Welcome to Pilgrim Church of Duxbury
An Open & Affirming Congregation
Good morning.
As we pause for a day of Thanksgiving, I suggest it is important to understand the meaning of such “giving”.

People across the world have been celebrating and giving thanks for thousands of years. In this country, long before English colonists arrived, Native people celebrated many different days of thanksgiving, including, for example, a “Strawberry Thanksgiving” and a “Green Corn Thanksgiving.”

The English also had a long tradition of thanksgiving. They declared days of prayer to thank God when something good happened. For example, the English declared a day of thanksgiving in the summer of 1623 when a gentle rain ended a long drought.

Likewise, in the fall of 1621, when their labors were rewarded with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Separatist “Pilgrims” gave thanks to God. They were joined by 90 members of the Wampanoag People after the firing of the Separatists muskets raised alarms that they were being attacked and the Native People responded to help. Turns out, the Separatists were target shooting and a feast evolved.

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
George Washington was the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, issuing his request on October 3, 1789, exactly 74 years before President Lincoln's. Washington designated Thursday, November 26 as a National Day of Thanks. In his proclamation, Washington declared that the necessity for such a day sprung from the Almighty’s care of Americans prior to the Revolution, assistance to them in achieving independence, and help in establishing the constitutional government.

President Abraham Lincoln set the precedent for America's National Day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders regarding a “Thanksgiving”. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She explained, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale's request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. Lincoln set apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise."  
Our Faith
Our faith tells us of the importance of Thanksgiving in Scripture, being mentioned 38-42 times in our Bible (depending upon which version you use).
Thanksgiving in the Bible means to “respond to God's goodness and grace with gratitude.” The word for giving thanks in the Old Testament means to “raise hands to God in gratitude.”

We raise our hands this Thanksgiving with the words from Psalm 100:4–5 — “Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and God’s courts with praise! Give thanks to God; bless God’s name! For the Lord is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever, and God’s faithfulness to all generations.”

Happy Thanksgiving!
Rev Bill
There is no prescription for finding moments of gratitude in every day; there is simply the choice. Gillian Deacon

Sometimes words and messages like this one can stop us short for a bit of reflection. Yes, we’re the ones who choose the direction of our spirit, joy, and energy.

One of the most valuable elements of our personal being is our choice to embrace gratitude. Maybe it’s the sunshine, or the peace of being out for a walk.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, may we be able to embrace the gratitude within us, and share it with those around us.

We are blessed in many ways. We can be grateful with a simple choice. I hope we can share this gift of gratitude with ourselves and others, one day at a time.

Blessings to you all. Happy Thanksgiving.
Rev. John

We are sad to announce that Dan Hall, a longtime, and beloved member of Pilgrim Church passed away on Monday night. His service will be at Pilgrim Church on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 11:00am. Please keep Lorrie and their family in your prayers.
We enter the season of Advent this Sunday! We thank Lindy Keay and Lucy Shepherd, Fred & Lois Boericke and our Confirmation class for their hard work in getting the decorations up, preparing us for the season!

We also thank our Diaconate for working to get so many members to assist in our Advent readings this year.

Join us as we walk through Advent with anticipation and Joy!
Join the Fun ~
Sponsor a Tree or Volunteer to Help
2nd Annual Pilgrim Church Duxbury Festival of Trees 2021
December 18 – 25, 2021
Help us light up the lawn! Join us in creating a unique and joyous holiday experience for the community this Christmas season! The Pilgrim Church Festival of Trees is an opportunity for families, community businesses and organizations to make the season a little brighter for all.

Each evening between 5:30 and 7:00 PM the trees will be lit up for the public to enjoy along with, warm drinks, cookies and Christmas music to add enchantment to the overall experience. Musical entertainment will be offered on opening night Saturday December 18th and Wednesday December 22nd, with maybe a special visitor joining the fun.  We will be accepting monetary and non-perishable food item donations from visitors throughout the week to support Interfaith Social Services

We welcome all who are interested to consider sponsoring a tree for the festival. There is no fee associated with participation, you just provide the decorated tree.  The application to reserve your spot can be downloaded here. Consider sharing the link with friends, neighbors or local business, this is a wonderful community event.  If you have any questions and/or concerns feel free to contact Maureen at mferguson02332@gmail.com  

