Member Stories: Meet Peter and Mary

You are both long-time members of Pilgrim Congregational Church. How did it all begin?

Mary: We both had roots in the Congregational Church. In 1978 we decided that we wanted to give our children a similar church upbringing. But our life at Pilgrim has evolved into much more during the last thirty-five years.

How so?

Mary: Like most families, church was for us a one hour per week commitment. But that expanded over the years, and we found the more time we invested, the more we grew personally and in faith.

Peter: While our children were at home, our church life very much revolved around them, between Sunday School, youth groups, junior and senior choirs, confirmation, Christmas pageants…and suddenly the children were grown.

How did your church life shift once your children were out of the house?

Mary: At that point, Pilgrim became a different experience, where our own faith became more of a focus. Peter and I continued to grow, as the church itself grew and changed.

Peter: We have been here for some truly talented and gifted leaders, both clergy and lay leaders. We see Pilgrim as both a sanctuary from the world and a place that radiates its ministries back in an outward direction. It has been a privilege to be part of that.

Where have you used your own gifts to support those ministries?

Mary: I have taken on Council and other committee responsibilities, worked on fundraising and staff searches. And I have been challenged to look beyond our building, as beautiful as it is, and see the call to make an impact beyond our walls. These experiences have shaped my ongoing faith in God, and have broadened my views of the interfaith community of Lexington.

Peter:  And I enjoy doing things such as unloading pumpkins and setting up and breaking down for all of the special events that are held at Pilgrim.

Thirty-five years is a long time to stay in any one location, particularly a church. What draws you back week-in and week-out?

Mary: I continue to be inspired and delighted by our church children. We so appreciate the support of our church friends, both old and new.

Peter: The sermons are meaningful. They both comfort and challenge us. The music is soothing and uplifting.

Mary: After all these years, I continue to be amazed at the strength of our community of faithful Pilgrims.