LIFE AT CHRIST CHURCH
learning and living the Word of God
Opportunities for Adults:
Christ Church offers an adult formation class currently being held on Zoom, with hopes to reconvene live as the pandemic wanes. In the past year, we've explored a variety of "basics" of our Anglican faith and heritage--the history of "how we got from the 1st century church to our present Episcopal theology, and “thresholds of life” through the BCP, such as baptism, reconciliation, marriage, and death. We recently completed the book "We Shall be Changed--Questions for the Post-Pandemic Church." We hope to focus, as we begin to re-gather in person, upon the social and justice issues the post-pandemic church will need to face to be Christ's body in the world. The rector or parishioners lead the adult formation.
Our current Adult Formation group meets via Zoom on Thursday nights at 6:30pm. Email Maria to request the Zoom link.
We also host a Bible study class, called Seasons of the Spirit, which is held twice a week.
Other Adult Formation Opportunities:
EPISCOPAL CHURCH WOMEN
The Episcopal Church Women are active throughout the year. The women meet monthly, usually with a Eucharist. In April, the women present a salad luncheon fundraiser. In the fall, the women make and sell apple pies and in early November they hold their annual cookie walk. Proceeds from the ECW functions support projects and outreach by our parish.
Our men's group operates by consensus rather than a formal structure. The group meets for breakfast at various restaurants on the first Tuesday of each month. Each November we hold a fundraising Prime Rib Dinner and each January we host a Trivia Night fundraiser for the local abuse shelter. Profits from these activities are used to fund special projects for the parish.
Opportunities for children and youth:
Children are welcome in every aspect of our parish life. We are currently building our children's formation program and hope to launch it soon.
Youth members of the parish participate in all of parish life as well, and many of them serve as acolytes during Sunday worship.
This year, we have the beginnings of a strong youth group (ages 13-18) which started by assembling our acolytes and creating opportunities to form together as a group. Before the pandemic, we held a few pizza parties with games and activities. We had hoped to have a service project, but then the pandemic hit, and that remains a future goal. Meanwhile, they have been meeting as part of our circuit of "Backyard Eucharists" that have been held outdoors, including time for spiritual reflection, followed by activities. For instance, at one gathering, they made tie-dye masks for use at school. We hope to re-gather when it is safe to do so.
For more than 20 years we have held Wonderful Wednesday in the parish hall. Each week anyone interested signs up, pays the meal fee, and on Wednesday evening we have a caterer prepare and serve a meal. It gives busy families a “night off” from dinner at home and gives all who attend an opportunity to socialize. Wonderful Wednesdays presently are on hold until we can safely gather for meals.
Outreach at Christ Church
“Good news is bread to a hungry person”, according to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Taken seriously, Christ’s command to feed the hungry and care for the marginalized, we at Christ Episcopal Church are motivated by distressing statistics concerning income distribution and food insecurity in the city as well as the county. Our Outreach, Evangelism, and Mission (OEM) committee has the responsibility to organize and facilitate parish partnering with community organizations.
Our signature parish outreach, Open Door, addresses the problem of food insecurity. For many years, Christ Church has provided a nutritious Sunday noon meal for those in need in the community. Open Door rosters groups of four or five parishioners who purchase supplies and prepare a meal for 30 to 40 individuals each week. Some of these individuals are regulars, others occasional participants or transients. In 2019, the Open Door program served over 2,600 meals. During the pandemic, for safety reasons, we converted to takeout meals and serve as many as 60 meals for pickup. Additionally, we received a grant from the diocese to provide "needed items" such as underwear, socks, toilet paper, and hygiene products for our guests. These items are now donated by parishioners and friends of Christ Church. The pandemic turned the Open Door ministry into the "Back Door Ministry" but we flexed and rolled with the changes, keeping this ministry viable, for a segment of the population who has suffered the most during the pandemic. We welcome donors and volunteers for this ministry, even if you're not sure "church life" is for you!