Weekly Parish Life Notes

News for the Week of February 25, 2018

Christ Church of Hamilton & Wenham joins the Good Book Club this Lent and Easter

Christ Church of Hamilton & Wenham is pleased to join The Good Book Club, a church-wide program that invites all Episcopalians to read Luke and Acts during Lent-Easter 2018. Participants in The Good Book Club will begin reading Luke the Sunday before Lent, Feb. 11, 2018, and finish up the Book of Acts on the Day of Pentecost, May 20, 2018.

“We are thrilled to invite thousands and thousands of people to enter the great narrative of Luke and Acts,” said the Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, the project initiator. “As people open their hearts and their minds to scripture, transformation follows. The Good Book Club could change thousands of lives, and, indeed, our whole church.”

Christ Church of Hamilton & Wenham joins dozens of organizations already partnering with Forward Movement on The Good Book Club, including Episcopal Church Foundation, ChurchNext, Episcopal Migration Ministries, and the Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry. Those wishing to join The Good Book Club can sign up for email updates on the initiative’s website (www.goodbookclub.org) or “like” The Good Book Club on Facebook and Christ Church’s Facebook page.


“Now and at the Hour of Our Death”

Christian Formation Lenten Series on

Decision-Making in the 21st Century

Designed for people of any age, in any state of health, this interactive three-week series provides knowledge and resources to help in navigating today’s complex healthcare system and prepare for the future. The Christ Church Stewardship Team has assembled a group of speakers equipped to help us understand end of life decision making from theological, medical, and legal perspectives.

Medical Decision Making (February 25) Dr. Alex Cist will help us understand how advances in public health and medical innovations contribute to the complexity of choices faced by patients and families.

Ethical Decision Making (March 4) Carol L. Powers, J.D. will unpack the nuts-and-bolts of advance directives, living wills, MOLST forms, DNR/DNI, health care proxy forms. She will help us understand what each one means and which are legally binding.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Alex Cist completed fellowships in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and in Clinical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, and has combined these interests in her clinical work at Mass General Hospital since 1992.  Alex focuses on clinical ethics—especially in end-of-life care and in intensive care units; and she trains new members of Ethics committees in ethics consultation at MGH and other Partners hospitals. She teaches in the ethics curriculum at Harvard Medical School.

Carol L. Powers, J.D. is a Rowley-based estate planning attorney. Carol is the co-founder and Chair of the Community Ethics Committee, operating under the auspices of the Harvard Ethics Leadership Group. She served for over twenty years as a community member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Ethics Advisory Committee.

Location: Parish Hall

  • Bible & Breakfast meets at 9:00 a.m.  All ages are welcome for a hot breakfast
  • Adult Education meets at 10:15 a.m. Coffee is served.

Sponsored by the Christ Church of Hamilton & Wenham Stewardship Team

MISSION OF THE MONTH: Kijabe Children’s Education Fund, was founded in 2009 to educate and nourish God’s children in Kenya.  KCFE partners with schools – most in the slums of Nairobi – and several organizations, enhancing and expanding education and opportunities for close to 2,000 Kenyan children.  In Kenya over 50% of people live below the (low) poverty line and less than 50% of children complete grades 1-8.  One proven way of increasing students’ attendance and performance is by providing meals at school.  KCEF helps its partner schools provide both breakfast (porridge) and lunch (rice & beans) – often the only meals those children will eat those days.  KCEF also provides One Laptop per Child and other computers, with training for teachers; continuing education and increased salaries for teachers; facility improvements and expansion; and experiential education.  Every year Kijabe helps more 8th grade graduates continue onto secondary school.  A secondary school education is one of the most significant factors in breaking the cycle of poverty.  Parishioner and KCEF board member, David Friedrich will share his work with Kijabe on Sunday, February 11th.  You may donate to Kijabe by writing “Kijabe” or “KCEF” on the memo line of your check.   You may also speak with Anne Pelikan and Dave & Nancy Mering who are also parishioners and Kijabe board members. 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR GOOD COMPANY! Can you spare an hour a week to bring cheer into the life of an elderly or disabled neighbor who is lonely?  Become a Friendly Visitor for the Good Company team at Christ  Church. There is training, but it's quick and easy, and the rewards of helping out are great! Right now we are in particular need of some MEN to volunteer! Join us by contacting Stella Goren, Congregational Coordinator, 978-356-0294 stellagoren@gmail.com, or Posie Mansfield, Director, 978-412-2241 Good Company Director@gmail.com. You can also speak to Father Patrick or Mother Susan.

HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: While the idea of hospice is often misunderstood, our volunteers have found spending time with patients to be wonderfully rewarding experience! From reading books, sharing music or simply just sitting and listening, volunteers make a huge difference in the lives of patients and their families. Please consider sharing a small amount of your time by visiting a hospice patient on the North Shore.  No special skills, lifting, medical or physical care of any kind if required. Please contact Tara Duplaga at Beacon Hospice at Tara.Duplaga@amedisys.com or call 978-524-9510 ext. 107.  You may also contact Mother Susan for more details. 

ACORD FOOD PANTRY:To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” ~Laurie Colwin  Acord is in need of soup donations for the cold New England winter. Please place your donations in the Acord baskets located around the church. Questions can be directed to Bergen Daley at bergendaley@gmail.com. Thank you for your support.

PALMS: Please return the palms that are in your home from last year’s Palm Sunday service to the baskets that are located in the chapel and church so they may be burned on Holy Saturday.

EASTER FLOWER ENVELOPES are found in the pews and at the entrances to the Church and Chapel.  These envelopes are provided for you to make a donation for flowers in memory of loved ones.  Please print clearly on the front of the envelope, enclose your donation and place the sealed envelope in the offering plate.  The envelopes are due on Friday, March 23rd.

LIGHTS FOR PUERTO RICO: Thanks to the ongoing interest in this project I have sent 14 more lights to the mountains of Puerto Rico this week bringing the total to 30 lights to 30 families!! My contact in Salina will get the latest batch to the most needy up in the mountain communities when they arrive around the 14th of December.  The word from Dr. Martinez, who delivered our first round, is that these remotely located folks will not have light until February at the earliest.  Now that I have a way to keep sending lights, I am happy to buy more if others would like to participate.  Contact huntley.skinner@gmail.com 


BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION: Today, Sunday, February 25th at 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at St. Stephen’s in Lynn. Featuring Zena Link, Activist Educator. “Get Comfort from Discomfort: Leaning into Honest, Bold Conversations About Race” Zena Link is an educator in Worcester Public Schools with a Masters of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School, Master sof Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and Masters of Education from Boston College.  She served as 2014 Black Theology and Leadership Fellow for Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently a National Education Association Teacher Leadership Fellow. (Free admission, light refreshments, all ages welcome.) Contact Heidi Horner for more information.

ARTISTS OF CHRIST CHURCH: Our Annual Parish Art Show is coming in March and April!  Are you a photographer, painter, needle worker, pen & ink artist, or do you create other hangable art? Each Christ Church artist may submit two to four pieces of art - all work must be ready to hang. Photographs, paintings and drawings should be framed appropriately. Please contact any member of the Art Committee: Peggy Godin (margaretmgodin@gmail.com or 978-314-3622), George & Penny Wingate, Anne Pelikan, Rachael Galbraith, or Anthony Falcetta. if you would like your art to be included in the show. Bring your art work to the Preston Cutler Room for hanging on Friday March 2, between 9:30 and 10 am, or make other arrangements with the Art Committee.

AN INVITATION FROM HARBORLIGHT COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO HAMILTON RESIDENTS: HCP has responded to the Town’s affordable housing evaluation process by proposing two projects 40 units or under. One building would be at 59-63 Willow Street and would be for 20 seniors along with a new space for the Acord Food Pantry. This concept has been supported by the Hamilton Development Corp, Hamilton Affordable Housing Trust and many abutters. The second, and necessary, idea is to put 40 units for families at 1 Longmeadow Way in 4 buildings all below the single family height limit. This will be discussed and hopefully voted on at the next Hamilton Affordable Housing Trust meeting on Tuesday, February 27th at the Hamilton Senior Center at 6:00 p.m. The projects both need approval for both of them to go forward. This meeting is likely the conclusion of the last two years of activity. If you are interested in this process this is the most important meeting in the last two years to attend. Any questions please contact Andrew DeFranza at 978-922-1305 x 207 or adefranza@harborlightcp.org

VESTRY MEETING Wednesday, February 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Preston Cutler Room.

