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Our journey together is alive! Pilgrim's Progress is our monthly newsletter and assists all of us in our walk of faith - what's happening at our church and what's happening with all of us worshiping at Pilgrim. Read this month's newsletter


Pilgrim Lutheran Church



Youth Group members (kids in grades 7-12) join us at 7 PM on Saturday, September 23 for an evening of outdoor fun around a bonfire.  We will have dinner and plan to experiment making different kinds of s'mores for dessert. We will provide dinner, drinks, and a few s'mores basics, but we'd like you to "bring the creativity" when it comes to the s'mores.  Bring one new and interesting s'more ingredient, roasting sticks if you have them, and lawn chairs to sit around the fire.  Please RSVP to Jenny Pitts or Gail Powell by Thursday, September 21 so we know how many hungry teenagers we will need to feed!  If it rains, we'll probably still gather inside. If you are a youth group member and did not receive the Bonfire Evite, please call Jenny Pitts and let her know.  317-732-4081


We are looking for several new ringers to join the Youth Handbell Choir.  No experience necessary.  The Youth Handbell Choir accepts ringers starting in the 5th grade and continuing through High School.  For more information, contact Kevin Donley ( ) or come to our first rehearsal Sunday October 1st at 9:00 AM in the Sanctuary.


“God’s Work. Our Hands. Sunday” will be September 24th at Pilgrim, a day of service where our congregation will participate in activities that benefit our surrounding community and deepen our connection to the world around us. There are multiple ways to get involved!


SIGN UP today and join us next Sunday, September 24th at Noon for pizza and fellowship as we assemble hygiene kits for our local Gennesaret Free Clinics. We will use the generous outpouring of hygiene supplies you have donated to create 200 kits in plastic zip-lock bags. Many hands make for light work, so mark your calendars and plan to join us today!
When: Sun, Sept 24th from Noon - 2:00 PM
Where: Here at Pilgrim! Join us in the Fellowship Hall
• How to Participate: Sign-up using the golden signup sheet in the church lobby by Wed, Sept 20th (we need to know how many to order pizza for)
• T-shirts: Participants will receive a yellow “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Pilgrim t-shirt; all sizes available on a first-come, first-serve basis


We are looking for eager and able-bodied workers to help with beautification projects for Lutheran Child & Family Services. The activities include landscaping, grounds cleanup, and cleaning out transportation vans.
LCFS will supply any necessary equipment - we will supply the muscle power! Lunch and plenty of water will be provided. So bring an appetite for service and fun as we join together in putting “God’s Work. Our Hands.” into action!
When: Sat, Oct 21st from 11:00AM - 3:00PM
Where: Lutheran Child & Family Services, 1525 North Ritter Avenue, Indianapolis, IN
• How to Participate: Sign-up using the golden sign-up sheet in the church lobby by Sun, Oct 8th
• What to Bring: Clothes you can get dirty, gloves, any light gardening equipment (shovel, spade, rake, push broom, etc)
• T-shirts: Participants will receive a yellow “God’s
Work. Our Hands.” Pilgrim t-shirt; all sizes available on a first-come, first-serve basis Questions? Contact Dan Murphy, Mark Tisdale or Carol Dahoney


Our September gathering will be to join the WELCA ladies for a night out of fun and fellowship. We will gather Tuesday, September 26th at 6:30 PM. Our joint event will be at Luciana's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina located at 3716 East 82nd Street. Don't miss this special time!Please note: October will be our last gathering for this year as we take a break for November and December and resumes in January of the new year.  Questions, please contact the church office at 317.846.2221.


Plan to join the Pilgrim family for our second annual Octoberfest celebration.  It will include an Old-Fashioned Baseball game, bounce house and games for the children, and a multi-generational BINGO game which will take place in the narthex.  These events will run simultaneously, starting at 4:00PM.  If you plan to be spectators at the baseball game, please bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.  The games will be followed by a Pig Roast with a German flair.  Congregational Life will prepare the pork and all of you will be asked to sign up to bring a side dish.  A free-will offering will be taken to offset the cost of the pork.  We will be entertained during dinner by the Charlie Harriman combo. The Youth will provide us with a Sundae Bar for dessert.  They also will ask for a free will offering.  Look for the sign-up sheets both for the dinner and what you will bring.  There will also be a sign-up sheet if you would like to join Team Pilgrim for a baseball game played with 1864 rules. If anyone needs a ride, please let us know.  It will be our pleasure to pick you up and bring you to this event.  Please indicate your need for a ride on the sign-up sheet.  If you are able to help with getting food to the buffet tables, supervising children’s games, and cleanup, please indicate your willingness on the sign-up sheet.  Last year we had 140 people attend so it takes many hands to have a successful event.  Thank you for your willingness.  Let’s ALL come together and celebrate our love of Christ and each other. Questions, please contact the church office at 317.846.2221.


A Hymn Festival for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation led by David Cherwien, organist And the choirs of Pilgrim Lutheran, Calvary United Methodist, Christ Lutheran, and Bethlehem Lutheran Churches with Michele Robeson-Howard’s brass quartet. Please join us on Friday, October 13th, 7:30 PM at  Pilgrim for this event as we mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!   We will give thanks for how the Holy Spirit breathes God’s grace and freedom into our lives today and will be aided in celebrating by the choral and organ interpretations of longtime Pilgrim friend  David Cherwien.  David is very excited to play our new organ!  We will sing the great hymns of our faith, all tied together with narrations by Susan Palo Cherwien.  Free-will offering will be taken. Questions, please contact the church office at 317.846.2221.


