Christ Church Connection Update

Dear friends,

I loved last Sunday’s celebration of Holy Eucharist. I didn’t know what to expect and so the (copious) tears surprised me. Sharing communion with so many of you, even with tiny little communion cups carried to homes like sparks of sacred light in lunch bags, felt like ice water in the desert. I’ve heard from many of you who were also moved by the experience, whether joining us live on Zoom, or having communion around your table.

It was also a delight to have some of our children lead us in song and prayer. Before the pandemic, we decided to begin having a monthly family friendly service at 10:00 a.m. in response to requests from parents with young children. While we never imagined it would commence online, we will continue this practice throughout the year on the second Sunday of the month. It won’t always be communion if we are worshiping online, but we will join together to nurture – and be nurtured by – the next generation.

Our next Communion celebration will be Sunday, August 9th. It will also be for children of all ages! Look for more info to come, but please go ahead and email Jen if you would like to have a blessing bag delivered to you.

In the meantime: reach out to one another, wear a mask, carry a fan, and be compassionate – to others – and to yourselves.

Blessings and love to each and every,
Emily

Communion online tomorrow. Pick up today!

Join us Online for Holy Eucharist!

Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

 

Dear ones,
 
Tomorrow we will be having one live service offered online via Zoom at 10:00 a.m. Teddy’s prelude will start a few minutes before the hour as we’re all getting settled. A recording of the service will be available for viewing on YouTube later in the day.
 
Pick up your “blessing bag” with consecrated bread and wine TODAY, Saturday, July 11th in the church parking lot. I will be there handing out blessings and blessing bags! If you need the sacrament delivered, please call the church by Noon today. Don’t be shy. See details below.
 
It has been a long time since we celebrated communion together. This one promises to be memorable, joyous, and most certainly will have a glitch or two. All family meals do. At least the ones I cook. Or attend. One more thing: if you haven’t gotten to pick up the sacrament, please still join us for worship! The bulletin has a prayer of spiritual communion for that purpose.
 
Be compassionate with yourself and one another. There is more grace than any of us know. I look forward to seeing you around the table.
 
Emily
Click here to read details in preparing for online celebration of Holy Eucharist on July 12th!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

WORSHIP SCHEDULE

10:00 a.m. Celebration of Holy Eucharist: A Family Service for Children of All Ages
Live on Zoom and available for viewing later on YouTube.

There will be NO Children’s Chapel, NO 5:00 service.

No Bible Study until further notice.

An update from the Wardens and Rector

Dear Christ Church Family,

We are writing to provide an update on the planning for re-opening Christ Church, and some joyful news for re-introducing communion into our virtual worship services.

The Re-opening Task Force continues to meet and is taking a hopeful, yet measured, approach to the many complex considerations of this decision, balancing the health and safety of all the members of our community with our desire to physically gather for worship as one body in our beloved sanctuary.

Our deliberations are being informed by both the Diocesan and Montgomery County restrictions. Even as we remain in Phase One as defined by the Diocese, i.e. no live in-person gatherings, we anticipate that its stipulations, along with the County’s, may be changing in the next few weeks.

We must submit a plan for phased re-opening to the Bishop for approval, and the Task Force has decided the following with regard to in–person worship at Christ Church:

1.    Although Montgomery County has entered re-opening Phase 2, which allows for houses of worship to “have limited indoor and outdoor services with 1 congregant/family per 200 sq. ft.,” we have decided to submit a plan to the Diocese for resuming in-person services only after Montgomery County moves into Phase 3.

2.    In Phase 3 in Montgomery County, the required square footage drops to 100 sq. ft per person/household. This would allow for 40 people to be in the sanctuary together (including officiant and organist).

3.    When we decide to move forward with in-person services, we will have a sign-up process for the limited number of households who will be able to attend in person.

4.    We will move forward provided that the church is “ready” as follows:
a.  Signage in place to aid with social distancing
b.   Ushers re-trained, and personal protective equipment.
(masks, gloves and sanitizer) are available.
c.    Cleaning protocol in place.
d.   Communications & Wi-Fi systems are upgraded to support
live-streaming of all in- person services

5.    In addition, per the Diocese’s requirements, everyone who plans to attend in-person services will be required to sign the Covenant for Regathering in Worship, which requires among other things that everyone wears a mask while attending in-person services.

6.    Kitchens, pantries and food preparation areas will remain closed for the foreseeable future, and clergy will not be shaking hands at the back of the church.

7.     Those who are at high risk of infection are advised to consider their own health before coming to church. Those who are ill are asked to remain at home. The final plan will include detailed instructions for attendance, including what to expect, how to sign up, etc.

