Our Life Together

Church is more than Sunday worship! Life at Pilgrim is vibrant and full of opportunities to connect, get involved, and do the work of the Church in the world.

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 all ages ministry 

Children & Youth

Little Ones (birth-age 3)

currently on pause due to the pandemic

Little Ones is an opportunity for parents/caregivers of young children to grow with their children and connect with other parents/caregivers. This group meets in the nursery and includes story, song, and play with your child as well as a welcoming and supportive space for parents to connect, share and grow as people of faith and as parents. Parents/Caregivers engage in facilitated discussion, resource sharing, all interspersed with prayer and words of support and inspiration as their children play.

Sunday School (preK-grade 4)

Join your Pilgrim family and friends for Sunday School on Sunday mornings. These will be weekly times to explore bible stories, learn faith practices, talk about God, and build relationships with one another. Sunday school classes are PreK & K, 1st-2nd, and 3rd-4th. Children may attend Sunday School individually or join alongside siblings, adults, caregivers, or parents.

Pre-Confirmation (grades 5-6)

5th-6th graders will explore faith through the four Hs: head, hands, heart, and holiness; What is God like? How do we serve others? How does faith feel? What practices help faith happen? defining theology, exploring service, getting a sense for how faith feels, and learning faith practices.

Confirmation (grades 7-8)

7th-8th Confirmation offers 7th-8th graders a special and engaging experience as they journey toward the rite of confirmation. Fall-Winter youth meet on Sunday mornings to explore different forms of Christian Community in history and cultures. Winter-Spring youth and parents/caregivers go on Other Faith Field Trips on Wednesday evenings to explore ways that others live and worship as faith communities. In the winter-spring of their 9th grade year, we explore together ways their faith makes sense (and doesn’t) as they live their lives in ways that reflect the radical love of God in Christ. We then plan Confirmation Sunday, a worship celebration of where they are at now in their journey of faith and life.

Youth Group (grades 9-12)

Pilgrim’s High School Youth Group meets for theological life conversations and to just spend time together and hang! Discussions are led through a model of peer ministry; youth leading one another. Potential areas of discussion include mental health, civic action, climate justice, science and faith, and exploration of the Apostles’ Creed. 9th-10th Graders will also complete Confirmation through a capstone experience.

Contact Alex Theship-Rosales for more information at alextheshiprosales@pilgrimstpaul.org or 651-699-6886.

Young Adults

More Than Happy Hour is a once-a-month space for young adults to gather and talk about life, church, and the world. We focus on a discussion theme. Anyone and everyone is welcome or bring a conversation topic. Pilgrim picks up the tab!

Contact Pastor Jen Rome for more information at pastorjenrome@pilgrimstpaul.org or 651-699-6886.


Faith Formation is key in our pilgrimage as “hungry minds and souls.” We believe that all people of all ages are continually growing in faith and being shaped on the journey. We invite all pilgrims—adult, youth, and children—to take part in the various opportunities offered to help nurture a living faith, including Sunday Morning Forums, a variety of topic-oriented small groups, and occasional retreats and pilgrimages.

Contact Pastor Chris Smith for more information at pastorchrissmith@pilgrimstpaul.org or 651-699-6886.

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 justice, equity, & the global church 

Advocates for Racial Equity

Pilgrim's Advocates for Racial Equity (ARE) team works to overcome white supremacy by aligning with Pilgrim’s “Mission of Outreach and Welcome” and “Doing Justice” as we live out the counterculture values of the gospel through education, relationship building and advocacy.

For more information, contact Joan Haan at jmbhaan@outlook.com, Penny Bartz at pennybartz@gmail.com, or Anne Hall at hall.anne@gmail.com.


In My Neighborhood

Pilgrims are invited to contribute to a fund for reparations directed specifically to respond to inequities in homeownership for BIPOC families. The drive for reparations begins with those who wish to repair the breach acknowledging and apologizing for the personal and impersonal, systematic wrongs done by them or in their name. With the leadership of the ARE team, Pilgrim has begun the process of making reparations for its tacit participation in the system of housing segregation by committing to a collaborative relationship with Model Cities, a St. Paul-based non-profit, including a financial contribution.

Contact Katia McDonough for more information at katiamcd@icloud.com.


ISAIAH is a multi-racial, state-wide, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities, Black barbershops, childcare centers, and other community based constituencies fighting for racial and economic justice in Minnesota. The Pilgrim Isaiah Core Team supports the community in activism, organizing and political action. Read more about ISAIAH at isaiahmn.org.

For more information, contact Joan Haan at jmbhaan@outlook.com or Drew Johnson at drew.johnson10@gmail.com

Joint Church Anti-Racism Team

JCART, the Joint Church Anti-Racism Team, is a collaborative effort of study and action of four congregations in proximity: Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fairmount United Methodist Church, and Mac Plymouth United Church. Current topic is Indigenous/Native understanding and issues.

Contact Will Mitchell for more information at mitchellmitchell@gmail.com.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Pilgrim's ARE team developed this land acknowledgement statement to acknowledge the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of the land we are on, inspiring us towards ongoing awareness and action, living more fully into our call to justice based on the gospel and faith. There are two versions, a shortened version shared below and a longer version available here.

This land is not just this address. From time immemorial the Dakota people’s lives and stories have been woven together with this land. Let us take a moment of silence to honor the Dakota people, their heritage and resiliency.

