Sunday Morning Educational Opportunities – YOU are invited!

Fear Not!2016-17 Theme

There is a class for everyone on Sunday morning, and it’s never too late to join in. More detailed information is listed below.

  • Sunday School—JAM or “Jesus and Me” (Preschool-6th grade)
  • Confirming Faith (7th & 8th grade)
  • Coffee Talk (9th grade-college age)
  • “Fearless” with Pr. Steve (adults)
  • “Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side” led by the Hollands &
    the Rohrbachs (adults)

Children and Youth

blog-collageJAM!!!” Jesus and Me!

Sunday School for Preschool-Tweens:
Feasting on the Word

Our curriculum series for JAM, “Feasting on the Word” connects the scripture kids hear in church to the lesson and activities they will participate in during Sunday School. This way, each person in your family will hear the same message so that the scripture and meaning can be applied at home and out in the community during the week. Each lesson will focus on four questions…

  1. WHAT is important to know?
  2. WHERE is God in these words?
  3. SO WHAT does this mean for our lives?
  4. NOW WHAT is God’s Word calling us to do?

Throughout the year, we will focus on mission projects that are local, national, and international. The curriculum and projects are designed to help children and their families grow in their relationship with Jesus!

Each week begins with birthday songs, exploring the Bible, music, and this year, each child will take home a “Verse of the Week” to memorize!  Fun little prizes will be given when the verse is memorized. Please contact Kim Waterstraat at for further information.

Confirming Faith

Pilgrim youth, facilitated by Rachelle Lessard, Duane Rhodes, and Sandy Tillotson, learn about the Bible, the Lutheran Church, and living a Christian life. After completing all of the modules (about two years), these young people will be ready to affirm their baptisms in the Rite of Confirmation. This program is geared towards 7th-8th graders (however, we welcome any student who may have missed this opportunity and who is ready to delve into a deeper study of their faith).

Coffee Talk

This program, led by Jeff Hobson, is geared toward Senior High youth who have completed the Confirming Faith program. A variety of interactive lessons will be used through the duration of the year, including Bible studies, DVDs, youth-led devotions, leadership in the church and among peers, service projects, role-modeling with younger youth, along with other things (and of course, the occasional coffee date!). Please contact Jeff Hobson for further information.

Adult Education


Adult Studies with Pastor Steve

Fearless, by Max Lucado: “Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear.  They’re talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, and upswings in global warming.  But what if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats?  If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, and doubt, what would remain?”

Sunday morning’s DVD-based study of Fearless by Max Lucado meets during the Sunday School hour (9:45-10:45) in the Fellowship Hall.  Please come join us!  Learn how to “trust more and fear less.”

Sunday Morning Family-Centered Study

Keeping your Kids on Gods Side by Natasha Crain is a book/scriptural study for all levels of family: parents, grandparents, guardians- you name it. Are your children facing criticism about their Christianity while they are at school, with friends, or online? Perhaps they’ve already expressed some doubts about God. This study will address those fears by examining and responding to 40 challenging questions that kids face today. Each Sunday is a new experience with different questions, so you can join in at any time. Learn how to replace their fears and doubts, with confidence, which can encourage open dialogue and equip them to defend their faith (if they have to). This group meets every Sunday morning at 9:45 in the Library (in the office area).

See you Sunday!


Mid-Week Educational Offerings for Adults

Tuesday Morning Bible Study Continues (10 am each week)

tam-biblestudyPastor Schumacher leads this informal group for all ages in examining the scripture lessons for the coming Sunday. For those who like to read ahead, the lessons are listed in the announcements each Sunday. This study is great for anyone whose schedule does not permit an every-week commitment, the coffee is always on, and there is always an extra chair at the table!

Pilgrim Wednesdays study of “Fearless” begins September 21fearless

Try something new this year (if you haven’t already) and join us on Wednesday, September, 21 at 5:45 for relaxing fellowship and a wonderful (free) meal! Pilgrim Wednesday is our family night, and it is open to all. After dinner, you are also welcome to stay for Adult Bible Study, Youth group, and children’s activities (either or all). This year’s Adult Bible Study is a DVD/book study by Max Lucado called “Fearless.” Just think what you could do with your life if you completely emptied your heart of fear- and filled it with faith instead! Whether you’re uneasy about life in all its ups and downs, anxiety can make life feel like a prison. Led by Heidi Wilkerson, learn how to break free and join us for “Fearless.”

Women of Faith Bible Study, Thursday mornings

526382Although similar in many ways to the other Women of Faith studies that we have done, “Overcoming Fear” by Margaret Fienberg, has a slightly different format. Like all the others, it dissects the theme from simple to complex, always reinforcing the point with scripture. We learn how God’s reassuring Word pulls us out of ourselves and our self-revolved fears and moves us into real joy and confidence in God. Join women of all ages in this fun group full of lively conversation, wonderful insights, and treats too! “Overcoming Fear” begins September 22nd at 9:15 AM.

