News Archive

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

Bishop Gates addresses Annual Convention

On November 4, Bishop Gates addressed the 232rd Annual Convention of the Eastern Diocese of Massachusetts. He shared his view of mission strategy, priorities, and staff re-organization. To see the video and read his address, click here.

 

Massachusetts Bishops urge action in wake of gun violence

Our Bishops in the Dioceses in Massachusetts urge leaders and public to take action against gun violence. Their letter comes in the wake of the recent shooting in Texas. Read their response here.

Join Our Christ Church Choir!

An Invitation from Pam Goody, Music Director …

Dear Christ Church Family,

October and November are Stewardship months. While we are all stewards of our beautiful house of worship, we are also stewards of the spiritual life of the church and its people. Spirituality comes to us through the singing of hymns and through choral anthems. Ministry of music is essential to the life of the church, for it speaks to the heart in a way that nothing else can. Why not join the choir as your personal ministry and spirituality? It is lovely to reach out to others in ways you may never know. Another option is to become a leader or co-leader of a youth choir and help our enthusiastic children sing, for they are the future of the church.

You may be thinking that you and your children already have too many things to do. Think about what is most important to you and make a conscious decision to focus on a few things. A simpler life is less stressful and all around.When I was in my early teen years, choices weren’t in abundance, like they are today; yet, I had scheduling conflicts. I remember there were three groups I wanted to join, but they met on the same night. It was a dilemma. “Couldn’t I try them all?”My parents wisely told me I had to make a choice. I could join only one out of the three. They told me that once I made a commitment, I would be obliged to honor the commitment. Then my parents stepped back and let me make my own decision.

Are you curious what I chose? I chose choir. This was the first major decision I made totally on my own and I chose well. At the time, I didn’t know I was making a life-altering decision that would shape my future. If I hadn’t chosen choir, I wouldn’t have had so many wonderful opportunities in my life. I would not have gone to a college for music; I would not have met my wonderful husband, and I would not be your Music Director.

We know where our decisions will lead us, nor the impact they will have on our lives. I feel that if we listen to the guidance of our inner wisdom, we will make choices that will lead to greatness. What choices will you make that will lead you toward an exciting new direction? You won’t be able to do everything, so choose the one or two things that are most important to you. Financial stewardship is so necessary to keeping the doors open, but it just may be the music stewardship program that keeps your heart open. I’ll step back now and let you decide.

Peace,
Pam

Bishops Urge Action on Gun Violence

In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Bishops United Against Gun Violence, a group of more than 70 Episcopal bishops, has called for reflection, dialogue and action to address gun violence in the United States. “As Christians, we are called to engage in the debates that shape how Americans live and die, especially when they die due to violence or neglect,” the bishops wrote.

Bishops Against Gun Violence is committed to speaking and acting decisively “against the unholy trinity of poverty, racism and violence.” It does this through public liturgy, spiritual support, teaching and advocacy.

Statement from Bishops United Against Gun Violence Following the Las Vegas Shooting

October 2, 2017–We share in the grief and horror of people across our country and, indeed, around the world in the wake of last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. We have spoken with our Bishops United Against Gun Violence colleague and brother in Christ, Bishop Dan Edwards of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, and we have offered him and the people of Nevada our prayers and promises of assistance. We stand in solidarity with the diocese and the people of Nevada as they cope with this massacre.

It has become clichéd at moments such as these to offer thoughts and prayers. But as Christians, we must reflect upon the mass killings that unfold with such regularity in our country. And we must pray: for the victims, for their loved ones, for all who attended to the victims in the immediacy of the shooting, for the first responders who do so much to mitigate the awful effects of these shootings, and for the medical personnel who will labor for many days to save the wounded. We must also enter into the sorrow of those who are most deeply affected by our country’s cripplingly frequent outbursts of lethal gun violence. We must look into our own hearts and examine the ways in which we are culpable or complicit in the gun violence that surrounds us every day.

And then, having looked, we must act. As Christians, we are called to engage in the debates that shape how Americans live and die, especially when they die due to violence or neglect. Yet a probing conversation on issues of gun violence continues to elude us as a nation, and this failure is cause for repentance and for shame. It is entirely reasonable in the wake of mass killings perpetrated by murderers with assault weapons to ask lawmakers to remove such weapons from civilian hands. It is imperative to ask why, as early as this very week, Congress is likely to pass a bill making it easier to buy silencers, a piece of equipment that make it more difficult for law enforcement officials to detect gunfire as shootings are unfolding.

Even as we hold our lawmakers accountable, though, we must acknowledge that a comprehensive solution to gun violence, whether it comes in the form of mass shootings, street violence, domestic violence or suicide, will not simply be a matter of changing laws, but of changing lives. Our country is feasting on anger that fuels rage, alienation and loneliness. From the White House to the halls of Congress to our own towns and perhaps at our own tables, we nurse grudges and resentments rather than cultivating the respect, concern and affection that each of us owes to the other. The leaders who should be speaking to us of reconciliation and the justice that must precede it too often instead stoke flames of division and mistrust. We must, as a nation, embrace prayerful resistance before our worse impulses consume us.

We join with the people of God in fervent prayer that our country will honor those murdered and wounded in Las Vegas by joining in acts of repentance, healing, and public conversation about the gun violence that has ripped us apart, yet again.

On Tuesday, October 3 at 9 a. m. Pacific time, churches across the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada will toll their bells in mourning for the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas. Bishops United Against Gun Violence invites congregations across the country to toll their own bells in solidarity at the same time: 9 am Pacific/10 am Mountain/11 am Central/Noon Eastern. The number of times the bells are rung will be based on the number of dead as reported at that time including the perpetrator of the violence. Watch for updates on the Episcopalians Against Gun Violence Facebook page.

