News Archive

The articles below are selected news highlights. See the Newsletters page for current and past issues of our monthly newsletter The Visitor.

Easter Message from Bishop Michael Curry

It’s taken me some years to realize it, but Jesus didn’t just happen to be in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. He wasn’t on vacation. He wasn’t just hanging out in town. Jesus was in Jerusalem on purpose. He arrived in Jerusalem about the time of the Passover when pilgrims were in the city. When people’s hopes and expectations for the dawn of freedom that Moses had promised in the first Passover might suddenly be realized for them in their time.

Jesus arranged his entrance into Jerusalem to send a message. He entered the city, having come in on one side of the city, the scholars tell us, at just about the same time that Pontius Pilate made his entrance on the exact opposite side of the city. Pilate, coming forth on a warhorse. Pilate, with soldiers around him. Pilate, with the insignias of Rome’s Empire. Pilate, representing the Caesars who claimed to be son of god. Pilate, who had conquered through Rome the people of Jerusalem. Pilate, representing the Empire that had taken away their freedom. Pilate, who represented the Empire that would maintain the colonial status of the Jewish people by brute force and violence.

Jesus entered the city on the other side, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey, recalling the words of Zechariah:

Behold your King comes to you
Triumphant and victorious is He
Humble and riding on a donkey

Jesus entered the city at the same time as Pilate to show them, and to show us, that God has another way. That violence is not the way. That hatred is not the way. That brute force and brutality are not the way.

Jesus came to show us there is another way. The way of unselfish, sacrificial love. That’s why he entered Jerusalem. That’s why he went to the cross. It was the power of that love poured out from the throne of God, that even after the horror of the crucifixion would raise him from death to life.

God came among us in the person of Jesus to start a movement. A movement to change the face of the earth. A movement to change us who dwell upon the earth. A movement to change the creation from the nightmare that is often made of it into the dream that God intends for it.

He didn’t just happen to be in Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday. He went to Jerusalem for a reason. To send a message. That not even the titanic powers of death can stop the love of God.  On that Easter morning, he rose from the dead, and proclaimed love wins.

So you have a blessed Easter. Go forth to be people of the Resurrection. Follow in the way of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to love. Don’t be ashamed to follow Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter.  And bless the world.  Amen.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Unhoused Artists to Offer Their Work April 30

common art, a program of of Ecclesia Ministries’ common cathedral, takes place each Wednesday at Emmanuel Church, Boston. Homeless and low-income people come together and, with the support of an artist-in-residence and pastoral staff, create. You can read more about the program here.

Artists are encouraged to participate in local art shows – and some will be coming to Christ Church to attend the 10am service on April 30, visit with the congregation, and discuss their work which will be on display in Upper Parish Hall and available for purchase. Please bring cash or a credit card for purchases. The guest preacher will be the Rev. Mary Eaton, pastor to the common cathedral community. Some of the guests may also be members of the MANNA community with which Shelter Cooking serves each month.

The artists who gather and create every week would greatly appreciate donations of new brushes, acrylic paints, canvases and yarn to continue their work. Please bring any donations to church on April 30. Thank you!

Youth on the Road Again, to South Carolina

The Christ Church Youth Group were on the road again, with a spring vacation mission trip to help the town of Nichols, South Carolina, recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. The kids departed the Monday of the public school vacation week and returned home Saturday evening. They talked about their experiences and impressions during the sermon time at the 8:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. services on Sunday, April 23.

Each year, the Youth Group takes a trip to a place in need around the eastern United States. Previous recent locations have included New Orleans and rural West Virginia. This is part of our parish mission to love God and neighbor as Jesus teaches.

Observe Holy Week with Christ Church

Christ Church Needham invites you to contemplate the final days, death and resurrection of Christ with us during Easter Week. Our observance of Lent began with Ash Wednesday on March 1 and will conclude with Easter on April 16.

  • Sunday, April 9, Palm Sunday, services at 8:15 am (chapel) and 10:00 am (chancel): Blessing of palms and procession. Music includes “Ride On in Majesty” by G. Ives.
  • Maunday Thursday, April 13, 7:00 pm (chancel): Holy Eucharist with foot washing. Music includes “I Give to You a New Commandment” by P. Nardone. 8:00 pm, all-night vigil, concluding at noon Friday. To participate, sign up in Parish Hall or call the office at 781-444-1469.
  • Good Friday, April 14, 12 noon (chancel): This is the traditional Good Friday service from the Book of Common Prayer. The Passion of Christ according to the Gospel of John, a brief homily, and Communion from the Reserved Sacrament are offered.
  • Good Friday, April 14, 6:45 pm: Tenebrae (Latin for Shadows). Experience the re-telling of Christ’s last moments on earth with thunder, lightning, darkness and stillness. Through scripture, prayer and song you will be swept up in the awesomeness of the moment. Service not appropriate for children under 10. Music includes vocal solos by Evelyn Griffin, soprano; Lea Peterson, mezzo; Grant Furgiuele, tenor; Mark Anderson, bass. Choir anthems and flute solos with Bruce Goody: “Precious Jesus” “And the Crowd Cried Out” by J. Althouse.
  • Sunday, April 16, Easter Day, 9:00 am and 11:00 am (both in chancel): Festive choral Holy Eucharist. Charles Raines, organ; Bruce Goody, flute; Mike Peipman, trumpet; Choir. Music includes “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” by D.H. Williams. Easter egg hunt at 10:30!

 

 

Refresh Your Soul at Evensong

Join us for  Evensong on April 23. With choral music, chant, and prayer, Evensong offers gentle praise and thanksgiving to God by candlelight in the Anglican tradition.  Come quiet your mind and refresh your soul for the week ahead.