“Fear Not, I Am with You Always”

2016-kick-off-bannerBy Julie Halpin & Kim Waterstraat, Co-Directors, Christian Education

2016 has been a very diversely challenging year so far. The concern level of most Christians has risen to new heights with threats of terrorism, gun violence, racial tension, conflicting social issues… and an upcoming Presidential election to boot! Is it any wonder that “fear” has placed itself in the forefront of our lives? Of course, it has always been around, but sometimes it seems less obvious. In the midst of all this, God is continually reaching out to us: “Fear not, I Am with You Always.” It is meant to give us reassurance, a reliance on God… a remembrance that He is the only One who can save us from this broken world. That’s why “fear not”, “do not be afraid,” “have no fear,” etc. are mentioned 125 times in God’s Word (more than any other command). For a Christian, the significance is important, especially right now. So this Rally Day, we celebrate His command and look forward to discovering how His Word soothes and calms our fears, and His Presence brings Joy and Blessings eternal.

Sundays Soothing Reassurances – Beginning September 18all-in

  • Worship (8:15 and 11 AM)
  • Education Hour (9:45 AM), featuring:
    • Sunday School—JAM or “Jesus and Me”
    • Confirming Faith
    • Sr. High Youth
    • Adult Bible Study
    • Family Bible Study
    • Faith Forums—held every 4-6 weeks for one Sunday. Lay speakers, ministers, and theologians will present lectures and discussions on a variety of theological topics

Weekday Reliances – Beginning September 20

  • Tuesday Morning Text Study with Pastor Schumacher, 10 AM
  • Pilgrim Wednesdays beginning Sept 21 with dinner @ 5:45 PM,
    followed by Bible Study & activities @ 6:30
  • Thursday Morning Women’s Bible Study—at 9:15 AM beginning September 22

All our new studies are enriching and exciting. We hope you will see something that interests you enough to add a little “fear therapy” into your spiritual journey.

Guaranteed, the Holy Spirit will be present to offer all kinds of “relief support.” In addition, the devotional “God is With You Everyday” by Max Lucado is available on a first-come-first-served basis to congregants who would like to have one. So join us for a full year of study, and remember: “Fear Not, I Am with you Always!”

Faith Conversations—Fall Edition

with Pastor Steve

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you … (Isaiah 41:10, NRSV)

2016-17 ThemeIn the 2003 movie, Big Fish (one of my favorites), Edward Bloom as a young boy bravely goes to the front door of a local witch living in a remote swamp in the woods outside of town. The witch has a glass eye, and the rumor is anyone who looks into it will learn how their eventual death occurs. Edward looks into the witch’s eye and learns the uncomfortable truth about his own death. But rather than living in dread of that day, from that point he looks fear in the face, and bravely takes on risk and danger in various forms, because, as he repeatedly observes, “That’s not how I die.” This knowledge gives Edward the confidence to enter into situations where the average person would be too afraid to go.

One example: the little town of Ashton, Alabama where Edward has lived all his life, is threatened by a mysterious “monster” who has taken up residence outside of town in a cave, and who threatens the peace and sense of well-being of the townspeople. Several farmers complain this monster is eating their livestock during the night. No one in the town is brave enough to confront the monster; and the whole town is living in fear; that is except Edward. He volunteers to talk to the monster and convince it to leave their town. So, Edward goes out to the cave and after some initial frightful moments is able to talk with this monster who turns out to be a 12 foot tall giant named Karl. Karl, is not dangerous, but instead is sad and lonely. Being strange to look at and extremely large, everyone is afraid of him, so he has no friends. This episode concludes with Edward convincing Karl, who is really gentle and harmless, to move on; in fact he decides to go with him because, as he points out, they are both better suited for bigger things.

Edward was able to deal with fear and live bravely, even with a confident and reckless abandon – that is without worry and anxiety, without hesitant and tentative steps because the way ahead was uncertain and unclear. This is because in each circumstance, he could say with assurance, “That’s not how I die.”

As Christians we can live with a similar confidence. We don’t know the way we will die, but we do know the day and the way we have life. The Apostle Paul has a lot to say about life and death, especially the life we have through Jesus Christ.

In Romans (6:4-5) he writes,

Therefore we have been buried with
him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Through Jesus Christ, we can live confidently today, without worry and anxiety about the world and our future. Through Jesus we can face our fears with trust in God to take care of us and watch over us.

Our theme for this coming year is “Fear Not, I am with you always.” And our theme verse is Isaiah 41:10. God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. God is with us always.

And so, with Jesus Christ as our confidence we can overcome fear today and have hope for tomorrow. Through his death and resurrection God has given us life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

For more information about the Fall Kick-Off and upcoming opportunities and events at Pilgrim, travel to the Newsletter page by clicking here.

