaming of Services at Pilgrim Arrangements for the three Sunday morning services 8am service via Zoom. Please contact one of the Ministers if you need the link (same link each week).
9.30am and 11am services are uploaded each week to the Pilgrim Uniting Church Adelaide Youtube channel, with a link from the homepage of the Pilgrim website, www.pilgrim.org.au
Pilgrim World Service
Geoff Boyce, Pilgrim Chaplain at Large
Geoff Boyce is well into his program of the Pilgrim world Service now notching up #10 in the series. His collection of songs, stories and videos titled Pilgrim World Service have proven to be a wonderful go to resource of inspiration, encouragement and hope over these past six months. And he doesn't intend to quit whilst ahead!
Episodes are posted here on the Pilgrim Uniting Church Adelaide YouTube channel.
We’d love to hear more from you…We encourage your comments and reviews on our Pilgrim Facebook page. Please click "Like" on our facebook page as seen below. We can see that you are with us in spirit and you can also receive notifications. Facebook is one of our windows to the community in these times.
Instagram account Pilgrim has a new instagram account @pilgrimucas You will find the link at the top of the website home page or simply type in the name on Instagram.
About our Archivists
Chris Ward, Margaret Boyce, Christine Boyce
There is a wealth of historical material from the early days of the two churches, Stow Congregatonal and Pirie St Methodist, that came into union to form Piglrim Church.
Pilgrim archivists Margaret Boyce, Chris Ward and Christine Boyce have spent the last twelve years ensuring the rich history is well preserved and accessible.
The staunch friends have been guided in their work by a 2008 manual provided by a consultant professional archivist and collectivist manager. Margaret says, “She did a manual of what we need to do, all the steps and how to catalogue, collate and store the items properly.”
Margaret had worked with the heritage committee at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for 15 years and she realised that work needed to be done at Pilgrim.
Chris Ward was interested in joining Margaret after giving up committee meetings and Church Council but still wanted to do something for Pilgrim. She was also very interested in the history of the church because of its association with the history of SA. “My family came to SA in the 1840’s so I have a personal interest in the formation of the colony”.
Christine came on board with a long interest in history.
Chris says, “The three of us work together well and we have slightly different skills but the coordination is wonderful and we have two other helpers who come in on an ad hoc basis”.
They aim to document what is available but as Margaret says, “We keep getting little parcels from people, like this morning, when a mail parcel of CD's and photos arrived. We have to go through them, identify the ones that pertain to the four churches and those that are repeats of the ones we already have. When Pirie St joined with Stow Memorial much was lost or went to Mortlake Library. They are gaps in the information."
I asked them what keeps them going with the mountain of information to sort, then resort, then catalogue.
They can’t see an end in sight but they get excited about the very old documents going back as far as 1837. “Sometimes our focus shifts a bit,” says Chris, “when we find interesting material. For instance, we found Rev Thomas Quinton Stow’s original pulpit Bible in a bad state on the floor of the safe gathering dust. We received a small grant from the church to restore it.”
So much of their work is really connected with the history of SA as well as the church. They come across names that are very familiar historically in SA e.g. Charles Todd.
The group have received two grants from the Uniting Church South Australia Historical Society which helped to buy archival boxes. The Historical Society of Adelaide is very supportive. Two members of the Society attend Pilgrim Church. They have also helped host a national conference for UCA historical societies.
Margaret has scanned nearly all of the photos, has put them into proper archival order and onto computer for people to access. The computer and printer were donated by two anonymous members of the church. “Without the support of those two people we probably wouldn’t be where we are now. It is essential equipment to do this work," says Chris.
Some of the reference books they have at their disposal are the Minutes of the Deacons Meetings from August 1850 to 1890 from the Congregational Church which moved from North Terrace to Freeman St before it came to Stow Memorial Church. Freeman St is now Gawler Place.
Currently, they are working on finding information about the reconditioned portrait of rRev Thomas Quinton Stow including the name of the artist.
Rev Quinton Stow died in 1862.
They are sourcing this through the register of The Formation and Transitions of the Congregational or Independent Church, Adelaide, first meeting held 19 December 1837.
They meet on the first and third Monday of the month.
New Life to Pilgrim's Mission
Dr Marelle Harisun
Pilgrim's Mission Development Commitee under the Chair of Dr Marelle Harisun has taken a leap towards developing a refreshing new plan and priorities for their work. They have also decided to work in small groups on each of the major directions.
