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.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” John 14:1

Dear beloved community,
This Sunday will be our 9th while safely at home during the pandemic. I’ve never run a marathon, (ok, or a 5K, except once with Girls on the Run. My 8 yr old goddaughter left me in the dust.) but I now feel like we’re all in the midst of one. It’s requiring patience, compassion, creativity and care from all of us. And sometimes it’s all overwhelming. The Way of Love seems ever more important as we navigate the coming weeks and months.
The Bishop and her team has put together a very helpful statement outlining a phased way forward for the church based on the recommendations of local health authorities and our sacred commitment to keep one another both safe and step by step able to worship and serve in closer proximity. Hence it’s name: Toward the Future with Caution and Hope. I commend it to you as well as the many other resources in this and other Christ Church Connections! Do fill out the survey so that we may serve you and support one another. Do let me know how you are faring. Do send us your prayer requests.
As this time in our lives goes on, please be gentle and compassionate not only with others but with yourself. And to all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, coaches, teachers, aunties, friends – all who nurture us with motherly care, happy mother’s day to you.
May God bless you and keep you. I miss you and love you,
Emily

Fourth Sunday of Easter Good Shepherd Sunday

Sunday Schedule for the Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 3, 2020
9:30 a.m. Children’s Chapel
Live on Zoom via password-protected link emailed to parents. Please scroll down for more information and please contact Ann Enkiri if you are not receiving these emails: [email protected].
Christ Church Morning Prayer Service
Watch on YouTube
10:00 a.m. Acts in Easter: Bible Study
11:15 a.m. National Cathedral Sunday Service
1:00 p.m. Youth Group
Live on Google Hangouts. Contact Madison Chase for the link to join, [email protected].
5:00 p.m. Christ Church Live @ Five

Looking for Other Ways to Support the Community?

If you are looking for ways to donate your time or resources to support families and individuals in need at this time, please visit the Montgomery County Food Council’s comprehensive page with information on organizations in need of donations and volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis (and beyond): https://mocofoodcouncil.org/covid-19-how-can-you-help/
The website includes links to a Food Assistance Provider Needs spreadsheet, the Volunteer Center website, and information on how you can donate meals to hospital workers, first responders, and those in need.
We raise to God those who are on our hearts and are in need of prayer always, but especially in this time of our collective lives.
If you would like to add someone to our prayer list, please email [email protected].