MARCH 2013 • Volume 15, Number 2
Students from James Madison Elementary School join Christ Church’s Mastersinger Choir to rehearse for the May 5 musical: “Rescue in the Night.”
A Steady Diet: 2 Holy Week, Batman!: 5 Summer Mission Opportunities: 6 Easter People: 12
In this issue:
A Steady Diet I am being fed a steady diet of diet ads.
Music Ministry....................... 5 World Missions ..................... 6 Youth Ministry . .................... 9 Children’s Ministry.............10 Our Church Life..................12 Calendar of Events ............15
Patrick Gahan Rector email@example.com
Lately, a diet advertisement appears on most every Internet page I open. I check the weather online to discover “the secret seven foods” that will shrink
to 25 Pounds! At eye-level I find MegaT Green Tea – Fat Burning Supplement and on the shelf next to it Fast-In: Rapid Weight Loss Thermogenic Intensifier (No doubt, that’s a hot item!). The low lying fruit includes Relacore Extra: America’s Best Selling Belly Fat Pill; Diet Dots – Appetite Suppressant, and my personal favorite, Raspberry Slim – Natural Weight Loss that’s Powered by Raspberry Ketones.
my belly. Catching up on today’s news, I am regaled to the magic of the “Cabbage Soup Diet.” While checking out a Bible verse on one of my favorite Christian sites, a flashing sidebar hawks a “miraculous slimming supplement.”
Sunday Services: 7:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite 1 9:00 a.m. Family-friendly Communion Service with Music 10:00 a.m. Christian Education for Children, Youth, and Adults 11:00 a.m. Choral Eucharist, Rite 2 6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite 2
Front and back cover photos courtesy of Susanna Kitayama 2
The newspaper offers no respite from the diet snake oil peddlers. A full-page spread declares that “clinically tested fat burning pills” will literally suck the fat off my bones. Double my money back if you do not look like one of Charles Dickens’s waifs in thirty days! “But wait, there’s more” roars the cable TV announcer. If I call “1-800-FATRUMP” in the next fifteen minutes, I will receive not one, but two bottles of the amazing “Grapefruit Extract Formula” developed by the ancient Mayans who were not relegated to calendar making duty. That’s sixty full days of fat melt, and just for being one of the first callers, I will receive a set of Ginsu knives that will “slice, dice, and julienne” most any carbon-based entity in my house. The H-E-B is no sanctuary. Making my way to the Chips-Ahoy cookies, I am routed down an aisle that must rate as the Disney World of desperate dieters. Three wide-angle photo shots could not capture the enormous colorful display. (I took the photos so that someone would have to believe me later.) Starting at the top shelf there is Zantrex-3: Fat Burner and next to that Jillian’s Detox & Cleanse. Dropping down a shelf there is Lichi Super Fruit: Burns Calories and just to the right Slim Quick: Lose up
The whole thing sounds more than a little fruity to me. Maybe so, but those million dollar ads and Madison Avenue packaging would not be showing up around every corner if these goods were not selling. We all want to believe there’s an easy avenue to lose the fifteen pounds we gained a decade ago and regain that svelte adolescent torso. We so want to believe the blustery ads and the miraculous promises scrawled across the red, gold, and green packages. Oh, if change was that easy! But it isn’t. We know – even as we are at the checkout counter to purchase our magical shrinking elixir – that we will only have results once we buckle down and do some hard work. Reflecting on the hard work of fitness, I recall what a friend said to me some
From our Rector... years ago after he had joined WeightWatchers. I made the off-hand comment to him, “So, you are going to try to lose some weight.” To which he replied, “No, I am going to commit to an entirely different lifestyle.” My friend had wrestled with being overweight since we were kids, and he had tried everything from Metracal to the Amazing Grapefruit Diet. Only now in his midthirties was he ready to begin the hard work of transformation. Hard Changes Our life in Christ requires that kind of hard work. Unfortunately, most of us have been on a junk food religious diet for so long that we have lost our way. When we have tried to get spiritually well, we have opted for quick fixes, much like those diet supplements found on the H-E-B shelves. The remedies gave us a buzz for a time but then left us worse off than before. Spiritually malnourished, we are afraid to try and fail again. At this low time, it is good to remember my old friend’s sage words, “I am going to commit to an entirely different lifestyle,” for that is the only road that leads to lasting spiritual fulfillment.
