Weekly Parish Life Notes

News for the Week of FEBRUARY 23, 2020


Do a “Liturgical Audit” of Your Life


As we prepare for our five-week Lenten series on how our liturgical worship is at the heart of our formation as Christians, take time this week (and in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday) to examine your life “liturgically.”  Liturgies are what form our love, and things not considered “religious” have liturgies because they are interested in forming our love just as much (if not moreso!) than the church.  So the philosopher James Smith encourages us to “find time to pause for reflection on the rituals and rhythms of your life…Look at your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual routines,” and ask yourself these questions:


  • What are the things you do that do something to you (especially the things you think are only doing something for you)?
  • What are the secular liturgies in your life?
  • What vision of the good life is carried in those liturgies?
  • What Story is embedded in those cultural practices?
  • What kind of persons do they want you to become?
  • To what kingdom are these rituals aimed?
  • What does this cultural institution want you to love?


MISSION OF THE MONTH: Kijabe Children’s Education Fund, was founded in 2009 to educate and nourish God’s children in Kenya.  KCEF 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 computers, with training for teachers; continuing education and increased salaries for teachers; facility improvements and expansion; and experiential education programs.  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.  Board members David Friedrich and Anne Pelikan are happy to provide more information and answer questions. You may donate to Kijabe by writing “Kijabe” or “KCEF” on the memo line of your check or Loose Plate donations on February 23rd will benefit Kijabe. 


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

THE CHOIR OF CHRIST CHURCH: The Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in the Choir Room. All who enjoy singing are welcome. 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.

A Women's Bible Study meets each week for teaching and prayer centered on the Lectionary Readings for the coming Sunday. We are mostly retired, mostly mothers and grandmothers, and mostly quite active at Christ Church.  We meet on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 - 6:00 pm in one another's homes in Hamilton and Essex. We welcome new members at any time.  For more information, please contact Peggy Godin at margaretmgodin@gmail.com or call/text 978-314-3622)

CHRIST CHURCH PARISH POETRY READING will be held Sunday, February 23rd at 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the Preston Cutler room. A poetry reading will take place with our own talented parish poets in conjunction with our parish art show. Please bring a poem to share or come to listen. For more information contact Jeanne Maurand at jjeannemaurand@gmail.com or call 978-468-4997.


Mark your calendars now for LENTEN CHORAL EVENSONG on the Second Sunday of Lent, March 8th, at 6:00 p.m. here at Christ Church. Our choir will be joined by the Choir of St. Michael's, Marblehead, for a quiet and serene observation of Lenten reflection, prayer, and music.

SHROVE TUESDAY SUPPER:  Join us (and bring your kids) on Tuesday, February 25th from 5:30-7:00 p.m.  to welcome the arrival of Lent with pancakes and bacon in the Parish Hall.  If you are able, please bring a small donation to cover the cost of the food; all proceeds will benefit Future Forward for Haiti.  For more information, or to sign-up to help, please contact Grace Chmura @GChmura@christchurchhw.org or 508-654-2548.

Developing Spirituality in Times of Stress and Tension

Seeking to know God more deeply in the company of sisters and brothers who follow Jesus, praying and sharing together and learning new spiritual practices, is a substantial source of hope and help in stressful times.  Because we live in such times, Christ Church will offer the formation of a new “Going Deeper” group, or several, as needed, to provide you an opportunity to develop a vibrant and balanced spiritual life.

We will use as our principal resource a book produced by RENOVARE, an international Christian movement founded by Richard J. Foster.  Renovare is Latin for “renewal” and renewal of the Church and its members is this movement’s primary goal.  Text: “A Spiritual Formation Workbook: Small Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Growth” by James Bryan Smith and Lynda Graybeal.  Copies may be purchased online through Amazon.com or Christianbook.com for about $10.

All our welcome.  If you are interested in participating please contact Mother Susan at revsusan54@gmail.com or call my cell phone – 440-781-1614.  Ideally, we will begin in mid-March, evening or daytime, meeting for an hour and a half once a week, according to your availability, and evaluate progress at the end of May.  I hope to hear from you.        Mother Susan

SPRING WORK DAY: We need all available able-bodied men, women, and children to come help us clean up the facilities and grounds on Saturday, May 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Rain Date May 9th). Come for the whole day or just a few hours. We are looking for people to help mulching, planting, cleaning, completing small repairs and construction projects, raking leaves, and uprooting trees, as well as many other tasks both inside and out.  Please bring rakes and work gloves if you have them. There will be coffee & breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and libation at the day’s end.  Childcare will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – please RSVP to NaomiRuthGray@gmail.com or text/call Naomi at 508-494-9448. For more information please contact Abby Butt at Abigail.St-Hilaire@gordon.edu.

THE WOMEN’S L.I.F.E. (LIVING IN FAITH EVERYDAY ) 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 at her home in Beverly, administrated by Abigail Butt, and facilitated by Caroline McDonnell. Next meeting is Monday, March 9th from at 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Abigail Butt by email (abigail.st-hilaire@gordon.edu) or call/text (978-979-4582).

STEPHEN MINISTRY CONTINUING EDUCATION: Tuesdays 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Preston Cutler Room:

February 25     Social media boundaries for Stephen Ministers

We'll define social media and discuss the difficulties of social media in the Stephen Ministry context. We'll generate concrete ideas for managing the difficulties. Come discuss social media and Stephen Ministry with Karen Mason, psychologist, the Director of the Masters in Counseling Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and trained Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader.


March 24         Grieving a loss

Grief is a natural response to loss. Loss comes in many shapes and sizes. Jan Carlberg will help us think about grief and loss. Jan is an author (The Hungry Heart: Daily Devotions from the Old Testament), blogger (http://www.jancarlberg.com/), story-teller extraordinaire, wife and widow, mother, grandmother, conference speaker and former first lady of Gordon College. 


April 28           In Our Own Voice (NAMI)

In Our Own Voice is a program produced by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). This program will be led by a person with lived experience who will share openly about what it’s like to have a mental health condition. 


May 26             Helping a caregiver navigate decisions about levels of care.

SAVE THE DATE: Christ Church is hosting Family Promise June 21-July 4, 2020 and July 26-August 8, 2020.


Sunday. February 23, 2020 – The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

Exodus 24:12-18

The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14 To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.” Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

2 Peter 1:16-21

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Matthew 17:1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I[a] will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”