Give a virtual welcome to Pilgrim’s new minister: Reverend Charley Eastman

Above: “In a Challenging Time, Pilgrim Congregational Church Welcomes New Minister” (contributed photo, and pic below, by Katherine Hennessy)

A Southborough church is welcoming a new minister this weekend. This Sunday, May 10th, Reverend Charley Eastman will hold his first service at Pilgrim Congregational Church. Given the prohibition on gatherings, clearly it will be a virtual one.

Reverend Eastman getting the key to his new churchYesterday, the Reverend was given a key to the church. Photos posted to Facebook show it was a beautiful day for it but I’m sure not the welcome the church originally hoped they’d be able to give him.

In an announcement from the church the pastor shared his thoughts on starting his new role this spring:

It’s a crazy time to be starting out, but faith has never been needed more.

A church announcement touts that the Reverend “Looks Forward to Groundbreaking Growth in Faith and Service” for the congregation. It explains that Eastman was selected by the congregation through a thorough search for the right leader:

Charley arrives at Pilgrim after a fruitful ten-year ministry at Franklin Federated Church. He is an inspiring preacher with a background in theater and music, who brings the arts and scripture together to reach folks across generations. He will work to keep the church agile and relevant as they seek to serve through both crisis and celebration, relying on time-tested traditions to craft a bold new course through 2020 and beyond.

Pilgrim called Pastor Charley after a two-year process working with Interim Minister Andy Burr to craft a church profile that highlighted the strengths and challenges of doing ministry in the greater Southborough area. The congregation met with a wide range of candidates before deciding that Reverend Eastman was the right leader for their ministries in 2020. “I am struck by Charley’s warmth and kindness paired with his passion for making the church and its message relevant and accessible for all. His love for the ministry is evident. His enthusiasm is infectious without being overpowering. I believe he is the right person to walk with us as we write the next chapter at Pilgrim.” – Sarah Douglas, Search Committee Member

When asked why Pilgrim Church was such a compelling choice for him, Reverend Eastman said what brought him to the church were:

  • Active small group ministries that gave members of the larger congregation a chance to connect with one another on a personal level
  • A flourishing youth group, led by Sarah Hile, with dozens of youth and their families exploring faith and service together.
  • A Spirit-filled leadership, with Moderator Ben Douglas and Deacon’s Chair Chris Willis, steeped in familiar traditions but eager to try new things.
  • A world-class music program led by Grace Choi, Minister of Music, and supported by many talented church members.

“At the end of the day, Pilgrim Church just feels like home. I can’t wait to meet more folks from Southborough, Marlborough and the surrounding towns who want to explore their faith with us,” Pastor Charley said.

About Pilgrim Congregational Church: Pilgrim Congregational Church is a member church of the United Church of Christ. Pilgrim has been energizing spirits since 1727, with a vision “to realize and fulfill the possibilities of God’s infinite love in a thriving faith community.” Services are currently available Sunday mornings online at and live streams happen at 10 am. Visit the website for more information. All are welcome!

Updated (5/8/20 11:27 am): I fixed a few typos pointed out.

Updated (5/12/20 9:27 am): The church sent me a photo credit to add

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Peter Martin
3 years ago

Welcome Charley! We all look forward to your new leadership in our community!

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