“I am going to commit to an entirely different lifestyle, for that is the only road that leads to lasting spiritual fulfillment.” How fortunate for us that our Episcopal tradition has long directed us toward this “entirely different lifestyle.” When Thomas Cramner (1489-1556), the first Archbishop of Canterbury in our tradition, composed the initial Book of Common Prayer in 1549, he was determined to make the deeper Christian life of the monasteries and convents available to all of us rank and file believers. This was no small step. By the 16th century, people had fervidly believed for over 1,000 years that all truly serious Christians were monks and nuns. True, Cramner appreciated the transforma-
“ Many of us feel as if we are sleepwalking through life. One day ends and another begins in rapid succession, and we have little to remember and nothing to show for the time that has passed.” tive practical and spiritual habits of the monasteries and convents, and that is why he prescribed them for the rest of us. He did not believe that there were two classes of Christians – monastics and family people, but he did believe that we must undertake a disciplined lifestyle if we are to progress in our life with Christ. To understand Cramner and his celebrated Prayer Book, we must turn back the clock 1,000 years to St. Benedict (480-547). If Cramner is the interpreter of our Episcopal expression of faith, then Benedict is its founder. Benedict lived during a time of tectonic shifts in the social, cultural, political, and religious orders. The Roman Empire, the keeper of the Christian Church, was falling to a succession of outside barbaric invaders while, at the same time, crumbling on the inside due to dissolute cultural decay. The similarities with our own world are unavoidable and chilling. Driven by these seismic storms, Benedict developed a practical Christian Rule that over time transforms the life of those who seriously undertake it. Benedict does not contend that his Rule offers a quick fix to our life’s challenges, yet over time his ordered, new diet of disciplined life will awaken us to Christ’s love and grace, both which stand poised at the gates of our hearts. The Prologue to Benedict’s Rule, in fact, invites the disconsolate seeker to finally come awake to life: Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep…let us open our eyes…let us hear with attentive ears… run while you have the light. Many of us feel as if we are sleepwalking through life. One day ends and another begins
in rapid succession, and we have little to remember and nothing to show for the time that has passed. We know our future promises to be bland and altogether egocentric unless we make some substantial changes, but where do we start? Benedict would say that we start right now and right where we are. Right Here, Right Now Benedict’s avenue to getting started with this new life in the here and now is Stability. To imagine I will get started in my new life when I get a particular job or when I move to a better neighborhood or when my spouse makes some changes, is to put off change forever, for those things are all externals. Any real and lasting change must take place on the inside and right where I am. Jesus said it this way: Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain. But if it dies, it produces much fruit (John 12:24). We must plant ourselves where we are and immediately get started. Our own Prayer Book further illustrates the immediacy of Christian Stability. Daily Morning Prayer begins with this line from Psalm 95: Oh, that today you would hearken to God’s voice! (BCP, 82) In other words, there is no time to lose, daylight is burning, and we must take our first courageous steps toward renewal. The foremost example I have encountered of this commitment to Stability came from a dear friend of mine who was going through some of the mid-life angst many of us confront. One day, however, she sat down across from me and declared, “I know now
“Any real and lasting change must take place on the inside and right where I am. Jesus said it this way: Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain. But if it dies, it produces much fruit” 3
From our Rector... that if I am going to be happy in this life it will be with that man – my husband.” Hers was as profound a Benedictine statement as I have ever heard. Life begins in the here and now – not “somewhere over the rainbow.” Extreme Makeover Rooted in the present, Benedict insists we undergo a complete overhaul, or what he terms conversatio mourm – “a conversion of life.” Episcopalians believe that God is eager to convert our lives more each day, making our Christian vocation dynamic, challenging, and occasionally daunting. That’s why at the end of the Prologue, Benedict encourages his readers with these words: Do not be dismayed and fly from the way of salvation, whose entrance cannot but be narrow. For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God’s commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love.
must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23). The Christian life is anything but homeostatic. To be in Christ, is to undertake a lifelong quest that is occasionally overwhelming, but never boring. Our Prayer Book continually picks up on this vigorous daily walk we have undertaken that will eventually transform our lives. The main reading for Noonday Prayers is a selection from Psalm 119: Your word is a lantern to my feet and a light upon my path. I have sworn and determined to keep your righteous judgments… I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes forever and to the end (BCP, 104). With this in mind, I have often commented that my favorite Christians are recovering alcoholics. They realize in a most practical, profound, and personal way that they must walk the way of the cross each day or fall into a truly deadly existence. We will discover it is the same for us once we fully awaken to our faith. More Than a Feeling
“No one said it would be easy, and that includes Jesus, who pointedly told those who hung around him: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me .” Admittedly, there is not much “sweetness” when we begin getting in physical shape. Our muscles ache, our lungs burn, and our consciences rage, “Why did we let our bodies go to seed?” Getting in spiritual shape is no less intimidating. Even a few moments at prayer have us squirming in our seats eager to make a grocery list, vacuum that rug, or get on with the demands of the day. Our initial foray into Bible reading is like tackling Beowulf or the Oxford English Dictionary. No one said it would be easy, and that includes Jesus, who pointedly told those who hung around him: If anyone would come after me, he
The third Benedictine vow is Obedience. We can never get into spiritual shape as long as we live under the command of our own feelings and whims. Feelings can be tyrannical. The ego is insatiable. Therefore, we put ourselves under the Lordship and authority of Christ. The paradox for the Christian is that obedience is the only road to real freedom. An Episcopal priest I admire states this Benedictine truth almost poetically: An artist can only create something beautiful through obedience to the training, practice, and laws of color or movement or sound. And a human being can only become something beautiful through obedience to the will of God. This obedience to the discipline of God’s will is our training, and it shapes us into what we are created to be.1 Looked at this way, each one of us is God’s work of irreplaceable art that He is still shaping, chiseling, sanding, and painting. “Chiseling and sanding” are not cosmetic, skin deep change, but a thorough makeover. Out of this obedience, we must begin to think and act in vastly different ways. Remember the warning of Jesus: Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of
heaven, only those who do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21). Obedience means to “march to the beat of a different drummer,” and the bandmaster is the Holy Spirit.