Reconciling in Christ

Pilgrim is a Reconciling in Christ church, which includes a partnership with Reconciling Works, a ministry devoted to welcoming, celebrating, and advocating for the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals in Lutheran faith communities.

Learn more at reconcilingworks.org.

Pilgrims Caring for Creation

The Pilgrims Caring for Creation group leads the Pilgrim community in expressing its commitment to be stewards of God's whole creation. We express this commitment, in part, by being a "Caring for Creation" Congregation, as designiated by Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. This commitment begins in our own church building and in our own backyards, and extends around the globe. Pilgrims Caring for Creation has led efforts to reduce material and energy waste on our church campus. They have also sponsored education and public events on issues of environmental justice. 

Contact Kris Grangard for more information at ktbd4@comcast.net.

Tanzania Sister Congregation

The Lutheran Church through the St. Paul Area Synod has been working with the Iringa Diocese of Tanzania for over 30 years. Pilgrim has had a partnership with Luganga Lutheran since 2002. Pilgrim prays for and corresponds regularly with our sister congregation, Luganga Luthern in Tanzania. Pilgrim members also provide financial support for things such as school tuition for children of Luganga.

Contact Coralie Hunter for more information at coraliehntr@gmail.com.

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 contemplative worship, music, & art 


Chancel Choir 
A non-auditioned choir of adults of all ages, rehearsing three Wednesdays a month (early September through early June). The choir sings at least two Sunday mornings every month, as well as special services such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday. Our repertoire comes from a variety of church music from around the world, with an emphasis on traditional and classical music of moderate difficulty. 


Y'All Come Choir

During several Sundays of the year, any singers who can read music are invited to show up before the scheduled service time to learn an easy piece of music on the spot. These opportunities are advertised in the our newsletter and other publications. 

Contemplative Choir

A choir for tenors and basses, occasionally leading evening worship. 

Children's Choirs

Children's Choirs rehearse on Wednesdays and sing occasionally for worship. Our children are such an important part of our music and worship life! Please see our newsletters and other publications for details on when choirs resume meeting or contact the director with any questions. 

Choral Scholars

Pilgrim's music programming is also supported by a number of Choral Scholars. For information about the program or to apply, please click here for a one-page description of the opportunity.   

Contact Paul Stever for more information at steverpaul55@aol.com.

Public Art

Pilgrim's public art group is a multi-generational group who are organizing the creation of a public art piece for Pilgrim. We were given grant funds by the Riverside Innovation Hub to innovate new connections with young adults and our neighborhood. We worked with Public Art Saint Paul to choose two local artists and develop a concept to transform Pilgrim's west lawn into an eye-catching artistic worship space. We plan to complete this project in November 2021, coinciding with the church's centennial celebrations.

Contact Claire Kaiser for more information at kaise364@umn.edu.

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 shared ministry 

Committees & Shared Ministry Interest Groups 

Pilgrim practices “shared ministry,“ affirming that each member of this community is a minister both within and beyond the walls of the church, which we affirm in baptism. We partner with one another and with the wider ELCA to walk together in this journey of faith. We agree to share the decision-making responsibilities of being a church, as well as the joy of serving in mission, side-by-side. We welcome all to become involved through the use of their abilities, time, and resources. Every program, group, or emphasis within our congregation is sustained by the involvement of the ministers of the Pilgrim community.

Click here to learn more about Pilgrim's committees & shared ministry interest groups.

Book Clubs

Classics for Pilgrims

The Classics for Pilgrims meets nine times a year, September through June, on the fourth Thursday of the month from  7-8:30 PM. The November meeting is adjusted around Thanksgiving and there is no meeting in December. Members select the titles for the following session each May. The books chosen are 50+ old and considered classics. All Pilgrims are welcome to participate as their schedule allows.

Contact Barbara Taylor for more information at bstaylor50@gmail.com or 651-699-1095.

Book Club

The Pilgrim Book Club meets monthly on the third Thursday of the month, August through June, to discuss books from a wide range of topics, authors, and genres. See the 2021-22 reading list here.

Contact Lynda Hirschboeck for more information at hirschbo@gmail.com.

Men's Breakfast

Men's breakfast is a monthly conclave that has been on-going for more than 22 years. We gather on the first Monday, except Monday holidays, at Highland Cafe & Bakery on Ford Pkwy, at 8:00 am. There is no agenda other than fellowship and connecting with fellow Pilgrims. No RSVP required.  Join us for a chat over breakfast.

Contact Mark Hirschboeck for more information at mhhirschboeck@gmail.com or 651-214-0278.

Pilgrim Mamas

All those who identify themselves as mamas from Pilgrim are invited to a Pilgrim Mamas get together approximately once a month in the later evening.

Contact Kirsten Anderson for more information at kirsten.m.anderson@me.com.

Volunteer Opportunities

Pilgrim practices shared ministry, which means that we affirm that each member of this community is a minister both within and beyond the walls of the church, which we affirm in baptism.  We partner with one another and with the wider ELCA to walk together in this journey of faith. We agree to share the decision-making responsibilities of being a church, as well as the joy of serving in mission, side-by-side. We welcome all to become involved through the use of their abilities, time, and resources.  Every program, group, or emphasis within our congregation is sustained by the involvement of the ministers of the Pilgrim community. 

Click here to view our volunteer roles and opportunities.