A. This one is easy. ALL are welcome at Pilgrim. As our Mission Statement and Open and Affirming Statements proclaim, all are welcome at Pilgrim regardless of age, gender orientation, culture, class creed, socioeconomic status, etc….and we walk the walk!
A. Our core belief is the love of God as taught by Jesus. We affirm the Trinity – Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit – as three expressions of God’s goodness. We gratefully receive God’s gift of grace, and take seriously Jesus’ calling to forgive each other. We encourage doctrinal freedom, and often raise more rhetorical questions than dogmatic answers. We hold the Bible to be an important source of moral authority, though often interpret scriptures metaphorically (for contemporary truth) rather than literally (for historical facts). While we believe in salvation in the afterlife, our tradition tends to be more concerned about fostering equality, peace and compassion here on earth.
Pilgrim’s denomination is called The United Church of Christ. The UCC is a forward thinking church with a deep commitment to equality and a broad appreciation for the ways all of God’s people discover the sacred. Our local church is autonomous and makes all decisions through its ownleadership body.
In our worship experience we typically follow the common lectionary and observe the liturgical seasons throughout the year. We celebrate the sacraments of communion and baptism, as well as the rites of confirmation, marriage, ordination and funeral/memorial.
A. This does not mean that we aim to “Christianize” the world! Instead, it means we take to heart Jesus’ invitation to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, shelter the homeless and comfort the hurting. Our mission spans from local to international efforts, from monetary support to tangible goods.
A. Being and Accessible to All (A2A) Congregation means that we have assembled an Inclusion Team and we make every effort to make all feel included. We try to pay special attention to those with disabilities and differing abilities.
A. We have a newcomer orientation that lasts about 1-2 hours. We spend most of the time getting to know you and sharing information about Pilgrim UCC. Soon after that gathering we introduce new members in worship and present them with a certificate and a nifty nametag so that you can get to know your Pilgrim Church family.
A. We observe an “open communion.” Anyone desiring to share in the love and grace of Jesus is invited to partake. Parents can guide children accordingly, but most children at Pilgrim begin taking communion in the 3rd grade after completing a communion workshop. We share in communion the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. We rotate between serving communion in the center aisle (coming to the elements) and in the pews (the elements coming to you).
A. Baptism is a ritual of welcome into the family of faith. We baptize not narrowly into Pilgrim UCC, but universally into the body of Christ. Therefore, this is a sign and seal that God’s grace is our spiritual companion throughout our live! We view baptism less as a “washing away” of sin and more as a “birthing into” the Spirit. Baptism is a commitment to grow in Christian discipleship. You will be connected with the Pastor.
A. We have 683 members, 170 friends and 150 children. We are a vibrant and growing congregation, yet our atmosphere tends to still feel warm, friendly and personal.
A. Pilgrim was founded in 1959. Our church was built in 1963 and expanded in 1992 (South wing) and then again in 2003 (new sanctuary, classrooms and restrooms).
A. Pilgrim conducts its annual stewardship campaign in the fall. Our church is completely funded by donations from members (no national funding). A copy of the budget is always available in the office. The funds keep our church operational. Additionally, we offer many mission opportunities. Of course, we know people can’t give to everything so we encourage you to give to missions that speak to you when it is possible.
Pilgrim welcomes families with small children to all of our worship services. We are all part of the church family, and we ask that everyone be patient and understanding of one another. We realize that children will occasionally get restless or fussy during the worship service and that parents will want to avoid disruptions to the worship experience for others. Should a parent decide to step out into the gathering area during service, the sound system can be heard and there are comfortable chairs and sofas for your convenience. On Sunday mornings we also offer supervised childcare in our nursery at the bottom of the front stairway for infants through children age 5. An attendant is scheduled from 7:45 – 11:45 each Sunday and all visitors and members are welcome to take advantage of this option.
A. A variety of adult gatherings are offered. From September through May, a Sunday morning Bible class meets at 9:15 am in the Conference Room on the lower level. Bible Study is also offered during the week on Wednesdays at 6:30pm. In addition, a variety of book studies, video discussions, and enrichment events are planned throughout the year.
A. We have Little ROCK for 2 year olds through Kindergarten that takes place during the 10:30 service (right after “Children’s Time”), ROCK Hour for 1st – 6th graders Sundays at 9:00 a.m.; Synago, our 9-12th grade program that meets from 10-11:30am on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month; Connections, 7th & 8th grade that meets for Connect & Commune from 10-11:30 on the first Sunday of the month in addition to Confirmation Classes for 7th & 8th Graders that are held on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm. ROCK Hour brings the Bible to life through hands-on activities, drama, rock music and experiential methods while emphasizing diversity.
A. All kids are welcome – at any time – on any Sunday. Just come on down and we’ll help you get acquainted.
A. There are too many to name. Check out the most recent Pilgrim’s Progress newsletter or main bulletin board to see what’s going on. If you aren’t getting the newsletter, be sure to sign the Welcome Center guest book and ask to be placed on our mailing list.
A. The best way to become involved is to ask a staff member or other leader to connect you with the appropriate person. We’ll find a way to match your gifts and interests with a Pilgrim group or activity. You can jump into most things anytime.
A. Yes. There are spots in the north parking lot with lower level access. From there, a lift will bring you to the sanctuary level of the church. There is also one spot in the south parking lot and a covered carport for drop offs. There is lift access at this level as well.
A. Feel free to contact the church office, or any staff member and we’ll do our best to answer them for you. Our minister is also available for questions or appointments. Visit our website at www.pilgrimuccgrafton.org.