“ Real life, a vibrant, contagious Christian life, is to undertake a diet of ‘small things with great love.” No modern personality rises higher on my list of obedient servants to Christ than Mother Teresa. However, many were disappointed to learn after her death that her personal journals candidly revealed that she daily wrestled with dark, almost blinding doubts in her faith. Yet she kept getting up each day, walking out into one of the poorest neighborhoods in the world, and attending those who were dying terrible deaths. Mother Teresa refused to give into the tyranny of her feelings and ego. Instead, until the very day she died, she walked in obedience to the Lord, whom she did not always understand and whose presence she often did not comprehend. Her daily, rudimentary, undeterred discipline led her to say once: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Real life, a vibrant, contagious Christian life, is to undertake a diet of “small things with great love.” Mother Teresa may have appreciated this prayer for Evening at the end of our Prayer Book, for the words anticipate a life of ups and downs, joys and struggles, light and darkness – but always a life that is going somewhere: O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen. (BCP, 833).
1 Brian C. Taylor, Spirituality for Everyday Living: An Adaptation of the Rule of Benedict (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1989), 26.
MINISTRY Holy Week, Batman! Bam! Pow!! Splat!!! Yes, this is the week when the baddest guys that ever lived, thinking about Judas, Herod, Pilate and the lot, take on the Prince of Peace. It’s not owen duggan pretty. But luckMinister of Music firstname.lastname@example.org ily we know the outcome: Jesus wins. Jesus lives! That is incredible news for us today as Christ’s love finds its way into our lives, moment by moment, despite our worst efforts at trying to follow him and his plan for us. After five or so weeks of Lenten prayers and reminders of how we continually make a mess of ourselves and God’s creation, we top it off by finding out we are actually the ones shouting, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Nice work crowd. Nice job, Peter. What a guy- after all Jesus did for him and for us, we still denied our maker. The Passion or the crucifixion of Christ is portrayed on Palm Sunday. What a topsy turvy service! It actually begins with us waving palm branches as Jesus enters the gates of Jerusalem! Go Jesus! We’re your biggest fans. But it doesn’t end right. It ends in darkness covering the earth and the veil of the temple torn in two. According to the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian, this veil was somewhere near 60 feet high and four inches thick, fashioned from blue, purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. Our most opulent expressions of religion are shown to be worthless in the face of our crime against God in the crucifixion of his Son.
like no other in the church. Bring your soiled and tired feet to the front of the church and they will be refreshed and made clean through Christ’s self-sacrificial love. Good Friday is a misnomer if there ever was one for it is the day that Christ actually dies. He doesn’t just slip out the back door while no one is looking. He gives up his spirit, dies while on the cross and descends into hell. But perhaps it is good after all because the deepest groan comes from the devil himself. Saturday evening at the Easter Eve baptismal service a single candle is lit and the church lights are turned on proclaiming an end to the pain of death and sorrow. The light of Christ is brought before us in all its hopeful and triumphant glory as we sing, “Jesus Christ is risen today, alleluia!”. The great parish priest, poet and theologian George Herbert believed that we mature in our faith through our lifelong pursuit of four avenues: Scripture, prayer, the sacraments, and living the ordered life of the Church year. Let us read, pray and grow together in Christ as we walk the walk to Calvary and as we sing the happiest hymns to our Lord on the greatest day of the Christian year, Easter Sunday!
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE PALM SUNDAY March 24 9:00 & 11:00 AM The Telling - of the Passion of Christ Spoken Eucharist at 7:30 AM and 6:00 PM MAUNDY THURSDAY March 28 6:00 PM The Tasting - of the Last Supper GOOD FRIDAY March 29 12:00 PM The Tears - on the Way to Calvary Followed by the music of John Rutter at 1:15 PM HOLY SATURDAY March 30 5:00 PM The Testimony - of the Great Vigil of Easter EASTER SUNDAY March 31 9:00 & 11:00 AM The Triumph - of the Resurrection Spoken Eucharist at 7:30 AM; no evening service
[childcare provided for ages 0-3 at all services except 7:30 AM and 6:00 PM]
Holy Week progresses as it does on Maundy (new commandment) Thursday with a reenactment of the washing of each other’s feet, as shown by Jesus himself and passed from one to another in a symbol of humility and service
MISSIoNS Summer Mission Opportunities The Missions Committee at Christ Episcopal Church is looking into several exciting opportunities this summer:
Copán, Honduras: June 29 - July 5 Brien and Terry Koehler invite you to be part of a week of mission in Copán, Honduras this summer. Leaving from San Antonio on Saturday, June 29, our team will return on Friday, July 5. The work will be varied with something for everyone. A construction project will include helping the Honduran Episcopalians put a concrete floor in their new church building. A project with the women of the region will teach sewing and other craft skills that will help supplement family incomes. A Bible School for children will bring joy and teaching about Jesus to children whose lives are not blessed with the opportunities we take for granted. Neighborhood visits for evangelism and building up the local congregation are also possible. You don’t need to speak Spanish (but
that is a good thing if you do!), and you don’t need experience. Every member of Christ Church can be part of this team. We need people who are led to go on this trip. We need people who are able to provide support and financial gifts as sponsors of those who go. We need hundreds of prayer partners to hold up the team day by day. There is a place for you! Please begin to pray about how the Holy Spirit is leading you to be part of our Honduras Mission. The total cost for one person for one week of mission (including transportation by air, all ground transportation, meals, lodging, tips, etc) is about $1500. Support from the mission committee and from sponsors will make the expenses not be a barrier for anyone who is called to go. How to sign up? Write or call the Koehlers at 830-200-1905 or brienk@cecsa. org or Terry’s email email@example.com.
