Archives for March 2014

Youth Group Guts New Orleans House

Our fantastic Youth Group completed another successful Mission Trip this past February. 10 Youth Group members along with Jim Prescott, Lee Waterhouse, and the Rev. Lynn Campbell traveled to New Orleans to work with St. Bernard Project (SBP). We were astonished by the amount of devastation that still remains following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. SBP uses volunteers from throughout the country as well as AmeriCorps members to rebuild houses destroyed in the storm. SBP also realizes that New Orleans is grappling with additional crises resulting from the Hurricane including the lack of affordable housing and the widespread number of blighted properties and deserted lots. To address these issues they buy foreclosed homes from the bank, and with the help of donations of money and labor, gut and rebuild the homes to be sold to first-time low income homebuyers. This is the project our group worked on. We were tasked with gutting a house so that it could be rebuilt by future volunteers. We were the first ones to work on this home since the hurricane which gave us insights into the pain of quick departures. Here are reflections from 3 of our participants.


While we worked on demolishing a house, we had the opportunity to take a look inside a family’s life. We saw everything from wedding pictures to school supplies to baby albums. As I was clearing out their belongings, I felt invasive at first, I thought to myself “Do I have the right to look into this family’s most precious memories?” … But after a few minutes, the group generally agreed… if we didn’t look at and appreciate them, who will?   -Emily Ounanian


On this trip to Louisiana I learned so many things. I learned how to de-tile a bathroom floor, take down a bathroom wall, and even how to begin the mold remediation process. The most important lesson I learned this week was not about demolition or building but about Faith.  One woman we met this week, Vanessa Ross, talked to our group about her experience after Katrina. Her house was flooded with 6-8 feet of water, she was forced to move into a trailer with her daughter, grandchildren and husband. Due to some of the materials in the trailer and a lifelong illness her daughter passed away, leaving Vanessa with her two young grandchildren and still no home. Not to mention the fact Vanessa was left partially blind because of the material in the trailer. Vanessa talked to us about how through all the hardships, not knowing what direction her life would go in she had faith that she would be okay. She taught me how no matter what you’re going through if you believe in yourself, the good of people like the volunteers at St. Bernard project, and Go it’ll all be okay, and this an incredible message for me to take away from this trip.  –Abi Walsh



Every morning before we left for the work site, we spent about fifteen minutes reflecting and preparing for the day. Somebody in the group would read a passage from the Bible that Lynn had selected and everybody would think about that passage throughout the work of that day. One of the passages particularly stood out to me. In one of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, he writes “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” He informs the Corinthians that though they are all separate people or parts, they work together to make up one body. No one part is more important than another and they all have a purpose. At times during the week, I began to feel as though our work was not making very much of an impact. At the work site, we were not rebuilding anything or making the house ready to sell, we were demolishing it. It seemed that our work was not really helping anybody. However, the group and I soon realized that even though we were not building anything, our work was still incredibly important to the whole rebuilding process. It was the first step of the project and was just as important as any other step because it just had to be done in order to begin reforming the house. That evening, we all reflected that just like Paul’s body metaphor, even though the work we were doing may seem unimportant at times, it was part of a bigger picture and was just as important as all of the other steps.  –Elizabeth Ruddy





Micro-finance Goat Project in Haiti

 An exciting new project within our Diocesan Grant for our Parish Partnership has begun: training members of St. Luc’s Lazil in goat care and breeding, and purchasing does and bucks, all with funds available in Christ Church’s grant of $10,000 for this project (and others).

