Archives for April 2015

Christ Church Walks in Support of Peace

On Mother’s Day (May 10), Rector Nick Morris-Kliment and a group of parishioners joined the 19th annual Louise D. Brown Peace Institute’s Walk for Peace in Dorchester. Betsy Amsbury, Barbara and Gail Waterhouse, Cory Serano, Dorothy Rifai, Gwen Scarborough, Dusty Hecker, Margaret Pantridge, and Natty King joined thousands from neighborhoods, churches, hospitals, and other organizations. They marched in support of peace and healing in the wake of violence that has claimed the lives of many young people. More than 400 Episcopalians walked as part of the Diocese’s B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign and raised $6335 to support the Peace Institute’s work to promote healing in families dealing with loss, grief and trauma in the wake of street violence. 


Study Buddies Offer Unique Ministry

“Three days each week Christ Church Study Buddies drive to the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan. We assist kids with math, English grammar, reading and Social Studies homework. For approximately ninety minutes, we may work fractions and decimals, explain differences between adjectives and adverbs, or compare exports of Costa Rica with those of Brazil. Often, some of us are called upon to think back and recall the underlying themes of “The Crucible,” or the consequences of racism in “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Yet, not only do we share our own perspectives, explanations, and knowledge (or lack thereof) with kids in these sessions, we add something more. We bring the ministry of presence. Each time as kids arrive directly from a full day of school, their faces express gladness in seeing us again or disappointment if one of us may be absent.

While we help kids with their homework, we also instill a confidence and perspective they may not receive at home. Many come from single parent households and spend five afternoons a week in the afterschool program day after day— just doing homework. Like all kids, they have issues and we try and help them sort through, oftentimes not having the solution. But the fact that we are there just listening or perhaps offering some shred of advice makes it time well spent, whether homework is completed or not.

I often end my class with the question, “Does anyone have any questions about anything?” I am constantly amazed at the level of sophistication of some of the queries from fourth and fifth graders and the discussion that soon involves everyone in the room.

We ask ourselves as we critique our sessions on the ride home, did we make progress today? Was the afternoon challenging? But the point raised the most… are Study Buddies a rewarding experience? The answer is the same each time— absolutely.” – Harding Ounanian, Jr., Study Buddy

Bring scores and sing along … H.M.S. Pinafore!

Bring your scores and plan to join the chorus in this fun and free performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore. One performance only: Sunday, June 7, 2:30 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, Needham.  “We sail the oceans blue, And our saucy ship’s a beauty…” Longwood Opera & The New England Gilbert & Sullivan Society will be collaborating on this Last Minute Light Opera production. This is the eighth collaboration between the two companies, and many of the performers recently sang in sold-out concerts with the Cape Symphony. As the audience is the chorus, bring your scores and sing along. Costumes and kids are always welcome. Donations to both organizations are always gratefully accepted at the door. Welcome Aboard!

Join Walk for Peace on Mother’s Day

We invite you to join our Christ Episcopal Church Needham team for the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace on Sunday, May 10, at 8 a.m. at Town Field Park in Dorchester. This is the second time my daughter, Gail, and I have walked in solidarity with mothers who’ve lost children to violence. We want to help stop youth violence and show support for all those affected by violence. We’ll meet at church at 7 a.m. on May 10th and caravan to the park to join Bishop Gates, Bishop Harris, and hundreds of Episcopalians for the walk. We invite you to walk all or part of the 3.6-mile route.

The walk is a fundraiser for B-PEACE and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which serves families who have lost someone to violence. The Institute teaches peace curricula to students of all ages, honors victims and empowers survivors. If you’d like to make an online donation in honor of a mother or someone special in your life, click here and select the Needham team.  Please email me, or call the church office at (781) 444-1469 to sign up. We’ll also have a Christ Episcopal Church Needham team sign-up poster in the Upper Parish Hall. I hope you’ll join me and Gail this Mother’s Day to walk for peace. Barbara Waterhouse 

Enjoy Uplifting Music of Eastertide

Music of Eastertide is as uplifting as the sounds of nature. During a worship service, notice the change of mood with regard to music. There is a sudden shift from the darkness of Lent to the brightness of Eastertide. Hymns and anthems now have an upbeat tempo and most songs are in a major key. Spirited and light are words that describe the music you will be hearing in worship service during Eastertide and Pentecost. The choir has some wonderful anthems yet in store for you. Looking back over the past year, the Choir has offered many styles of music. We learned about New England’s Shape Note singing, we chanted during Lent, we heard ‘rounds,’ antiphonal singing (call and response), ‘a cappella’ songs, as well as songs of the Masters, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and Bach. We heard harpsichord and an instrumental ensemble with Corelli’s “Christmas Cantata.” Music of contemporary composers and songs accompanied by flute, oboe, trumpet, cello, and hand bells have been included in our worship service. It is through song that we share messages and stories of love, healing, peace and unity. It is through song that we support each other in times of sorrow and in times of joy. We walk together, whether it is a walk in the woods or a spiritual walk with music. Both are perfect moments in time. 

Upcoming music:

April 26: Good Shepherd Sunday: Psalm 23 and variations of it will be spoken and sung. “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation” by V. Hoyle.

May 3: “I am the vine” by N. Warren

May 10: “I Give to You a New Commandment” by P. Nardone.