Hogar Infantil- Chiapas, Mexico We are also looking into another trip to the Hogar Infantil children’s home in Chiapas, Mexico. We had a tremendous trip there in 2010. This trip can be anytime this summer but is probably best in June.
Uganda John Harrison would like to lead another trip to Uganda this summer, following up on the very successful trip last year.
These are really gratifying adventures which do wonderful things for the children and people in these countries. We could go on and on about the details but really need to know your interest right now. We are anxious to make plans but need for you to contact us! Please talk to us at church or call John Harrison at 210-822-0575.
Photos from Copán, Honduras, including a view of the mountains, children in Bible School activities, and women involved in sewing project.
World Missions... Reaching a Mangyan Tribe They told us this way wasn’t too steep, I was thinking as I trudged up the muddy slope, at about an 80 degree incline, trying not to slip. At least my feet were somewhat used to walking barefoot on jungle trails, though it had been a long time. My Filipino companions were doing it for the first time, and were quite nervous. They did have shoes, though shoes get bogged down with mud over a long time and can become quite heavy. Fortunately, nobody fell! One of the many facets of our work here in the Philippines is to stir up an interest in national churches to reach out with the Gospel to their own people, especially to the poor among the tribes in rural areas. The urban poor get a lot of attention in magazines, television shows, and internet newscasts, but the rural poor are often overlooked in the world-wide media.
Young girls from the tribe
When a native pastor on a neighboring island developed a friendship with the local church where we worship in Manila, talks about reaching out to the last unreached Mangyan tribe on that island began. The pastor asked me if I could assist the church’s planning and accompany a group into the interior in order to establish our first friendly contact. Soon we were on the island of Mindoro, hiking up the slopes. Of the seven Mangyan tribes on this island, only one remains that has not yet truly been impacted by the Gospel of Christ. This was our goal – to establish friendly contact with them which hope-
fully one day will allow for our church to begin regular ministry among the Mangyans of this area! They say that God is always in the process of transforming us in order to make us better instruments to be used by Him. He certainly did a work on us this time, with long hikes into three different areas, sleeping in partially built shelters under cold and rain, and having no facilities! In addition, this was the first time I was the only American on an all Filipino team reaching into a tribal area (great language practice!) I was blessed, as was everyone else. The pastor and elders of our church were leading the group, and I was only assisting and advising. Our purpose was not to evangelize, yet we did preach and share when those opportunities arose. The Lord went before us as He always does, preparing the way. And of course, all the relationships we developed were in Tagalog. We had been advised that it would be good if our group included women, so that we would not be perceived as a threat. So three of the ladies in the church accompanied us, who also were excellent cooks! By their skillful hands, we were not only able eat well cooking over open fires, but also able to offer a feast for the tribal people in each of the three places we visited, which they greatly appreciated. In addition, some area churches in Manila had donated clothing, which we were able to give out to the most needy families.
While the tribal people understood that we will not always be able to bring gifts and food (depending on how often we come), these were things that the Lord had prompted us to do which really endeared us to the people. Now our church looks to the Lord for the next step and I am humbled to be a part of it.