Preparation and many conversations, some on the phone, others by email, and others in person with the help of interpreters laid the ground work in order for Christ Church to finalize purchasing services for our Parish Partners, to train community members (in Creole) in goat care and animal raising. The idea for this goat project came from the members of St. Luc’s Lazil themselves, along with Fr. Jean-Fils, their past priest, during his visit with us here in Needham in January 2013. Jen McCracken has taken the lead in communicating with community leaders, as well as with Fr. Fritz Desire, the new Priest for St. Luc’s, whose support was needed to proceed with the project. (He joined as Priest for St. Lucs after the grant to support this project was written.) Fr. Desire met with the Vestry of St. Luc’s and together they selected three community members, to be trained in animal care and then receive one pregnant Doe each.  Some of our Diocesan Grant money will be used to contract for training in Creole through Global Health Action, a non-profit which runs the goat farm in Darbonne Haiti. At that site, the three participants will be trained at a two-day workshop, and receive their pregnant Does, along with a veterinary care kit. Jen McCracken and Barb Murphy have worked together to detail the services needed and costs to be paid for the training and purchase of pregnant Does, as well as Bucks, and to detail the costs of transportation, fencing, and future vet care that may be needed.

Jen will visit St. Luc’s Lazil in May to review the terms of the training and Doe purchasing contract, to be sure the members of the community understand their responsibilities as we begin this important work together. By June or July, we hope that selected community members will have attended their training. In August, when a group travels to Lazil to visit our partner parish, we hope to see the new goats, possibly with offspring, and the two bucks that were purchased to continue breeding. We also hope to work with our partners to build a goat safety pen, to keep the animals healthy and safe when the weather is very rainy or windy.

If YOU would be interested in joining us on a future Partnership trip to Haiti, and helping with this new goat project, please contact Barbara Murphy or Jen McCracken with any questions.  The Parish Partnership Committee will also be applying for a new Diocesan grant for the next year’s cycle. We seek new members interested in strengthening the partnership and helping to develop new grant programs jointly with St. Luc’s Haiti. Please join us if you are interested, and contact Barb Murphy or Jen McCracken if you have questions. Current members of the group include; Rev. Holly Hartman, Emilie Hitron, Winnie Chan, Rev. Lynn Campbell, Jen McCracken, and Barb Murphy.








Housing Tool Kits for Project Hope

The Confirmation Class has decided to create Housing Tool Kits for Project Hope as their service project this year.


Project Hope is a multi-service agency in the Dudley area of Dorchester/Roxbury whose mission is to partner with families as they move up and out of poverty. The agency provides homeless women with children and low income individuals with an integrated system of supports; access to education, job training, housing, and emergency services, even as it works for broader systems change in the public domain.


The Confirmation Class will be assembling Housing Tool Kits for the families participating in Project Hope’s Housing Services Program. Specifically those Moving into Hotel/Motel


Items Needed: – Daily planner – Pens/pencils – Basket of toiletries – Games for children – Microwavable pots/pans – Storage bins (plastic) – Accordion style binders for housing search – Recipes for microwaves – Plastic mattress covers – Charlie Cards – Gas Cards


All items may be dropped of in the box in Upper Parish Hall. Thank You!


Holy Week and Easter Services

On April 13, we begin our journey through Holy Week. Join us for services throughout the week, including Holy Tuesday (Stations of the Cross), Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. Celebrate the joy of Easter Sunday during services and our annual Easter Egg Hunt. Our schedule of Holy Week and Easter services:

April 13, 2014 Palm Sunday
8:15am Liturgy of Palms, The Passion and Holy Eucharist, Rite I
9:45am Church School
10:00am Liturgy of Palms, Reading of The Passion, and Holy Eucharist, Rite II


April 14, 2014 Monday in Holy Week
12:00pm Order of Service for Noonday – Chapel


April 15, 2014 Tuesday in Holy Week

8:00am Stations of the Cross- Sanctuary
12:00pm Order of Service for Noonday – Chapel


April 16, 2014 Wednesday in Holy Week
12:00pm Holy Eucharist – Chapel


April 17, 2014 Maundy Thursday
12:00pm Order of Service for Noonday – Chapel
7:00pm Maundy Thursday service and Stripping of the Altar


April 18, 2014 Good Friday
12:00pm Good Friday Liturgy – Sanctuary
3:00pm Children’s Good Friday Service – Chapel
6:45pm Tenebrae


April 19, 2014 Holy Saturday
12:00pm Order of Service for Noonday – Chapel


April 20, 2014 Easter Sunday
9:00am Festal Holy Eucharist, Rite II
10:30am Easter Egg Hunt-Patio
11:00am Festal Holy Eucharist, Rite II