Reminder—E100 Challenge—Week 20—Revelation

“Behold, I am making all things new.” What a glorious and comforting thought, that, in the end, Jesus reconciles everything through His blood. Broken bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits; severed and neglected relationships – all will be renewed the death and resurrection of our Lord. Hallelujah!


This is the last of the E-100 readings, and the last of these posts. The purpose of this “exercise” was to get to know God through the story the Bible tells. We hope that the Bible’s timeless message has come alive for you as never before, and is the beginning of a lifetime adventure of meeting God daily in the Bible and prayer.

The lesson for Sunday will be Revelation 22:1-21.

96. A Voice and a Vision – Revelation 1:1-20
97. Messages to the Churches – Revelation 2:1-3:22
98. The Throne of Heaven – Revelation 4:1-7:17
99. Hallelujah! – Revelation 19:1-20:15
100. The New Jerusalem – Revelation 21:1-22:21


E100 Challenge—Week 20—Revelation

revelation1_8These readings bring us to the end of the Bible and the end of the E-100 readings. It all started “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) and ends with Jesus’ assertion that “I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:15). In Revelation, we glimpse a cosmic contest between good and evil that has been going on since the beginning. Although Revelation was written 2,000 years ago for God’s people who were suffering horrific persecution it gives us some wonderful glimpses of the final victory of the Lord Jesus over all evil, suffering, and death. This book was written by John, a young disciple of Jesus who has now grown old and who knows what it means to follow the Lord. There’s so much we can learn from him.


96. A Voice and a Vision – Revelation 1:1-20
97. Messages to the Churches – Revelation 2:1-3:22
98. The Throne of Heaven – Revelation 4:1-7:17
99. Hallelujah! – Revelation 19:1-20:15
100. The New Jerusalem – Revelation 21:1-22:21


Reminder—E100 Challenge—Week 19—The Apostles’ Teaching

The Beatles sang “all you need is love”—God’s love for us. As long as everything we do is rooted in God’s love for us, it will overflow into the other areas of our lives, going back to the greatest commandments (in Matthew 22 and Mark 12), summed up as “Love God, Love People.”

The lesson for Sunday will be 1 John 3:11-24, 4:7-21.

91. The Most Excellent Way – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
92. A New Creation in Christ – 2 Corinthians 4:1-6:2
93. A Living Hope – 1 Peter 1:1-2:12
94. Faith and Works – James 1:1-2:26
95. Love One Another – 1 John 3:11-4:21

(Artwork credit: Jennifer Altrichter)


E100 Challenge—Week 19—The Apostles’ Teaching

love crossThese readings focus on the teachings of the Apostles James, Peter, John, and Paul. They were all inspired by the same Holy Spirit, yet each has a somewhat different emphasis or perspective that adds to our understanding of what it means to live a Christian life; a life of faith, love, hope, and steadfastness in the face of trouble. As in all of the Bible, there is great richness and reward to be gleaned from these great teachers of the faith.


91. The Most Excellent Way – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
92. A New Creation in Christ – 2 Corinthians 4:1-6:2
93. A Living Hope – 1 Peter 1:1-2:12
94. Faith and Works – James 1:1-2:26
95. Love One Another – 1 John 3:11-4:21

(Artwork credit: Jennifer Altrichter)e100_logo


Reminder—E100 Challenge Week 18—Paul to the Leaders

1Th5Don’t think that these passages are just for pastors, lay leaders, and “professional Christians”; Paul has many “words” of encouragement for all of us. We all have the opportunity (even the responsibility) to share the good news and to be examples to people in our lives. You may never know who you impact and in what way.


The lesson for Sunday will be 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8

86. Elders and Deacons – 1 Timothy 3:1-16
87. The Love of Money – 1 Timothy 6:3-21
88. Good Soldiers of Christ – 2 Timothy 2:1-26
89. All Scripture is God-breathed – 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8
90. The Coming of the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11



E100 Challenge Week 18—Paul to the Leaders

1-timothy_largeThese readings in Paul’s letters cover a wide range of topics. Paul gives encouragement to his disciple and “son in the faith,” Timothy; sets forth standards for church leadership; teaches about money; and describes what will happen to Jesus’ followers when Jesus returns. Paul warns against false teachers who seek to mislead the church and he encourages Timothy to be faithful to the Bible, the Word of God, which enables every believer to grow and mature. There’s a lot of really common sense, practical teaching and wise counsel in these passages!

86. Elders and Deacons – 1 Timothy 3:1-16
87. The Love of Money – 1 Timothy 6:3-21
88. Good Soldiers of Christ – 2 Timothy 2:1-26
89. All Scripture is God-breathed – 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8
90. The Coming of the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11