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Sharing Our Faith April 2014 In this issue‌ Micah Initiative Reading Program Sisters of Bethany Knitting Ministry Mid-High Retreat Easter Egg Hunt

April 2014

The Micah Initiative Pilot Reading Program at GMES is a Success!

The tenets of the prophet Micah are "To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). With these tenets as the cornerstone, the Micah Initiative helps underserved communities increase academic achievement, reduce absenteeism and improve social behavior in their schools. This year, in partnership with other caring and supportive faith communities involved in the Micah Initiative, Christ Church entered into a Pilot Reading Program at George Mason Elementary School. Christ Church volunteers have the opportunity to work one-on -one with first grade students as they develop and improve their reading skills. There are many smiles and hugs exchanged between the students and volunteers. The students look forward to the arrival of their friends from Christ Church and the individual attention they receive. All it takes is to see the children's reaction to your arrival and you'll know why you were called to volunteer. — Dave Thomas, Volunteer


The Pilot Reading Program has been so successful that it will be expanding in the fall to include an additional classroom. Volunteers can come weekly, biweekly, or monthly and all the necessary supplies and books will be provided at the school. If you feel called to serve, please express your interest though Serving Opportunities in CCE Online.

Volunteer Sally Burden reads with a GMES student.

— Photos by Cliff Bruce

Lorraine Gawronski has faithfully coordinated the reading program since its beginning.

Sisters of Bethany Prayer Shawl Ministry Partners with new Stork Ministry by Linda Walton From a very early age, I began enjoying crafting and the process of ‘creating’ something special. My first knitting project was a pair of wristlets for my grandmother. Although they were gaudy, I knitted them with the intent of pleasing her. I could not have imagined then that my knitting skills would evolve nor that they would interweave so well with my spirituality and desire to give back to others. Now I knit to create items for gifts, silent auctions, the Sister of Bethany Prayer Shawl Ministry (currently celebrating its 10 year anniversary), and most recently, the Stork Ministry. I especially like the idea of blessing the gift and giving it in honor of a newborn, as a tangible sign of God’s handiwork in their lives and life to come. At Christ Church, I have witnessed the importance of focusing on and developing a child’s faith, and One of Linda’s latest believe the Stork ministry is a creations — a newborn wonderful way to begin. hat for a baby-on-the-way.

Not only do I get the pleasure of seeing people wear my creations, but I also enjoy the gift of fellowship with other knitters in our congregation. We share yarn, patterns, lessons learned and ideas for our knitting or crocheting. When I am alone, I find knitting keeps me occupied while I watch TV, travel, or sit in some obnoxiously long and tedious meeting or teleconference! I love to watch colors and different textures merge together to become something beautiful and useful. God knit us together in our mother’s womb, and my knitting joins me together with friends and recipients in the Christ Church community. — Linda Walton

Join Club Stork If you are expecting a new addition to your family, Christ Church would like to welcome you to Club Stork! We will pray for the birth of your child and can provide help to new parents, including meals. We hope that Christ Church will become a second home for your little one; a place to learn about Jesus' love and to grow in Christ. To join Club Stork, please visit

MidHigh Retreat Rocks! by Mac Strange-Boston We all piled into the CCE vans on Friday night, March 7 and headed west. It was fun to get caught up with friends, eat dinner together, and get excited for the weekend ahead. Once we arrived at Rockbridge, we cheered as each new church arrived. After we were settled in, everyone met at the worship area where we were introduced to two energetic MC’s for the weekend, including Lance Funnypants. The prayer leader for the weekend, Dugan, was a really down-to-earth guy who was able to speak to us from our point of view. The theme for the weekend was mirrors

(distorted, rear-view and shattered). We learned throughout the weekend that each of us is God’s Masterpiece and we need to live the life that God made for us, instead of focusing on all our flaws. The way we are taught to view ourselves by society is through the distorted mirror where we are never good enough; the rear-view mirror where we cannot forget our sins in the past; and the shattered mirror where we have no hope left to change our lives. But we know that God has made us in His image. He made us exactly how He wanted us to be.

Mid-High Retreat Rocks! by Mac Strange-Boston As middle-schoolers we often struggle with the changes we are going through and the situations that life throws at us. Sometimes we think we are not good enough or believe others when they tell us this. However, the truth is, we are all made in God’s image and we are perfect in His eyes. Saturday’s breakfast was a positive, dance fest with the leaders standing up on the chairs clapping as we all walked in. Then the work crew was introduced as we all banged on our glasses with utensils. We had a ton of free time afterwards that we used to play basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, ride a giant swing and just have a ton of fun. The best part was getting to ride the huge zip line from the top of a mountain into a freezing lake. It was a great bonding experience for our group and we even got the chance to talk to Keith Elgin and his drummer on the way to the hot tub and convince them to ride the zip line (see videos and more @keithelgin). Speaking of Keith Elgin, he and his band did an amazing job throughout the whole weekend. All his songs were super uplifting and powerful. I could tell from looking

around the crowd each night that they were all moved by his music. I could feel the Holy Spirit moving around us as we all sang along praising God. The highlight of the weekend was definitely the last night when Dugan’s sermon brought nearly the entire crowd to tears realizing that we ARE God’s masterpiece and He has forgiven us and He has a plan for each and everyone of us. Personally, this weekend motivated me to go out and live my life the way God wants me to. If you are thinking about going on a retreat or mission trip with our church, I highly recommend it, for it really brings you closer to God and the friends that are on the trip as well. Overall it was a great experience for everyone. I am thankful for Adam and the other chaperons who were on the trip and the opportunity to experience God’s grace. Mac is 14 years old and in 8th grade at Liberty Middle School in Ashland. He enjoys soccer, lacrosse, swimming, reading, spending time with family and friends, and his CCE Youth Group.

Easter Egg Hunt

Praying in COLOR Members of the adult ministries class Prayer for People Who Can’t Sit Still were recently introduced to a creative practice called “Praying In Color.” This process engages participants in an active, visual, and meditative way to pray. Folks draw their prayers and can view and revisit them as a way to meditate and pray throughout the day. An example from the class is pictured above.

Sharing Our Faith A Publication Dedicated to The Celebrations, Successes and Gratitude of Christ Church Episcopal Christ Church Episcopal * 5000 Pouncey Tract Rd * Glen Allen, VA 23059 * (804) 364-0394

Sharing Our Faith, April 2014  

A publication of Christ Church Episcopal.