Sharing with the people
Thus we are in a beginning of new relationships between a church here in Manila and a needy tribal area on another island. The church we are attending has the resources to be involved in this kind of activity and the heart to do so. It is a privilege to be serving here in the Philippines. Our work continues on. Besides stirring up missionary vision in a local church, my primary work is assisting all the missionaries in New Tribes in the Philippines in continued language study progress. Ginny is still teaching missionary kids at the Christian school. She is doing so well, and her kids really enjoy her instruction. Our own kids are studying hard and growing in the Lord. We are blessed with friendships and the love of Christ, which is shared all around. Thank you all for your continued prayers as we press on in the Lord’s service here in the Philippines! We are so thankful that you all are a part of our work here- we could not do this without you and are thankful to have you all on our team! Blessings in Christ,
The feast we were able to share
George Olson 7
World Missions... Towards a Thinking Church in Israel by Duane Alexander Miller, academic dean of Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary People visit us here in Israel from all around the world and see how our evangelical churches have indigenous leaders—from Sunday School teachers to musicians to deacons to pastors. While having indigenous leadership is considered to be a key step in the maturity of a local community of Christians, it is not the end of the road though. So many of the forms and ideas were imported by the (mostly American) missionaries, and adopted wholesale. As on Arab student at Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary once told me, “When I walk into church I feel like I’m walking into a little piece of America.” Another way to put it is this: the churches need not only to have their own leaders, they need to do their own thinking—they need to ask their own questions, and figure out how to draw on the resources of Scripture, theology, Church history, and their own cultures to try to formulate their own answers. I have been privileged lately to see what this looks like in action, and to assist local leaders in doing this very thing. Some of our students must write a solid paper on original research before they graduate with their degree in divinity. For this research paper they get to choose the topic in any field they like. I encouraged them to ask questions about their own communities and then try to outline possible answers.
Recently, a number of denominations united to form an evangelical convention that includes Baptists and Brethren—two quite different traditions. This led another student to decide to research the topic of ordination—how do these two different groups understand church leadership and the ‘laying on of hands’ of which James speaks? I could give more examples, but suffice to say that the evangelical churches here are not only producing their own leaders, but also increasingly asking their own questions and seeking out their own answers. This bodes well for the churches here and I am confident that the research results of our seminary’s students will be a blessing to our churches here, helping us to better understand both our strengths and weaknesses—a true sign of spiritual maturity. In other family news, Sharon and the kids are doing well. David is quite good at Arabic now but is also studying Hebrew. Amelia loves singing tunes in Arabic and is doing very well with learning to read in English. Samantha has curly blond hair and is as cute as a button. Being the youngest of three she is… assertive, and has earned the nickname Baby-boss. Thank you for your prayers. The Middle East is in a great period of turmoil, so please pray with us about how we can best be used for the sake of the Kingdom of God, whether here in Israel or beyond.
One of the students, after thinking about his local Christian community, decided to go and interview local pastors about the topic of discipleship. Did they teach on the topic? What did they understand by that word? Did they talk about it but not do it? If they did it, then what did that look like? How were local leaders taking what they knew from Scripture and their own experience and putting that into practice here in Galilee?
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ... Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6
MINISTRY Youth Update I have been so excited about the lineup of speakers we have had so far in our Alpha/Confirmation series. The content has been solid and if God has given our youth ears to hear and eyes to see, then they have also been given a great foundation for their faith, for the truth of the gospel has truly been proclaimed. Along with getting some solid spiritual food weekly we have found a little time for having some fun on the side. CLARK NILES Director of Youth Ministry firstname.lastname@example.org
Another part of the Alpha and Confirmation experience has been service opportunities like working at The Good Samaritan Center, taking on the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, and working at James Madison Elementary in their flower beds and garden.
Clark Niles & the Gang
Youth Alpha/Confirmation gathering, students having fun with dance, Shrove Tuesday pancakes, and service opportunities.
MINISTRY Children in Holy Week Palm Sunday Procession Sunday, March 24 Before 9:00 and 11:00 AM services All children should gather in front of the church before the beginning of both the 9:00 and 11:00 AM Palm Sunday services to receive palms to carry and wave during the procession. This is a Halleta memorable Christ Church tradition for Heinrich our children who are able to reenact the Director of welcoming of Jesus, the Messiah, into Family Ministries Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. email@example.com Children at the 11:00 AM service may be accompanied to Children’s Chapel for a Palm Sunday lesson after the procession. They will be brought back into the church to join parents for Holy Communion. Stations of the Cross Good Friday Service Friday, March 29, Noon Parents are encouraged to bring their children in first grade and above to the Stations of the Cross Good Friday service. Childcare will be provided in the FMC nurseries for infants through preschool ages. An Easter movie will be shown for all ages of children in the FMC Movie Theater room 302 during the concert following the Good Friday Service. Parents should pick up children in the nurseries or Movie Theater Room after the service or concert. Family Liturgy of Light & Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 30, 10:00 AM Our church families will celebrate the gift of the Light of Christ this Easter Saturday, March 30. Families should gather at 10:00 AM in the Tomlin Room on the first floor of the Family Ministry Center where we will begin our journey to Chapel as we sing “The Light of Christ!” and follow the Paschal Candle. Each family will receive a light representing the Light of Christ, and hear the Gospel account of the first Easter. After being reminded of the true meaning of Easter, children will celebrate the gift of the light and life Christ gives us by participating in our great Easter Egg Hunt on the church lawns. All children from toddlers through fifth grade are invited to attend. (Teens are welcome to come help!) There will be an Easter Scavenger Hunt for third through fifth grade children with prizes for all and an opportunity to learn more about our church as they
follow clues along their hunt. Easter Treats and punch will be served for all on the lawn as well as an Easter Family Craft for families to work on together. Make sure to bring your basket and a camera for great photos. The Easter Bunny will be here to hand out some special eggs for each child. Thanks to the Easter Egg Hunt Committee members Sarah Wymer, Ann Cross, Rebecca Facile, and Gretchen Duggan as well as other preschool and third grade parents who are in charge of this year’s hunt! Flowering of the Cross Processional Easter Sunday, March 31 Before 9:00 and 11:00 AM services Children will bring flowers for Jesus this Easter morning during the Flowering of the Cross Procession. Children will help turn a bare cross into a thing of life and beauty during the Flowering of the Cross, symbolic of Jesus’ gift to us of His Risen Life. Children should gather outside the front steps of the church at 8:45 and 10:45 AM with their flowers. Children attending the 11:00 AM service may attend a special Easter Children’s Chapel after the Flowering of the Cross. They will be brought back into the church to join their parents for Holy Communion by 11:45 AM. Parents! This is a traditional and positive memory-making event at Christ Church. Take the time on Saturday to do some flower shopping with your kids or gather flowers from your own lawn. Let the children choose their favorites. This means a lot to them. Then take some beautiful family photos around the flowered cross after the service. You won’t be disappointed!