LENTEN DEVOTIONAL RETREATS USING SOULCOLLAGE(R). You are invited to come to the Skinner’s home on February 26th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. March 19th from 1:00-4:00 p.m., and March 23rd from 6:00-9:00 p.m. to enjoy a quiet contemplative practice of making SoulCollage’s as a prayerful way to experience the depth of our relationship with God. Please contact Huntley.Skinner@gmail.com if you would like to attend. cost is $35.00 to cover supplies and facilitation. An explanation if the process will be shared for those who could not attend the classes. Appropriate for children who have scissor and gluing skills and can sit for 3 hours.

THE NEW GOING DEEPER SPIRITUALITY GROUP meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Preston Cutler Room.  We are using the book A Spiritual Formation Workbook: Small Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Growth, by James Bryan Smith.  If you have questions please contact Mother Susan at  440-781-1614 or revsusan54@gmail.com  

AA MEETINGS: In the Parish Hall, Sunday 3:30 p.m., Monday 8:30 p.m., and Wednesday 7:30 p.m.

THE CHOIR OF CHRIST CHURCH: The Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings at 7:45 pm in the Choir Room. All who enjoy singing are welcome to be part of this ministry at Christ Church. If you have not sung with the choir here in the past, this is a great time to “try us out.” If you have sung with the choir before but have been “on leave,” please consider returning. Speak with the Organist-Choirmaster, Jack Russell, following the service, or contact him at jrussell@wooster.edu or 440-781-7116 to learn more about the choir and its ministry.



You are invited to a Community Potluck supper for those interested in RIM (Refugee Immigration Ministry), the North Shore Cluster.  It will be held at the Emerson Center, 9E Common St., Topsfield, MA on Sunday, April 8 from 5 to 7 p.m.  The family we currently support will be present, as well as many active members of the North Shore RIM support team. There will be a Silent Auction to benefit RIM.  You can sign up to bring a dish to share through Perfect Potluck.  Please let Mother Susan know if you plan to attend.

SEEKING THE SUBLIME: One of the greatest ceramic artists of the 20th century was the Benedictine monk Thomas Bezanson (1929-2007), whose graceful forms and masterful glazes are admired today all over the world.  All parishioners of Christ Church are invited to experience his work on Saturday, March 3rd in the special exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum entitled Brother Thomas: Seeking the Sublime.  We will gather in the CCHW parking lot at 9:00 a.m. and carpool down together to the museum, which has arranged for a special docent-led tour of the show.  We will return in the early to mid-afternoon depending on the group’s lunch appetites.  Please email Bill Cross now at williamrcross@outlook.com to reserve space on the tour.  Thank you. 

L.I.F.E.  (Living in Faith Everyday) GROUPS: These small groups meet monthly for Bible study, support, and mutual encouragement.  All are welcome to their respective groups. 

  • The Women’s L.I.F.E. Group is a group of women comprised primarily of young professionals, young mothers, and young professional mothers. If time is sparse and family/work commitment is high, this is the group for you! The group meets once a month and focuses on the upcoming reading that you’ll hear during the next week’s Sunday service. No advanced prep-work is required: reading & discussion takes place during the meeting. The group is hosted by Laurie Groff, administrated by Abigail Butt, and facilitated by Caroline McDonnell. It meets the 2nd Monday of each month from at 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. March 12th. For more information, please contact Abigail Butt by email (abigail.st-hilaire@gordon.edu) or call/text (978-979-4582).
  • The Men’s L.I.F.E. Groups meets the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month at 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. in Preston Cutler Room.  Connect with other men, share, pray, read the upcoming scripture, and enjoy breakfast.  We need each other, don’t go it alone. The next meeting will be held on March 10th. Contact Paul Mason for more information at Rpaul@Mason.ch

GATHERING FOR HOPE/NORTH SHORE invites all Christ Church women to join other women from around the North Shore at its monthly meeting here in the Preston Cutler Room on Monday, March 5th 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.   For more information, contact Nancy Mering at nmering@msn.com or 978-852-1233.

READERS & WRITERS GUILD: Friday, March 16th at 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Preston Cutler Room. Open mic to follow the Feature Reader.  Read two poems or two pages of prose/essay/short story.  There will be pot luck goodies and the opportunity to buy & sell published works.  For further information, please contact Betsy Retallack at betsyretallack@hotmail.com

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN & FAMILIES is recruiting foster parents for children. Is there room in your home & heart for a foster child?  Do you have love & patience? You can be single, married, widowed, divorced, or partnered. You can own your home or rent. We need homes for children aged 0 to 22 which include sibling groups, children with special needs, medically involved children, and infants born exposed to drugs and older teens.  We are looking for long-term foster homes but also have a need for emergency and respite homes which involve a shorter time commitment on the part of a foster family. Our goal is to provide our foster children with a supportive and healing environment in a home in their own community until they can be reunited with their families or another plan can be made on their behalf. The rewards of providing daily care, guidance and acceptance are immeasurable.  