May 17: Choir Appreciation Sunday: “I Will Not Leave You Comfortless” and “The Song Arising.” Bruce Goody, flutist, will be with us. We will thank the Choir and other musicians who have helped make this past year such a memorable one. There are many people at Christ Church who have shared their music ministry with us. We thank you all!

May 24: Pentecost “Breath of God” by M. Schweizer.

May 31: Trinity Sunday: “Prayer to the Trinity” by M. Bedford and “Humbly, I Adore Thee” (Adoro devote) arranged by M. Schweizer.


Join us Sunday to hear about Habitat week!

“For our last day of work, I (Julia), Molly and Jim went to a home to finish up a project to prime and paint a shower. At the main worksite the rest of the group laid the plastic plumbing in the concrete slab of the foundation. A few others finished up a dry wall project in a home. We finished the day leveling out the gravel of the foundation. We are sad the week in West Virginia has ended. We all enjoyed working with our site leader, Chris, and Habitat for Humanity as an organization. Come to the 8:15 or 10 a.m. service on Sunday to hear us talk about the experience!” – Julia and Aidan (Click here to see pictures from trip.)

Youth paint foundation; meet homeowner

Thursday, April 23:

“Today parts of the youth group went to a separate work site to do repairs on a Habitat for Humanity home owner’s bathroom while others worked on a foundation on another house that has been worked on throughout the week.  During lunch a family who has already got a house from habitat for humanity told the group their story.  After the construction the group went to the Habitat for Humanity re-store. We met the man who would be getting the house once it is done.  After we went back to the house Jim cooked his famous barbecue. We finished off the day with evening reflection and we wrote letters to the supporters and donators of our trip.  It was a great day.”  -Hannah and Sean 

Youth install fence; go bowling for fun

Wednesday, April 22:

“Today, we accomplished so much using teamwork! We worked a half day at Camp Wood where we are staying (built a fence and a compost bin among other projects). We were able to tour the Greenbrier hotel, and learn about the history of the bunker underneath. We had a great time bowling this evening, and were able to create a lot of great memories”.-Hailey and Cora

Pouring Foundation on W.Va. Habitat House

Tuesday, April 21:

“Today we had a very productive day at the worksite. We spent the morning laying out the styrofoam mold for the foundation, and then spread the concrete in the afternoon. After a wonderful taco dinner, we headed back to St. Thomas Episcopal Church for an ice cream party and talk with Fr. Chris. It was so interesting to hear about his experiences growing up in WVa. and the problems that the state faces today. We can’t wait for another day of hard work tomorrow!” xoxo Lindsay and Elizabeth 

Measure, Cut, Build … at Habitat in W.Va.

Monday, April 20: 

From Molly and Mairead: “Hello everyone! Today was our 1st day working on the site! It was a gorgeous day. White Sulphur Springs is truly a beautiful place. At the site some of us fixed holes in the wall (installed new dry wall!). Others helped with the foundation of a new house and helped cut metal poles. Everyone is so welcoming and we’re so grateful to be here. We are having a lot of fun and are looking forward to the rest of the week.” 

Youth Group Arrives in Greenbrier County

Sunday, April 19: 

Update from Melissa Dunning and Abi Walsh: “After a long day of travel, we arrived in Greenbrier County, West Virginia on Saturday and have settled into our home for the week.   Today, soon after meeting Rose, the volunteer manager, she shared with us her experience of working hard and purchasing a home from Habitat for Humanity and it touched us and inspired us to work hard this week. We also went to the local Episcopal Church and all the people were so welcoming and made us feel right at home. We’re looking forward to starting work tomorrow!” 

Youth Group Hits the Road to Appalachia

Saturday, April 18:

They’re off! Our group of 16 high school students and 3 adult leaders boarded a plane today in Boston, headed to Philadelphia. There they will transfer to a flight to Roanake, Virginia. In Roanoke the group will travel in 2 vans into the mountains in eastern West Virginia, where they will be working with Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity ( Over April vacation week, the missioners will re-build homes that are in disrepair and help build new homes for families living in an impoverished area of Appalachia.

Morning prayer and evening reflections are part of each day, with a chance for youth to reflect on the ways God is present as they follow in the example of Jesus by serving others. Each day brings a lot of laughs and joy as team members step away from the grind of school and take a break from their usual routines and social media. In addition to building, youth have time to explore the region, play board games, shop, cook meals together, and enjoy each others’ company. 

The Youth Group gratefully thanks the Christ Church congregation for their support. They have worked since September to raise funds for the trip.


Protect and Preserve God’s Creation

With new solar panels installed, Christ Church cut 37, 872 kWh from its energy bill in 2014. And more importantly, saved the equivalent of 1,250 gallons of gas or 30 trees. “Christ Church’s Green Team is looking for ways to minimize our environmental footprint,” says Kevin Ruddy, Team Leader. “We want to do what we can to protect and preserve God’s creation. The solar panels we’ve installed are the most visible representation of that mission, but we want the panels to be the tip of the iceberg. We’re also looking to reduce the church’s use of electricity and water, decrease trash, and increase re-cycling. We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far and are eager to much more in the months and years to come.” In addition to solar panels, the Green Team worked with NStar to conduct an energy audit and replace more than one-half of all lights with more efficient lighting. Currently, the team is getting quotes on energy-efficient windows and low-flow toilets.