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

 

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.

 

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].

Worship Schedule for the Second Sunday of Easter

Worship Schedule for Sunday, April 19, 2020

9:30 a.m. Children’s Chapel Watch on YouTube. Please email Ann Enkiri at [email protected] for the link.
 
 
 
10:00 a.m. Intro to Easter Season Bible Study Live on Zoom
 
11:15 a.m. National Cathedral Sunday Service Online at Washington National Cathedral
 

2:00 p.m. 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Multi-faith Celebration Co-hosted by Washington National Cathedral and Interfaith Power & Light Online at Washington National Cathedral

 

5:00 p.m. Christ Church Live @ Five Live on Zoom

 

Alleluia! Easter at Christ Church

Dear beloved community,

Tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection. I will miss being with you in person, hearing the choir, singing with gusto, and looking in your eyes as we celebrate communion. I’ll miss the children racing to find eggs hidden cleverly around the garden by our awesome teens. And yes, I’ll miss those killer deviled eggs and heavenly coffee cake in a laughter-filled parish hall.

It helps me to remember that this year we have more in common with the first disciples. On that first resurrection day, there was no trumpet fanfare, no choirs sang, and no one looked their best. In Matthew’s account of that morning when the women found the tomb empty, they were “filled with fear and great joy.” In Mark, all were amazed and terrified. In John, Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener. They encountered the risen Christ in unexpected places, in unexpected ways.

The story of the resurrection begins in the dark, with an empty tomb. But it never ends there. That’s the mystery and gift of resurrection faith. I pray for all of us that we encounter God in unexpected ways – in the glory of a Spring day, in a loving word from a friend, in the inspired work of healthcare professionals, in the amazing ways that we continue to meet together, in glimpses of the transformative Love that knows no bounds. Not even death. Alleluia!

A blessed Easter to each of you,
Emily

Easter Sunday at Christ Church

Please join us to celebrate this holy day!

9:30 am Children’s Chapel Easter Egg Homily on YouTube
Please email Ann Enkiri at [email protected] for the link.

10:00 am Christ Church Service of the Resurrection

Live worship on Zoom
or watch

Live on our Facebook page

The Service Bulletin can be found here.

You do not have to have a Facebook page to watch. Just follow the link above
or go to the Christ Episcopal Church Kensington FB page.

Virtual Festive Coffee Hour to follow on Zoom at 10:45 am (or a bit earlier. Cathedral folk join us before the 11:15 am Service.)

Don’t forget your coffee, tea, and that festive snack remaining in your pantry!

Holy Week at Christ Church

Dear friends,

I hope this finds you well, and if not well in mind, body or spirit, I hope this message and this week will remind you that you are not alone!

This year we do not have to impose Holy Week on our ‘regular’ lives. The pandemic is our Holy Week. And the way of sorrows, the way of Jesus in his last week, offers us a way to walk through these days. I hope that you will join with your community of faith in the living tradition of the church and that it may be a time of solace and maybe even inspiration.

I encourage you to create a sacred space if you don’t already have one in your home. A table covered with a cloth with objects that are symbols of your faith – perhaps a cross, or a rock, or a bowl of water. Put a candle or two on it. Create art. Invite your children to join you. (See Ann Enkiri’s suggestions below.) If you’re alone, perhaps place a picture there that when you see it, reminds you that you are loved. And when Easter arrives, as it always does, you can put flowers on it too! If that sounds like another layer of overwhelm (I get it!) dedicate a time that is sanctuary even briefly each day.

Perhaps Holy Week has never been more real than it is this year. We don’t know when we’ll get through this period in our collective lives, but we will! And as Michael Marsh says so beautifully:

“Every cross flowers with new life,
every tomb is a workshop of resurrection,
and every Holy Week is the raw material for a new creation.” 
Amen.

Blessings and peace to each and every,
I miss you, and love you.
Emily

Holy Week and Easter Day at Christ Church

There are many opportunities to gather in prayer and worship throughout Holy Week.
 
Palm Sunday – April 5, 2020
9:30 am Children’s Chapel on Zoom*
 
10:00 am Liturgy of the Palms & Passion
Will be posted Sunday on YouTube. The bulletin is available here.
 
5:00 pm Liturgy of Palms and Passion
 
Holy Monday
6:30 pm Evening Prayer
Live Worship on Zoom
 
Holy Wednesday
6:30 pm Tenebrae – A Service of Psalms
 
Maundy Thursday
6:30 pm Agape meal in your home!
Bulletin for Maundy Thursday will include prayers and ideas.
7:00 pm Maundy Thursday liturgy
 
Good Friday
10:00 am Children’s Chapel on Zoom*
Noon Liturgy for Good Friday
7:00 pm Stations of the Cross
 
Easter Day
9:30 am Children’s Chapel Easter Egg Homily on YouTube*
 
10:00 am Celebration of the Resurrection
Virtual Easter Coffee Hour to follow!
 
11:15 am Service of the Resurrection
Live broadcast from the National Cathedral,
The Most. Rev. Michael Curry, preaching
 
*Private links to children’s services and a Guide to Holy Week at Home for Children will be emailed to families. If you have not received this information and would like to be included, please email Ann Enkiri at [email protected].
 
Joining us on Zoom?
It is best experienced on computer, iPad, or smartphone, but you can also dial in from your telephone. To join by phone:
Dial: +1 301-715-8592. It will ask you for the Meeting ID: 626 256 7637 followed by the # sign.