Children’s Ministry... Children’s Communion Celebration Our parish family is invited to join in honoring this year’s Children’s Communion Class and their families in a Communion Celebration Service on April 7 at 11:00 AM in the church and a Celebration Reception on the lawn after the service. The children in this class will have completed a seven-session class designed to enrich their understanding of Holy Communion and a Communion Retreat in preparation for the April celebration. Parents of the children participate as class helpers and retreat and reception leaders. It’s a great intergenerational learning and community-building experience for all. Please pray for the children in this year’s Communion Class as they learn and celebrate the gift of Jesus in Holy Communion.
Communion Class 2013: Sawyer Barr Crain Canavan John Canavan Andrew Case Hattie Colglazier Alex Cross Molly Duggan Robyn Facile Eloise Flannery Nancy Nell Fry Luke Hummel-Small Quinn Jones Emily Kitayama Luke Markette Natalie Markette Addie Miller Chelsea Simpson Juliana Solorzano Charlotte Stevens Class Mentors: Nelson Heinrich Grace Kardys Annabelle Zacher August Zacher
Children’s Communion Class
James Madison Elementary Joins Mastersingers Anticipation and excitement were contagious as eleven singers from James Madison Elementary joined the Mastersingers in their first musical rehearsal on Wednesday, February 12. A special banner greeted students as they hurriedly filed out of their school bus and up the stairs. Once in the choir room, they were greeted by name cards marking their seats and cubbies for music—as well as the smiling faces of their Christ Church Mastersinger hosts.
The combined group is working together to present the junior choirs’ musical, “Rescue in the Night” on Sunday, May 5. Saturday, February 23 found them tie-dyeing T-shirts, making lion hats and learning positions and parts during several rehearsals. Eating breakfast tacos beforehand and pizza later on were popular diversions from the morning of work. What a blessing it is to make new friends as our students join together to praise God in song!
James Madison children and the Mastersinger choir during a Wednesday rehersal.
Easter 2013: Easter People Bible Study & Preaching Series
EASTER people March 31 - May 26 We easily recite what happened to Jesus on that first Easter. The Apostles Creed declares that on Good Friday, Jesus “was crucified, dead, and buried, and he descended into hell.” Yet on “the third day” – Easter morning – “he rose again from the dead.” This is glorious news, but the essential existential question is – what does Easter mean to you and me? What happens to Christians because of Easter?
We are changed in many wonderful ways because of Jesus’ resurrection on that day. For one, Easter people are given an identity, we finally know who we are. For another, we know a depth of peace that transcends outward circumstance. We know where to go because the risen Lord is our guide, and we have become attuned to his gentle interior voice. Easter people know how to really love because we know we are loved even when we have become spiritually sick and are terribly unlovable. Easter people reject the false glory offered by the world that feeds our egos, for we know the only true glory is found in relationship with the risen Lord. Christ’s seal is written across the hearts of all Easter people by the first awesome gift of Eater – the Holy Spirit. Easter people are different because we have discovered life that soars beyond the mundane surface of things. During this Easter season, let’s drink deeply from the Gospel of John and gather each Sunday to worship and hear a word of hope. We will come to know that Easter people are utterly different!
Sunday, March 31
Sunday, April 7
Easter People Know Who They Are Easter People Know Peace
Sunday, April 14
Easter People Know Where to Go
Sunday, April 21
Easter People Know God’s Voice
Sunday, April 28
Easter People Know How to Love
Sunday, May 5
Easter People Know How to Get Well
Sunday, May 12
Easter People Know True Glory
Sunday, May 19
John 14:8-17, 25-27
Easter People Know the Spirit
Sunday, May 26
Easter People Know the Truth
Adult Formation: Looking Ahead Making Sense of Prayer is the next course offering in the Christ Church adult formation program. The seven-week series will begin Sunday, April 14 at 10:00 AM in the Parish Hall.