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, page 833

Come Sing with Us!

The Christ Church choir welcomes new members. If you are interested in joining the choir’s joyous ministry of music, please see choir director Pam Goody, or contact her at pamela.goody@ccneedham.org or 781-444-1469, ext. 116.  The choir rehearses each Thursday evening from 7-9 PM in the sanctuary and they would love you to join them. Click here for a glimpse of the pieces and programs the choir will present this fall and winter.

Post a Sign: “Hate has no Home Here”

Together with Temple Beth Shalom, Christ Church has been asked to be a distribution point for the “Hate has no Home Here” signs.

Joanne Herrera at Temple Beth Shalom is organizing the effort and has asked for help in funding the
production of the signs, so they can be provided to people at no cost. Please consider making a donation:  https://www.gofundme.com/3t9hre-hate-has-no-home-here-needham-ma.

Bishop Curry speaks about racial reconciliation

Presiding Bishop Curry speaks about racial reconciliation, in the light of recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Click here to hear Bishop Curry’s remarks and to read the Virginia bishops’ perspectives on Charlottesville. The link also includes other resources, such as a Community Response Guide to Fighting Hate.

Celebrate end-of-summer Eucharist on Patio

Enjoy our simple summer Eucharist on the patio at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 27. This will be our last “patio” service of the summer season. Just returning from the beach? … Come as you are! Join us on the Rosemary Street patio (behind the church). There will be a pot luck dinner following the service. Please bring something to share. All are welcome.

Welcome to our new Associate Rector

We are delighted to welcome to our community the Rev. Scottie Wagner as Associate Rector for Children, Youth, and Families. Scottie will also share in preaching, presiding, and teaching, as well as providing pastoral care for all ages. The Rev. Nick Morris-Kliment shares the following about her: ” … Scottie is a seasoned priest with a heart for children, youth, and families, as well as gifts for preaching, teaching, and pastoral care for all ages. In years past, we worked together on the Board of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center, as well as in the Mystic Valley Deanery. I know her to be warm, energetic, and smart, able to communicate the Gospel with depth and joy. CCN folks who met her during the search experienced these qualities as well.”

Scottie’s Letter of Introduction follows below:

“My first introduction to Christ Church, Needham was over two decades ago, when I needed directions. I was about to start seminary, and in the last few weeks before school started, I had agreed to help coordinate Vacation Bible School. I had agreed to pick up the curriculum at a church supply store in Needham and was hopelessly lost. In those pre-GPS days, all I could think of to do was to follow the signs for the Episcopal Church and hope the office wasopen. Your then rector, Bud Cederholm, was in the office that afternoon and if I remember right, he gave me directions and then drew me a map to get me where I needed to go. In the intervening years, I heard about Christ Church a lot. I have attended at least one retreat at Christ Church, as well as a funeral, and of course, Nick’s institution as our rector, so I knew about your church’s commitment to liturgy, worship, and music. I also knew of Christ Church because of the parish’s longstanding work on social justice and environmental
stewardship. I am so delighted that my spiritual GPS has led me back to Christ Church.

When I first started out doing volunteer work at our church in Winchester, where we lived at the time, I began by teaching church school, then leading children’s chapel. Later, I was hired as a lay assistant and coordinated the middle and high school youth groups. In the intervening years, of course, I learned other skills and served in other capacities, but working with children and young people was always among my favorite parts of church work.

I am so looking forward to becoming a part of the community at Christ Church, and to getting to know every aspect of our life together. I am delighted to be able to serve with Nick Morris-Kliment, whom I have known as a colleague and friend in our work together with the Barbara Harris Camp and Conference Center, and in other diocesan work. And I am so grateful for the welcome I have already received from the dedicated and talented members of committees and parish leadership I have already met and from my new colleagues on Christ Church’s staff. Most of all, I am very excited and grateful to be able to work with children and young people again, and to work with teachers and youth group leaders.

I can already tell that this is a very special community, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I am so looking forward to sharing in your ministry. Over the summer, I hope to be able to get to know many of you, and I hope you’ll feel free to stop by the office any time for a visit or a cup of coffee and that you will share your ideas and tell me your story. I am looking forward to preaching over the summer and to getting to know Christ Church, and the community of Needham. If you aren’t able to
drop in in person, feel free to give me a call or send a note or email.”

Peace,
Scottie

Enjoy Longwood Opera Summer Concerts

Longwood Opera ushers in its 2017 Summer Concert Series at 7:30 pm on July 11. Concerts run every Tuesday evening at the same time through August 29 in the Christ Church Chapel (AIR CONDITIONED). Longwood Opera is Needham’s own and Christ Church’s resident opera company.

PROGRAM LINE-UP:
July 11 – An Evening of Opera
July 18 – Broadway Melodies
July 25 – Opera on the Lighter Side
August 1 – Love is in the Air
August 8 – An Evening of Gilbert & Sullivan
August 15 – Opera the Art of Emotions
August 22 – An Evening of Stage & Screen
August 29 – A Gala Night of Opera

Tickets for the summer series are available online or at the door. Admission $8; seniors, students & children $6. SAVE with a
summer season pass for $50; seniors/students & children, $35. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted.

This fall, Longwood Opera will present Humperdinck’s “Hansel & Gretel,” fully staged and in English. Visit the Longwood Opera website at www.longwoodopera.org.