News Archive

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

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.

Community and Float Building = Grand Prize!

Many thanks to the scores of people of all ages who contributed in countless ways to the Grand Prize-winning Christ Church float. Over two dozen parishioners marched (including some four legged ones). The viewers along the route, particularly the kids, loved the float and its singing, moving parts. The whole building process over the past few weeks was a joyful one that deepened bonds in the Christ Church community and showed our love for the town of Needham.
Special thanks to the team of Nardin Baker, Dave Carnahan, Rich Gatto, Dusty Hecker, Tim Lysaght, and Stefano Migliuolo who planned and executed through the final weeks and days of float construction. And a very special thanks to Nardin Baker for creating an exciting float idea and design … and to Tim Lysaght for presiding over its faithful execution.

Participate in B-SAFE Summer Camp

Join members of Christ Church as we participate in the B-Safe Camp Program for Boston youth. We need volunteers to help prepare and serve lunch on Wednesday and Thursday, July 5 and 6. On Friday, July 7, we have planned a field trip to Plimouth Plantation and the children will have a brown-bag lunch on the picnic grounds. Volunteers will help make bagged lunches and have the opportunity to join the field trip. If you would like to volunteer your time or make a financial contribution, please call or email the office (781-444-1469 or office@ccneedham.org).

Summer Worship Schedule Begins June 18

Beginning Sunday, June 18, we will be holding one service at 9 a.m. in the air-conditioned Chapel. This summer schedule will continue until Sunday, September 10, which starts our new program year.

We will also be holding outdoor services on the patio on July 30 and August 27, from 5 to 5:30 p.m. We welcome members and visitors to come as they are – straight from the ball field or beach. The patio is behind the church on Rosemary Street

Office Hours for the summer will be Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The office will be closed on Fridays.

Longwood Opera Hosts Free Performance

Longwood Opera will usher in the 2017 season at Christ Church on Sunday, June 18, at 2:30 p.m. with a free performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Yeomen of the Guard”, in collaboration with the New England Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

Longwood Opera’s summer season begins on July 11 and will run every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. through August 29. Concerts will be held in the air-conditioned chapel. In the fall, Longwood Opera will present Humperdinck’s “Hansel & Gretel,” fully staged and in English. Tickets for all performances are available online at www.longwoodopera.org or at the door. Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted.

Come Bid Farewell to the Rev. Jennifer Beal

Join us for services and coffee hour (11:15 a.m.) to celebrate the Rev. Jennifer Beal’s ministry at Christ Church over the past months. Jennifer’s last Sunday with us will be May 28. “I offer a special thank you to the Rev. Jennifer Beal for her ministry at Christ Church over the last six months. Through the proclamation of the Gospel, as well as her deep faith, preaching, retreat leading, and pastoral care, Jennifer has been a steady and nurturing priest, and a helpful colleague,” says the Reverend Nick Morris-Kliment. Join us at coffee hour to say thank you and Godspeed.

Join Crew to Collect Clothing for Children

Recently, Circle of Hope sent out an urgent “Go-To” Crew request for toddler clothing in sizes 2T for boys and 3T for girls. Our supply was dangerously low and six young children living in a family shelter in Framingham needed clothing the following week. Within 24 hours of sending out the request, we had already received three monetary donations and clothing donations in the correct sizes. A Circle of Hope volunteer purchased gently-used items to complete the spring wardrobe for all six young children. We are so proud of our ability to respond quickly to these urgent requests. Our “Go-To” Crew helps families displaced by house fires, domestic violence, or other emergencies. We are grateful to this generous group of volunteers for their immediate, thoughtful responses to the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community. Thank you! If you are interested in joining the “Go-To” Crew and receiving emails when we have urgent requests for particular items, please email Carolyn at Carolyn@circleofhopeonline.org.

Confirmation class warmly received at Islamic Center

On Sunday, April 2, this year’s Confirmation students, some of their parents, and teachers, were warmly received by two congregants at the Islamic Center of Boston at Wayland. Having read the Old Testament story of Abraham, Sara, Hagar and Ishmael and God’s promise to bring forth a great nation of believers through Hagar and Ishmael as He also promised Abraham, Sara and Isaac, we decided to visit our Muslim brothers and sisters to learn more about their faith. We gathered in the prayer room where our hosts, Sonia Nguyen and Aijaz Muncif told us about the five pillars of Islam. We also learned the difference between a mosque and a cultural center, the former open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be available for the five times a day observant Muslims pray. The center we visited is primarily a Sunday school for over 250 Muslim children and teenagers. They are also open for the Friday prayer service. The center and its programs are funded entirely by donations and fully staffed and administered by volunteers. We were there in time for the 1:00pm call to prayer, ably sung by one of the school’s students, and to hear a brief lesson by Wellesley College’s Muslim chaplain on the Qur’an’s teachings on peace. As she pointed out, the traditional Islamic greeting “As-SalaamAlaikum” (peace be onto you) is a reminder that the peace of God should always be foremost in our hearts and minds and that we are called by God to be peacemakers. By coincidence, we were there on the day that the Center was having an open house for all people in the area. We saw interesting exhibits on Islamic architecture and the rich tradition of science and learning in the Islamic world. We were also treated to delicious Middle Eastern food prepared by a Syrian refugee family who is part of the Center’s congregation. We had a great time learning about the rich contributions of Muslim people to world culture and experiencing the peace, love, and hospitality of our brothers and sisters in the God of Abraham. “As-Salaam-Alaikum” – the peace of God be with you.

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