Opportunity Knocks - You know you love to bake! Here's your chance to share the bounty. This year we will be offering refreshments to our visitor sat the Festival of Trees. It is an opportunity for Pilgrim Church to show our appreciation for the community support we received at last year's festival. If you can bake 1-2 dozen cookies and deliver them to church in the narthex Sunday, Dec. 11th through Wednesday, Dec. 14th, they will be shared with our attendees. If you don't love to bake, consider dropping off a box of individual cocoa on the same dates. It's going to be a very special event. 
Angel Tree Gift Donations
Help us brighten a child’s holiday by donating gifts this Christmas season. Pilgrim Church is working with Interfaith Social Services of the South Shore, the Duxbury Interfaith Council, and Head Start to provide a little Christmas joy to children in need. If you would like to contribute, use the link below. Donations should be dropped off at church by December 5th. A donation box will be inside the side entrance of the church.

Instructions and details on each child are included in the sign up.
If you have any questions, please contact Joanne Cushing (jacushing56@gmail.com) from the Outreach Committee.
News from our
Christian Education Director
Children will be making Advent Wreaths in Sunday School on November 28, the first Sunday in Advent! If families could provide some fresh-cut greens (pine or holly branches, etc) to make the wreaths, it would be greatly appreciated.
Genesis and Middle School Youth Groups will be after church on Sunday, November 28 until noon– we’ll be making Christmas cards for our Pilgrim Church college students!

Pilgrim Church will be one of the fun stops for Holly Days on Sunday, December 5 from noon – 5. We’ll provide a simple craft for kids to do and hot chocolate to warm spirits and souls.
Sign up here to help, or email Angelique at youthdir@uccduxbury.org to show radical hospitality to our community!

The Christmas Pageant is BACK!!!
Children who would like to participate need to be in Sunday School on Sunday, December 5 so we can determine roles.
Children who participate will also need to be in Sunday School on December 12 and attend a rehearsal on Saturday, December 18
from 10 – 11.
The Pageant will be held on Sunday, December 19 during our worship service.
Anyone who is interested in playing or singing for the pageant, please contact Angelique ASAP!

We ALWAYS need help in the nursery on Sunday mornings! Our young families greatly appreciate your time and care for our littlest ones!
Sign up here if you are an adult who would like to volunteer.
Sign up here if you are a teenager who can help out. Your presence makes a HUGE difference!

If you have not yet returned your pledge for next year, please do so now so we can develop a faithful budget to guide us through another amazing year here at Pilgrim Church. Pledge cards are available in the sanctuary or by calling the church office.
The Christmas Fund

The Christmas Fund will be collected during the December 19, 2021 service.

The Christmas Fund has been caring for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ for over 100 years, providing emergency grants, supplementation of small annuities and health premiums, and Christmas “thank you” gift checks each December to our lower-income retirees. Over the past 18 months, the emergency financial needs of many who serve the church increased dramatically. Many of our clergy continue to bear the consequences of lost or decreased income. These difficult times make the need for the Christmas Fund more urgent than ever.
Pilgrim Church will be one of the fun stops for Holly Days on Sunday, December 5 from 12 – 5.

We’ll provide a simple craft for kids to do and hot chocolate to warm spirits and souls. Sign up here to help, or email Angelique at youthdir@uccduxbury.org to show radical hospitality to our community!
Coffee & Conversation with RB

2nd Wednesday of the month at 10:00am
Pilgrim Church ~ Youth Room

Join us for coffee and conversation on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10:00am for casual conversation with topics of interest.

December 8, 2021, 10:00am - Topic: Media coverage of the Gabby Petito disappearance raises issues of the "missing white girl syndrome."
  • When in church, we ask all non-vaccinated people to wear masks.
  • When in church, we recommend children wear masks, but leave it to the discretion of the parents.
  • We ask Sunday School teachers to wear masks when inside the building and we will try and maintain social distancing as much as possible.
  • Children will begin church inside until after the “Time for All Ages,” then, weather permitting, Sunday School lessons will be outside whenever possible. In inclement weather, we will social distance inside.
  • Masks will not be required of children or teachers when outside. Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible. 
Happy Thanksgiving!
From the Pilgrim Church Staff,
Rev. Bill, Rev. John, Angelique, Melissa, and Dawn