If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent, you can learn more about the application process and the supports provided by the Department by attending an information meeting. We encourage you to share this information with your congregation and to please join us:

Monday, March 12th 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Community Church of East Gloucester (7 Chapel St.)

Tuesday, March 27th 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Grace Community Church (17 Pleasant St. Marblehead)

Call Lori at 978-557-2722 to pre-register, or walk-ins welcome.

MINI-DAFFODIL PLANTS ON EASTER will be provided to the children of the parish from the Preston Family in memory of Bessie Cutler Preston, who grew flowers in her own greenhouses.

FUTURE FORWARD FOR HAITI: Christ Church has partnered with Future Forward For Haiti and the mountain village of St. Louis d'Haiti sponsoring teachers and building community relationships with their pastor Paul Marius and the 175 children in their school of grades preK-6th grade.  Last year Tom Skinner went to Haiti with Kay Roseen, President of Future Forward for Haiti, a life long friend of the Skinner's, and the team from Future Forward for Haiti.  As partners with this new mountain community, we would like to send one or two representatives from Christ Church to meet the people of the village of St.Louis d'Haiti.  The trip is scheduled for April 20-25. Kay will come to Christ Church in March to offer an orientation and training for those who would like to join the team. Preparations are underway to make gift bags for the children and opportunities to sponsor teachers’ salaries are always welcome. If you are interested in going and learning more contact Tom and Huntley Skinner at huntley.skinner@gmail.com.

Please pray about taking this trip.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Actual travel in Haiti is very strenuous
  • Accommodations will be indoors, but relatively awful
  • Cost will be the price of your airfare, plus $100 per day in country – all tax deductible. This covers visas, SUV rentals, drivers, accommodations, translators, and meals.

This trip is not easy, but it is the adventure of a lifetime. 

YOUNG LIFE CAPERNAUM CLUB: Young Life Capernaum Club will provide a time of fun activity and socialization between your student with special needs and our outstanding buddies and volunteer leaders.  At Club, kids will eat pizza, play games prepared by leaders, and hear a little about the Christian faith – there might even be a dance party!  Come play games, experience the inclusion and love Capernaum has for middle & high school students with special needs. For more information contact Philip Bowling, Young Life Area Director at 978-473-0587 or PhilipBowling@gmail.com.

Club:                              Parish Hall 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Saturdays March 3, April 7, May 5 .  $5 is suggested to cover pizza.

YOUNG LIFE WYLDLIFE: Wyldlife is for local middle school students.  For more information contact Shannon at 860-841-6790.

Club:                    Ipswich Town Hall 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Fridays February 16, March 23, April 27, May 18.  $5 is suggested to cover pizza. Super high energy with lots of games!

Campaigners:        104 Essex Rd, Apt A, Ipswich 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. Mondays , March 5, April 9, May 7. Smaller group of students who want to go deeper into the Bible. Snacks & games provided.

YOUNG LIFE: For high school students. For more information contact Shannon at 860-841-6790.

  • March 1- King’s Bowling (6-8pm). Bring $10 for bowling, optional: extra $$ for food.
  • March 8- Campaigners at the Knudsen’s (14 Elliot Street) 7-9pm. For kids wanting to talk more about faith
  • March 15- Laser Tag (6-8pm). Bring $10, optional: extra $$ for food.
  • March 22- Club Game Night at the Peppler’s (53 Meyer Road) 7:30-9pm.
  • April 5- Wingersheak Beach (6-8pm). Smores and Bonfire. No need to bring anything.
  • April 12- Campaigners at the Peppler’s (53 Meyer Road) 7-9pm. For kids wanting to talk more about faith
  • April 26- Club BonFire at the Knudsen’s (14 Elliot Street) 7:30-9pm.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Genesis 17:1-7,15-16

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be Abram but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 15 God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

Romans 4:13-25

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. 16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.


Mark 8:31-38

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Exodus 20:1-17

Then God spoke all these words: 2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. 8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. 12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery. 15 You shall not steal. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.


John 2:13-22

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.