Weekly Parish Life Notes

News for the Week of AUGUST 20, 2017

THANK YOU, CHRIST CHRUCH: On behalf of our several families, we want to thank you for your incredible support during our time of shock and mourning because of the sudden death of our son, Douglas.  We are in awe of the gift of love you gave us through tears, hugs, prayers, and the effort that went into his funeral and reception that followed.  We are humbled and honored by this, your witness to your faith, its depth and breadth.  We cherish and value it beyond these few words can convey, and we will always be in your debt.  Again, thank you.  
David, Candy & Lauren Bergquist

MISSION OF THE MONTH:  ECCO (Essex County Community Organization) is our ministry of the month for August. ECCO is a diverse coalition of congregations in Essex County who work together on issues of shared concern. There are many different ways to participate in ECCO, from skill-based trainings to large community gatherings and celebrations. If you are interested in being on our Christ Church ECCO team, being notified of events, or to hear more about what ECCO is like, please contact Heidi, Liz or Kellie at hhorner4@gmail.com, greenelizabeth@gmail.com, kelliengentry@gmail.com.

To support ECCO's work for racial and economic justice, join us TONIGHT, August 20, at the annual ECCO boat cruise fundraiser in Gloucester Harbor. We embark at 63 Rodgers St. and will "sail" from 7 to 9:30pm. If you can't make it, you are still welcome to donate and support this important work. Checks may be made out to Christ Church with "ECCO" in the memo line, and the loose plate offering today, August 20th, will also go to support ECCO. Thank you!

ART GUILD: Please enjoy artwork by Christen Borgman Yates in the Preston Cutler Gallery.  Her show is Land & Sea, a new series of oil paintings exploring her connection to the landscapes of Cape Ann. The show will remain up through October. www.christenyates.com

ACCORD FOOD PANTRY: Many thanks to the Christ Church community for their generous and consistent support of the Acord Food Pantry. Fall and winter volunteer schedules are being formed now, so please contact Michelle Horgan, at acord.volunteer@gmail.com if you would like to get involved on a monthly basis this upcoming school year. Please contact Mike, Scott or Bergen Daley at bergendaley@gmail.com with questions about volunteering - they highly recommend it! If time doesn't allow, please consider donating personal care items, coffee, and canned soups during August, September, and October. Donation baskets are located around Christ Church. 


PARISH OFFICE HOURS: TBD for August 23-29, 2017.  Please call or email before stopping by: 978-468-4461 Ex. 23 or CCHWSecretary@gmail.com.

THE CHOIR OF CHRIST CHURCH: The Choir will begin rehearsals on Thursday evening, September 7th, 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 by telephone at 440-781-7116 to learn more about the choir and its ministry.

THE GARDEN GUILD meets Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.  Whether you are a first time gardener or an experienced pro, all are welcome. The more, the merrier! We will gather for a pot luck meal afterwards, so please bring something to toss on the grill, as well as, any small gardening tools you may have. For more info, please contact Abby Butt at 978-979-4582.

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


MEN’S LIFE GROUP meets Saturday, September 9th at 8:30 a.m. in Preston Cutler Room to support and encourage fellow men.  All men are welcome.  Contact Paul Mason for more information at RPaul@Mason.ch

NEW STEPHEN MINISTRY TRAINING CLASS BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 12Sign up now to become a certified Stephen Minister!  Join the 40 members of Christ Church who have already taken this course!  Sessions will be held (typically) on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 7:00 p.m. -  9:30 p.m. at Christ Church.  The class will include instruction and discussion on the art of listening, compassionate caring, confidentiality, ministering to those experiencing grief, and skills that are truly helpful to someone who is suffering.  Please join us! To register for the class or for more information please contact Caroline McDonnell at carolinetitusmcdonnell@gmail.com or Father Patrick at fathergray@gmail.com

“GOING DEEPER” SPIRITUALITY GROUPS ARE TAKING A BREAK FOR AUGUST.  We have been following the Renovaré (renewal) curriculum which has led us into rich discussions of our varied spiritual backgrounds and has prompted the sharing of new ways to come closer to Almighty God.

The groups already formed will meet again on Wednesday, September 13 and Thursday, September 14 to continue the pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.  Meanwhile a new group will begin on Thursday, September 21 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.  Contact Mother Susan if you are interested in joining this group. 

Again, we will begin with the Renovare material as found in A Spiritual Formation Workbook: Small Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Growth, by James Bryan Smith.  The book is available through Amazon.  All are welcome!

READERS & WRITERS GUILD: Friday, September 22nd at 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Preston Cutler Room. Featured Reader is Christ Church’s very own, Denise Frame Harlan.  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.

THE VESTRY meets on Wednesday, September 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the Choir Room.



Sunday, August 20, 2017 – Common English Bible

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

So I ask you, has God rejected his people? Absolutely not! I’m an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hasn’t rejected his people, whom he knew in advance. 29 God’s gifts and calling can’t be taken back. 30 Once you were disobedient to God, but now you have mercy because they were disobedient. 31 In the same way, they have also been disobedient because of the mercy that you received, so now they can receive mercy too. 32 God has locked up all people in disobedience, in order to have mercy on all of them.


Matthew 15:10-28

10 Jesus called the crowd near and said to them, “Listen and understand. 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that contaminates a person in God’s sight. It’s what comes out of the mouth that contaminates the person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended by what you just said?” 13 Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be pulled up. 14 Leave the Pharisees alone. They are blind people who are guides to blind people. But if a blind person leads another blind person, they will both fall into a ditch.” 15 Then Peter spoke up, “Explain this riddle to us.” 16 Jesus said, “Don’t you understand yet? 17 Don’t you know that everything that goes into the mouth enters the stomach and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight. 19 Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies, and insults. 20 These contaminate a person in God’s sight. But eating without washing hands doesn’t contaminate in God’s sight.” 21 From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 23 But he didn’t respond to her at all. His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.” 24 Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.” 25 But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.” 26 He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.” 28 Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed.

Sunday, August 27, 2017 – Common English Bible

Romans 12:1-8

So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. 3 Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you. 4 We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. 5 In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. 6 We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, you should prophesy in proportion to your faith. 7 If your gift is service, devote yourself to serving. If your gift is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8 If your gift is encouragement, devote yourself to encouraging. The one giving should do it with no strings attached. The leader should lead with passion. The one showing mercy should be cheerful.


Matthew 16:13-20

Now when Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Human One is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15 He said, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Then Jesus replied, “Happy are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you. Rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you. 18 I tell you that you are Peter. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. 19 I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered the disciples not to tell anybody that he was the Christ.