Making Sense of Prayer will be organized by Harry Parker with the support of the Adult Formation faculty.
The opening session will be a presentation by Marjorie Mead, Associate Director of the Wade Center at Wheaton College. Mrs. Meade’s address is titled “Be busy learning to pray”: C.S. Lewis and Prayer.
In June, Brien Koehler will be teaching four sessions on building a solid foundation for spiritual growth.
The remaining weeks of Making Sense of Prayer will be led by Christ Church members who will share their experiences in the various forms and types of prayer with an emphasis upon personal experiences and practical application.
The title of his series is “Stability in an Un-Stable World.”
Our Church Life... Waging Peace On April 12 & 13, Christ Church will host “Waging Peace,” a seminar from Peacemaker Ministries presenting Biblical tools for resolving conflict. The purpose? to help us keep our mandate from Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18): “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” The Peacemaker Seminar is a five-module training course that systematically applies Biblical principles to real-life situations to equip you to respond to conflicts in gracious, wise, and God-glorifying ways.
Friday, April 12th: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM with full buffet lunch. Saturday, April 13th: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM with continental breakfast and box lunch. Cost is $30 per participant- scholarships are available. To register, go to dwtx.org/calendar-events/events. Scroll down to the Waging Peace Seminar and click ”Register” and follow the instructions. For a video preview, go to vimeo.com/59260558. For more information, contact The Rev. Robert Woody at 210-655-2731.
Biblical tools will be presented that can be used by individuals, groups, and counselors/mediators to reconcile conflicts and disputes that are found in the home, at work, and in the church.
Sponsored by The Reconciliation Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas; Christ Episcopal Church, San Antonio, Texas; and Peacemaker Ministries, Billings, Montana.
C.S. Lewis Conference
Marjorie Mead to Speak at Christ Church
“C.S. Lewis & the Divine Presence” will be presented April 13 in the Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University in San Antonio. Presented by the Hill Country Institute and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship of Trinity, the day-long program includes three speakers, artistic performances, plenary talks, a panel discussion, and an evening concert. This event is co-sponsored by the Diocese of West Texas, the Bishop Elliott Society, and Christ Church, San Antonio. The Rt. Rev. Bill Frey will deliver opening remarks. More info at www.hillcountryinstitute.org.
Spring Women’s Gathering The annual Spring Gathering for Women, sponsored by the Commission for Women’s Ministries, will be held April 12-14 at Camp Capers. Catherine Lillibridge will be the speaker, and the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson will serve as chaplain. “Give Us This Day: Women, Prayer, and God” will help Catherine Lillibridge participants open up to God’s peace and love with four words: breathe, aware, accept, and action. Cost per person is $150, including room and board. Scholarships are available; please contact Leigh Saunders at leigh. firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the brochure, go to www.dwtx. org/calendar-events/events.
Christ Church is privileged to welcome Marjorie Mead, Associate Director of the Wade Center at Wheaton College, to our campus on Sunday, April 14. Mrs. Mead will be the first speaker in our seven-week series Making Sense of Prayer. One of three primary speakers at the C.S. Lewis Conference, Marjorie Mead is a nationally known writer and lecturer on the works of Marjorie Mead C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Dorothy Sayers. She is the author of many books and articles on these and other writers. Her presentation at 10:00 AM on April 14 will be “Busy learning to pray: C. S. Lewis and Prayer.” She describes her subject as follows: When C.S. Lewis became a Christian as an adult convert, he came with a surrendered heart, but he still needed to learn what being a Christian entailed. In “Letters to Malcolm,” the final book Lewis prepared for publication before his death, we benefit from the mature fruits of Lewis’s lifelong journey in the Christian faith. In drawing on this and other of his writings, we will look together at Lewis’s lived understanding of prayer, both its challenges and its power to transform our lives. This presentation is a great opportunity for you to invite your friends to church!
Our Church Life... Coming Soon: Christ Church Directory
Family Camp Registration Kick-Off
While the pictorial directory of our beautiful church family is in production, a “contact information only” book will be ready very soon for a nominal fee. Stay tuned! Pictures for the pictorial directory will be taken at Christ Episcopal Church by Susanna Kitayama on the following dates: Saturdays April 13 & 20 Sundays April 7, 14, & 21 All you need to do is come by the photo booth and smile! Times and room location will be posted online, in the bulletin, and mailed to the congregation on a postcard. But, wait, that’s not all! Not only will you be able to purchase a printed pictorial directory, but you will also be able to securely access it on the Christ Church website at no charge. The online directory will be our most up to date way to contact members since we will be able to update information as soon as updates are received by church staff.
Laity Lodge Family Camp Director and Christ Church friend John Hill will be here preaching on Sunday, April 14 at both 9 and 11 AM services. John will help us kick-off registration for Family Camp September 13-15 at “Headwaters,” the beautiful new Family Camp facility at Laity Lodge. Twenty-five spaces for twenty-five Christ Church families have been reserved at “Headwaters” for a great family weekend. John will share details and photos of Family Camp as part of his sermon time. John is an ordained Episcopal priest and native San Antonian who has had a special calling to Family Ministry and Camp Ministry. John Hill
So, look for the “contact information only” directory soon, have your picture taken on one of the above dates, and look for the pictorial directory this summer!