8.    While we await the time when we can gather for in-person services, we have created a plan to reintroduce communion into our worship. “At-home” communion kits will be made available to all who would like them, containing pre-consecrated individual servings of the sacrament and instructions. They will be available for pick-up from the church, or delivered to you by request if you cannot pick one up.

a.    There will be a Celebration of Holy Eucharist on July 12 when we will livestream the worship service and at the time of distribution, consume the pre-consecrated sacrament together – a true communion! There will also be a video of Emily consecrating the individual communion cups for those who cannot join in the live service but wish to have communion.
b.   A detailed email specifically about the July 12 service will go out next week. Communion kits will be available for pick-up July 9, 10 and 11 from the church parking lot. You’ll get details on how to sign up for a pick up time. Requests for delivery may be made through the office. This will be our pilot for what will be a monthly virtual celebration!

9.    Until we can all return safely, we will continue offering virtual church in some capacity.

We all wish we were able to gather together in our beloved sanctuary, but that’s not possible right now. These measures are for the health and well-being of all in our community and are a concrete way of loving our neighbors. As always, we welcome your feedback as we navigate this season of life at Christ Church.

With hope and soap!

Kurt Ellison   Cynthia Mitchell      Emily Guthrie

 

Third Sunday after Pentecost

“His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me…”

Dear Christ Church family,

Many have talked about this being a ‘kairos moment’ in our collective lives, and I agree.

As many know, the ancient Greeks had two words for time: ‘chronos’ and ‘kairos’. Chronos refers to sequential time…as in chronological time…the livestream starts at 10:00. Kairos is something different entirely. It’s often said to be a time of crisis and opportunity that calls for decision, conversion or action. A time when the Spirit is hovering…waiting.

Bishop Mariann reflected on her time at the Interfaith Prayer service last Sunday in this week’s Diocesan Newsletter:

“…Now is an opportunity to address long-standing wounds and fissures, and the current manifestations of our nation’s deepest sin. As Rev. Barber spoke, I felt the familiar sense of being summoned by God to show up and do my part. There are so many reasons why I feel unprepared and inadequate for this moment. But how I feel could not be more irrelevant. The summons–the call–is to show up, take my place among others, and make my offering. I can do that, and so can you.

“No matter who we are or where we come from; no matter what we know or what we have to learn; no matter what we need to take on or let go, there is a place for us now, an offering we can make to change our nation for the better.

If this is, indeed, a kairos moment, pregnant with the possibilities of God, we all want to show up. We don’t want to miss this moment.”

I know that we will show up, do what is ours to do in this time, in this kairos… movement.

blessings and love to each,

Emily

Read Bishop Mariann’s reflection entitled “Summoned to the Moment” here.

Staff News, Compline, and more

Farewell to Madi!

Dear friends one and all,

For the past four years, we have been blessed with our Youth Minister Madison Chase. She has not only touched the lives of our youth, but graced all of us with her presence and leadership. As most of you know, she has been phasing out her work with us as she is working full time as a social worker at a hospital and that is more than enough ministry for one human being! Madi will end her time with us on May 31. We send her off with all our love and boundless gratitude for her.

Although it’s not the same as the big party we’d usually throw, we’ll have a special goodbye liturgy next week at the Pentecost Service, and a time of recognition at a virtual coffee hour. Please consider sending her a thank you note (you might even include a little gift if you know what I mean) in care of the church, 4001 Franklin St, Kensington, MD 20895. She has served Christ Church in countless ways – we give thanks for her gifts and presence among us, and we will miss her enormously. 

As Madi would say: Peace, Love & Jesus,

Emily

P.S. There are many important announcements this week, click the READ MORE button below to learn more.

New Christ Church Worship Opportunity: Compline

Please join us for Zoom Compline on Mondays and Thursdays at 8:30 pm. This simple, ancient liturgy is a peaceful way to close the day with 15-20 minutes of prayers, psalms, and a short scripture reading. Also called Night Prayer, it can be said in community or alone.

The order of service will be provided for you on zoom or you can follow along in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 127). To say on your own, Mission St. Clare has a beautiful version with chant or www.dailyoffice.org includes the New Zealand Prayer Book service.

 

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Dear beloved community,

As the school year seems to never end (or has ended far too soon),

as virtual graduations abound,

as we wait for Phase 2* with bated breath,

as we revel in the warm Spring air,

as we ache for those out of work, those ill, those who mourn, and those who have died,

as we seek to make sense of our lives and these times,

perhaps it would be good to stop for a moment, exhale, relish the gift of having this moment, and trust that in spite of all, and because of all,

we abide in the One in whom we live, and move and have our being.

And give thanks.

I find this prayer from A NZ Book of Prayer helpful. You might recognize the first part!

God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,

the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

God our life, be with us through this day, whether it brings joy or sorrow. Help us when evening comes to recall one benefit, one moment of grace for which to give you thanks.

Amen.

Don’t stop believin’… washin’ those hands… or wearin’ that mask.

with blessings, love, and buckets of compassion, 

Emily

PS. Our neighbors need us. See announcements below for ways to support Arcola Elementary; our homeless neighbors in DC through Street Sense; local businesses in Kensington; and the Mid-County United Ministries Mobile Food Bank. If YOU need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the me.