The statement on the page says it all...'Pilgrim's mission activities seek to grow our commitment to being a place of welcome and hospitality in the City of Adelaide. Our overriding purpose is to bear witness to the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. Social Justice is at the heart of all that we do.'
The committee has updated the Mission page on thewebsite. Dr Marelle Harisun, says," We are enthusiastic about these new ways of working and also about having these new guidelines to explain who we are and what is our focus on. We encourage all Pilgrims to read the page, click on the links and be informed about the work of this Committee of Church Council! "
Each of the six key priority tabs on the webpage as seen below, will soon provide links to some of the regular programs and annual 'one-off' events that Pilgrim runs or hosts during the year.
The Love your Neighbourhood Project - Growing the Church from Below
Rev Dr Dean Eland Master of Social work students
Rev Dr Dean Eland has been working for 6o years in grass roots community work across Australia and is just as committed as ever to researching the changing landscape of what churches can do to bring communities closer together in these times.
Post-war churches were the centre of the community. Churches had youth groups, tennis clubs, dance nights, church picnics and progressive dinners! Many attended church not because of religious reasons, but because of the social connection and that was ok. Generational change happened and people left the church because there were other places where they could meet and socialise. Social change meant people were getting married outside of churches by civil celebrants and having funerals elsewhere. There were changes in attitudes and loyalties.
Today we are faced with bringing communities back together and the key question is, how do we go about ministering now when the old patterns of ministry are not working?
Rev Dr Dean Eland has set up The Love your Neighbourhood Project, its challenge being to address this question. He is looking at some 250 congregations in SA, to research how churches can again make a significant contribution to the life of the community. He is gathering stories to get first hand experience from the list of local Government places and churches in Adelaide and surrounding areas and taking into account what difference the context makes. Dean states, “The point of writing the narrative story is to discover what these congregations are doing not so much on Sunday morning, but what happens during the week.”
Dean is working with three Masters of Social Work students and they are visiting these centres together.
There are often more questions than answers in the early stages. Dean and the students aim to do a comparative study of what issues people are facing when trying to build communities. Sometimes it’s through an agency, a voluntary group a church or local government.
There are services that need to be maintained and some groups have similar interests and challenges so there are some key meeting points about community building.
"What follows," says Dean, “Is the study of how do we reach out to the community. How do people see their church's relationship with the agency, community centre and the neighbourhood? Do people serve their community because they see them as needy or do they help build their own strengths so as not to create dependency? How you manage that kind of engagement is a big part of our study”.
Dean goes on to say, “We are not aiming to convert people or to win more people for Sunday morning. We want a church that is not looking inward, but one that is looking outward in a new way to connect with our neighbours and one that wants to join with others to strengthen the life of the community during the week.” Today’s Landscape
These days we are talking about neighbourhood coming back. There’s a lot of centralisation happening in services for example. You could argue that people are talking about neighbourhood differently now, than what they did 12 months ago.
People are looking for neighbourhood support. And there's a renewal in the numbers of people wanting to walk to a place rather than drive .So if you have a church hall for instance you would see that as a positive rather than a negative.
Assets based community development uses resources in the neighbourhood where people can meet. This could be a church hall for instance. And people contribute to building stronger community. It's less about saying we know best and we'll tell you what to do.
There is a common mind that some things are working better than others such as community gardens, community art murals, music events, community choirs. Op Shops were originally set up to raise money to keep the buildings going or to pay for the Minister. Now they are more of a social opportunity for people to mix and to help the needy.
One of the assumptions is that churches learn best by talking and exchanging information. It’s not something imposed from above as churches explore issues, share struggles and seek ways forward in common.
Dean finishes by saying, “We are trying to paint a picture of the actual ways in which there is a new relationship between the church and the community.”
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The next E-news will be on Friday 22 October 2020
"Pilgrim in the heart of the city."
"We are called by God to be a Prophetic Witness in the City of Adelaide so that new Life and vitality will be generated in our city and in its people. We celebrate our unity and diversity, our shared beliefs and past experiences, and value worship, teaching, creativity and justice".
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Edited by Patricia Rademaker:
Publicity and Promotions Coordinator Pilgrim Uniting Church
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