The annual CROP Walk will be held on October 15.  Pilgrim has a proud tradition of participation in this Church World Service event.  Because of road construction in Carmel this year the Hamilton County walk will join with the Indianapolis walk, but 25% of our donations will continue to go to Hamilton County agencies.  Pilgrim will be one of 20 local congregations of various faiths raising money and awareness for the problem of world hunger. The walk  begins at 1:00 PM at Christian Theological Seminary near Butler University and will wind approximately 3 miles through the Butler Tarkington area.  Please contact John Shilling at  or 317-908-3047 for registration materials to become a walker or more information on how you can become involved.


Thursday morning ladies bible study starting again this year. The fall curriculum is another Priscilla Shirer study entitled "Discerning the Voice of God."  Because of some fluidity in the teachers' schedules, we are not yet sure of the exact start up date, but we plan to meet at church in the upstairs adult bible study room on Thursdays from 11:30-1:30, with a short sack lunch break. If you are interested in attending this year, there will be a sign up sheet on the small table by the monitor in the narthex. The cost of the participant workbook is $13.00, which we will order for you, and we will once again have the DVD presentation at each session with daily readings for each lesson.  Questions, contact Susie Pike at 317-710-6981.

SACRED THREADS PROJECT Little Dresses for Africa

Sacred Threads  will be undertaking an international mission project in October and November named “Little dresses for Africa”. We invite anyone in the congregation who has an interest in sewing to join us for the construction.  When completed they will be sent to Beaver Dam, WI and then sent to Africa.  We will meet on November 7th at the church to cut out patterns for “Little Dresses for Africa” If anyone in the congregation has fabric they wish to donate, we would welcome it. The stipulation is that it needs to be 1 yard or more.  Please see box at church for fabric donations. Questions?? Call Evelyn  Kramer 317.475.9848


November 19, 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM, Fellowship Hall.  Lunch will be served.  We will host a panel of speakers to learn and discuss the hunger needs in Hamilton County, including lack of food access for some residents.  Please attend to learn how we can share our time, talent and treasure to address hunger and other needs in our community.  Questions, please contact the church office at 317.846.2221.




Adult Classes resume on September 24 with Pastor Rudy leading a class on the Lutheran perspective on the bible. He will discuss Martin Luther’s understanding of the Word and the Bible, as well as where we are today in Lutheranism. 

The following Sunday, October 1 begins a five week study with Fred Niedner.  Fred has become a fall fixture around Pilgrim and we look forward to his teaching.  We are ever grateful he makes the long journey these Sundays from Valparaiso to us.  Mark your calendars to come to Fred Niedner proposal for five-week adult education series in October 2017

Five Centuries of Mystery and Paradox:  How Lutherans Live with Unanswerable Questions

Christian theology has always held to nonsensical assertions. A gruesome crucifixion proved the best news ever. Christ is one person, fully God and completely human. God is both one and three.

This anniversary series will examine Lutheran theology’s distinctive embrace of additional paradoxes, thanks to its insistence that the church’s response to every difficult, important question must, above all else, honor the death of Christ as necessary and sufficient for our salvation and also offer comfort to penitent hearts.

October 1 – Core principles of Lutheran theology, and how Christian doctrines are made on earth, not in heaven.

October 8 – Atonement: Examining the many ways Christians have understood    Jesus’ death as an event that saved the world.

October 15 – Christ’s Descent to Hell: How did this line in the Apostles’ Creed originate, and what does it mean?

October 22 – Predestination: Calvin taught that God, from eternity, predestines every soul, some to heaven, some to hell. Lutherans responded, “Not so fast!” Why?

October 29 – The Problem of Evil: How can evil exist and even thrive in the creation of an all-powerful, good God?


October 22, 2017, 11:45a – 1:00p Fellowship Hall.  Lunch will be served. Pilgrim is in the process of updating its Constitution and Bylaws. We will gather and discuss the ELCA Model Constitution for Congregations, and consider a draft that has been put forth by the constitution task force (Frank Bates, Mark Tisdale, Karin Veatch and John Williams).  Any new constitution will be voted upon by the congregation, so please consider attending the forum to listen, learn and share your thoughts.  Sign-up sheet is in the narthex. FAQ document is available now (narthex). Draft constitution and summary document will be circulated shortly. Questions, please contact the church office at 317.846.2221.



Jack Kelleher, son of Pilgrim members John and Kristen Kelleher and grandson of Dave and Marcia Runkel, was diagnosed with a glioma over the 2016 winter break. Jack is currently undergoing radiation treatment in Indianapolis for six weeks. Please keep Jack and his family in your hearts and prayers. You can learn more about Jack’s progress from the Kelleher family CaringBridge page: caringbridge.org/visit/wevegotyourbackjack.

The youth group has been united in prayer at a common time each day since learning of Jack's diagnosis. They invite the congregation to join them in prayer for Jack every night at 8:30 PM. Matthew 18:19-20 says, "When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Please join in prayer and let's use our Pilgrim Family to encircle Jack and his family in prayer. For more information, please contact the church office at 317.846.2221.


Did you know that Pilgrim has a beautiful library full of books, magazines and DVDs for all ages? Come on up to the library, located on the 2nd floor (just outside of the choir loft) and check out a book or two! When you return the books, sign up to win a $10 gift card in our monthly drawing! The more books you read, the more chances to win! For more information, please contact the church office at 317.846.2221.


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