The service is at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, in the Christ Church Chapel, at the corner of Highland and Rosemary.

Sipping Haitian Coffee Supports Farmers

Churchgoers recently began enjoying Singing Rooster coffee from Haiti during coffee hour after the 10 o’clock service. Singing Rooster is a social enterprise non-profit that supports fair trade and sustainable agriculture in Haiti. It returns 100% of its proceeds to Haitian farmer and agricultural communities. Bringing Singing Rooster coffee to Christ Church is a project of our newly formed Haiti Partnership Committee. Members taste-tested the coffee and pronounced it “trè byen!”

 

Evensong Service Postponed

The Evensong service scheduled for Sunday, February 12 at 4 PM has been postponed due to weather.  It will be rescheduled at a later date.

Presiding Bishop Calls on Trump to maintain refugee resettlement efforts

Presiding Bishop Curry makes a plea to President Trump to continue to accept refugees into the U.S. and  reminds us that refugee resettlement work is a cherished ministry in the Episcopal Church.  “We ask that we continue to accept as many refugees as we have in the past, recognizing the need is greater than ever. We ask that refugees from all countries receive consideration to come to the U.S. and not to ban those who come from countries most in need of our assistance, ” states Curry.
Both Curry and the Rev. E. Mark Stevenson, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries, also spoke out about President Trump’s directives to put restrictions on the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. To learn more, Click here or paste the following link in your browser.
http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2017/01/25/presiding-bishop-other-episcopal-leaders-call-on-trump-to-maintain-refugee-resettlement-efforts/

Helping our Parish Friends in Lazile, Haiti

After the destructive and deadly Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, Christ Church sprang into action raising funds to help meet the needs of our sister community in Lazile, which was hit hard.

The first request we met was for immediate food for 35 families (about 210 people). By October 13th, we had an estimate from Jean-Rony (lay leader) detailing the rice, bean paste, and cooking oil needs of the community, along with an estimate of the cost. Our very first week of fundraising brought us $1800. On October 19th, $900 was sent to Fr Milor to cover the food costs. Due to very heavy rains, the large bags of rice and cases of cooking oil could not be brought up the mountain for the October 23rd service. Father Milor traveled up by Moto (motor bike) in the mud, and had a fall off the Moto— he was bruised, but no bones were broken. By October 30th, the service for All Saints Day, the food was brought up (by truck) and distributed. Attached are pictures of the large bags of rice purchased—20, 55 lb bags (1100 pounds of rice!). In addition, five cases of cooking oil (120 bottles) and five jars bean paste (Marmite), enough for 170 people.

The next task was replacement of roofing (metal sheets) for the school, church member’s homes, and the existing church. The metal sheets, nails, lumber, transportation and labor costs by truck up the mountain were calculated. On November 4th, an additional $2155 was sent to cover these expenses (part by MoneyGram to speed completion of school repairs, the rest by bank wire, which takes 7-8 days to clear to Haiti).

By late November, we had the cost estimate for seed to replace the corn and bean crops (there are other crops, but those are the staples). The request was to provide seed for all the families in Lazile, not just the members of St Luc’s church. Pastorally, St Luc’s church leaders wanted to reach out to the members in the community around them— about 150 families in total. After discussion with Fr Milor and others, we met their request with $3600—all 70 farmers from St Luc’s will receive five buckets of bean seed and three of corn, for a total of $2402 spent for St Luc’s farmers. The other community farmers (about 80) will receive $1200 in aid, which could be spent completely on a full corn crop. Money was sent December 12th ($3600 total).

Fr Milor has expressed his thankfulness to Christ Church’s heartfelt generosity for his congregation at St Luc’s Lazile. Donors include many folks who have never been to Haiti but are obviously moved by the stories they have heard. He expresses that he is moved by our caring for their community, and hopes to visit us again to tell us, in person. In total we provided about $6600 in assistance. Truly, this was accomplished by the grace of God.

Knitting Love, Comfort, Peace of Christ

A wonderful, unique and rewarding morning on the first Monday of each month awaits you! Join a dozen for so women – beginners, intermediate and advanced knitters – in the Memorial Room while working on prayer shawls for folks in need of comfort, hats for the MANNA community, and/or squares which will eventually be woven into afghans for the Circle of Hope and be distributed to various homeless shelters.

This ministry was started many years ago by Rev. Mally Lloyd while she was working at Christ Church. Prayer shawls are knit with yarn provided by the individual knitters, blessed by the clergy when they are finished, and given to parishioners as well as friends and families, regardless of their religion or location.

Patterns using worsted yarn are available for both the shawls and the hats. Extra yarn and a variety of needles are available for each of these projects.

Conversations at these gatherings are unique and entertaining, ranging from stories by Bea Dagdigian, Marcia White and Betty Canning about life growing up in Needham to amusing antics of the cat owners, frustrations of following various diets, and details about giving automobiles away to various charities! We recently learned from Marcia that if one is knitting without a ruler handy, one should just pull out a dollar bill – lengthwise, it is 6 inches long, and folded in 1/2 it is 3 inches! Anyone is welcome to join these unsung heroines (and heroes if they want to try something new!) in creating and bringing the love, comfort, and peace of Christ to others in all corners of our world. The next gathering will be Monday, February 6th at 10am in the Memorial Room. If you have any questions, please contact Bea or Linda! A big thank-you to everyone who contributed to the MANNA Blanket Drive. As a result of your outstanding generosity, we were able to order 1,100 Mylar blankets for the homeless clients we serve at the Monday lunch program at the Cathedral in Boston. Please read the thank-you note that the MANNA folks sent which is posted in the Upper Parish Hall.

Bea Dagdigian: didge@verizon.net Linda Bloom: bloomtennant@aol.co