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Guest Post from Shauna Pilgreen

Guest Post from Shauna Pilgreen

I’m very excited to have my wife, Shauna, writing The Weekly for this week. This content originally appeared at

To the church who has my heart:

Epic family, I didn’t know back in 2008, a group of you could occupy this much space in my heart. That the meaning of family could be this vastly deep. I’ve grown up in cultures that had a neatly packaged name for people like me: the pastor’s wife. I venture to say women with this title are usually someone fierce, someone strange, or someone invisible! Moving to this city, calling myself a pastor’s wife is often the last thing I use to describe myself and that might be the most freeing thing about living in San Francisco. However you see me, my hope in this letter is that you hear me.

I couldn’t comprehend that a pandemic would take this strong faith family and keep us scattered for 12 months and counting. This means we’ve had to process virtually, at a distance, or at times, all alone. Babies have been born without showers. Graduations without ceremonies. Weddings without attendees. Fortunately we’ve had zero deaths in our church. We’ve served our city together at food banks and in food trucks. We’ve watched political wars battle before our eyes and have chosen to turn to God in prayer. We’ve gripped stronger hands with our African American and Asian American brothers and sisters to fight racial injustice. We’ve gladly worn our masks and practiced social distancing for the health of one another.

I write to you from our home, a home that misses your company and lingerings. A home that wonders why the kids are here 24/7 and witnesses the decisions Ben thinks through and what he carries. I’m writing a letter to our kids next, but will use this letter to say whether in this home or this city, before the people, behind the scenes, on his knees or around the world, Ben leads us as he follows Christ. I’m grateful he is my pastor who I see up close his obedience to God. I’m grateful he started this vibrant faith community and hasn’t backed down during a pandemic, but has led with more love and resolve than ever. It’s been a year of cancel culture and moral failures of pastors and church leaders. I can humbly say our marriage is thriving and our family stronger and closer than ever. Ben might be the shepherd of this local flock, but it’s also you tending to each other’s hearts, showing up with your own tears, holding space for depressing dialogue and anxious processing out loud, and yet you combat it with getting fresh air and going on walks for coffee and boba.

When I get tired of sheltering-in-place and restrictions, I usually hit a wall, what I call a low ceiling these days, and the Spirit awakens a truth in me: “But I {God} will leave within you the meek and humble. The remnant will trust in the name of the Lord.” (Zephaniah 3:12) We are called worshippers. His scattered people. Zephaniah tells God it’s been burdensome living in exile. I tell God the same thing! God replies, “I will gather you, at that time I will bring you home.” We feel most at home when we gather. We’re with our people who are of the same foundation whose builder and architect is God. (Hebrews 11:10) We speak the same language and come to feast and reunite and it’s the best feeling ever. Best time of our week. 

We’ve survived scattered. It’s time to gather.

Our city needs to see the hope-filled put our collective trust in God. The need to see how our coming together lights a path forward.

We are Epic, but we’re not alone. Other churches in this city are ready to rebuild also. I wrote them last week. As we rebuild, let’s start with the church. I make the case this is crucial to the people of San Francisco. We need to return and regather and bring our worship of God into the church house and let the blessings flow to our city and the future of the remnant will be secure.

I read in my Study Bible this week, “the church was to serve as the center point to give the former exiles a new way of understanding themselves in a changed world.” Read it again if it didn’t grip you the first time. As we emerge into this changed world, let us offer our beloved city by the bay a light that cannot be put out or put under, but a light that has burned bright in the darkest of times. 

Years from now, we’ll tell the stories of emerging after a pandemic in this city. We’ll talk about going a year without hugs and how our city was forever changed. We’ll be a story to the world of how God used a remnant to make sure every person in San Francisco knew the love of Jesus through our lives and actions. It’s you, Epic Church, who has my heart. 

Can you imagine the remnant in this city moving about for three days seeking Jesus and asking His Kingdom come? 

Can you picture children of all ages traipsing with the cross in view and the growth of grass beneath their feet? 

Can you envision our paths crossing back and forth as we cover ground over this weekend in this city God loves?

What does this look like? You choose 1-3 city walks Friday-Sunday, April 2-4 to do on your own or with others.

What is the purpose? To come together as the Church and pray over the land we live on during the most significant weekend in our Christian history. 

Will we do this with you? We can, but let’s not limit ourselves! I’ve listed times you might see our family out, but how awesome that on Friday we’ll all be taking the same path to the cross. Saturday we’ll pray where our hearts lead us. Sunday we will definitely see you as we celebrate Jesus is alive in us and in this city He has called us to!

Here are the details, links, and directions:

Friday, April 2: Walk to the Cross

Hike to the 100 foot cross on Mount Davidson in Miraloma neighborhood.  Hiking Entrance directions.

As you walk up to the top, let your cares and burdens fall. Envision all Jesus carried for you, all your sins and failures. On your walk down, offer up prayers for the people of our city. Knowing your sins are forgiven, pray for others to know His freedom and forgiveness. Go anytime today. We plan to begin our walk around 5 pm. 

Saturday, April 3: Walk for the Lifeless

Walk around a part of town or a few street blocks that needs life and restoration. Ask Jesus to bring healing and His resurrection power. Pray for the seen and unseen.

Sunday, April 4: Alive in the Park

Meet us at John McLaren Park Redwood Playground Picnic Area at 2 pm. Bring outdoor games and picnic blankets. Parking available at 217 John F Shelley Dr.

*This is not a sponsored event. It’s open to anyone.


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