Our hope is that our Christ Church families will grow closer to God, each other, and their Church Family through being part of Family Camp in the fall. We want as many Christ Church families as possible to come. Partial scholarships will be available. For more information on Laity Lodge “Headwaters” Family Camp, contact www.LLFamilyCamp.org.
The Short FUSE
The Great Commission Society
Christ Church will have a “Short FUSE” this summer! The Family Urban Service Experience (FUSE) will provide an opportunity for outreach service in a mission trip atmosphere for three days in July. From Thursday evening, July 11 through Sunday morning, July 14 the Short FUSE will be in Houston with direction from Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral. Participants will be housed in the Cathedral facilities, and will participate in a variety of urban outreach ministry each day and devotional and recreational times each evening. The Short FUSE is a church-wide mission for outreach presented by the Christ Church Outreach, Mission, Family Ministry, and Youth programs. Cost per person will be $180 with financial aid available. Do not let the expense prevent you from joining! For more information, visit www.urbanserviceexperience.org.
If you die without a will, the state will divide your assets among your spouse and children, appoint an administrator that may cost the estate large fees, and appoint guardians -who may or may not have been your choice- for your dependents. The state makes no charitable contributions and it will ensure that your estate pays as much tax as possible. By making a will, you appoint your own administrator, you name the guardian of your dependents, you control applicable taxes, you can create a family or charitable trust, and you can share your resources with your family, church, or other institutions as you choose. A bequest in a will can take the form of a set amount of money, a percentage of an estate, a specific asset, a trust, or the naming of a church-related organization as a contingent beneficiary. The Great Commission hopes that you will consider adding Christ Church to your will. Tom Frost or Patrick Gahan will be glad to speak to you about your interest in making a testamentary gift to our parish. Please contact them at 210736-3132 or email@example.com.
oF eVeNTS March 22-24: Youth Alpha Retreat
Christ Church Staff:
March 24: Palm Sunday
The Rev. Patrick Gahan, Rector firstname.lastname@example.org
Last class of “Making Sense of your Baptism,” 10:00 AM
Palm Sunday Procession, at beginning of 9:00 and 11:00 AM services
March 28: Maundy Thursday service, 6:00 PM March 29: Good Friday service, NOON The music of John Rutter, 1:15 PM March 30: Family Liturgy of Light service and Easter Egg Hunt, 10:00 AM
Holy Saturday baptismal service, 5:00 PM
The Rev. Scott Kitayama, Associate Rector, email@example.com The Rev. Brien Koehler, Associate Rector for Mission and Formation, firstname.lastname@example.org Carol Miller, Pastoral Care Administrator, email@example.com Halleta Heinrich, Director of Family Ministry, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 31: Easter Sunday services at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Spoken Eucharist at 7:30 AM. No evening service.
Clark Niles, Director of Youth Ministry email@example.com
Children’s Flowering of the Cross Processional, at beginning of 9:00 and 11:00 AM services
Dr. Owen Duggan, Music Minister firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s Communion Celebration Service 11:00 AM Celebration Reception on the lawn after the service.
Joshua Benninger, Organist email@example.com
Picture Day for Christ Church Directory
Ruth Berg, Director of Children’s Music, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christ Church 2.0 For Busy Parents begins, 10:00 AM
April 12-13: Waging Peace: Peacemaker Conference
Christ Church Support Staff:
April 12-14: The Spring Gathering for Women at Camp Capers
Robert Hanley, Parish Administrator email@example.com
April 13: Picture Day for Christ Church Directory “C.S Lewis and the Divine Presence: Living the Mystery of the Indwelling God,” Conference at Trinity University April 14: Picture Day for Christ Church Directory
Guest Preacher- John Hill, Laity Lodge Family Camp Director 9 and 11 AM services. “Making Sense of Prayer” begins, 10:00 AM Guest Speaker- Marjorie Mead, Associate Director of the Wade Center at Wheaton College
April 20: Picture Day for Christ Church Directory April 21: Picture Day for Christ Church Directory May 5: Children’s Musical “Rescue in the Night”
Darla Nelson, Office Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Donna Shreve, Financial Manager email@example.com Gretchen Duggan, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org Anna Jewell, Executive Assistant to the Rector, email@example.com Donnis Carpenter, Receptionist firstname.lastname@example.org Elizabeth Martinez, Kitchen Manager email@example.com Robert Vallejo, Facilities Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Rudy Segovia, Hospitality Manager email@example.com Joe Garcia, Sexton firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Watson teaching the children in Communion Class.
The Message (USPS 471-710) is published bi-monthly by Christ Episcopal Church, 510 Belknap Place, San Antonio, TX 78212. Periodical postage paid in San Antonio, TX. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Christ Episcopal Church, 510 Belknap Place, San Antonio, TX 78212. Volume 15, Number 2.
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