November 26 of Week 1 Advent

Dear Friends

Just a few things to note before the holiday rush:

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I pray that whether you are travelling or celebrating from home that this season will be blessed and safe for all. I pray that the ‘peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds (and your homes) in Christ Jesus.’

Advent begins on Sunday. We begin another year this week centering liturgically on the Gospel of Mark. As in the past, we begin our Advent services with the ‘Lighting of the Advent Candles’. Please do your best to be on time for worship, seated and centered in God’s presence prepared for the beginning of the service.

‘Park Place School Christmas Project’: Sunday, November 30 is the deadline for bringing the supplies for the students into the church. The Sunday School children will be organizing the ‘gift bags’ during the service and the bags delivered to the school shortly thereafter.

Pledges for 2015: In our Membership Covenant we commit to ‘give joyfully, sacrificially and proportionally, using the Biblical tithe as our standard’. I encourage all of us to be intentional in this endeavor and to honor our Leadership Council’s request to inform us of your ‘intentions’. Please return your Pledge Card by Sunday December 7.

God’s peace and grace be with us all.

Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church

November 20 of Week 33 in Ordinary Time

Here’s what’s going on at Christ the Redeemer this week:


PEARUSA’s NETWORK RETREAT near Harrisonburg  starts this evening and runs through Saturday. Please pray for the 8 members of CtR who will be attending the event and for Bishop Steve Woods who will be the guest speaker. This is a great chance to learn from and to network with others in our movement.
ADVENT INTER-GENERATIONAL FAMILY EVENT takes place on Saturday, November 22 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  Please bring something to share for dinner and a desire to have some fun while preparing for our Advent Season.
PARK PLACE SCHOOL CHRISTMAS GIFT – We have chosen to supply the 34 students at Park Place School with new school supplies for the next term. If you have not yet signed up to help, you can do so this Sunday (sheets are on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall). All supplies need to be dropped off at the church by Sunday November 30.
CtR’s ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING is scheduled for Sunday December 7 immediately following worship. We will begin with a Pot Luck Lunch and then celebrate what God has done for us and through us and in us in 2014 and look ahead with anticipation to 2015.  Please remember that if you wish to nominate someone for Leadership Council, the deadline is Sunday November 30 (Nomination must be in writing with the permission of the member being nominated).
NEW MEMBERS CLASS ‘Q & A’ takes place this Sunday, November 23 beginning at 8:45 am.
Have a great week.

Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church

Fight, Flight or Prayer!

800px-Guercino_Saul_Davide‘In return for my love they accuse me, “But I give myself to prayer.” Psalm 109:4

How do you respond when slandered or unjustly accused of something? How do you react when the ‘world’ conspires against you; when the forces within our systems and institutions crush us rather than protect us? How do you respond?

Are you a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ kind of person? Do you rail against the injustice and come out swinging regardless of the odds? Or do you retreat into your shell hoping that it will all just go away? Or do you do what David did?

David is being slandered –‘For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues’ – and being openly and unjustly attacked – ‘They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause’.   And how does David respond?  He does not ‘flee’ nor ‘fight’, instead he ‘prays’ – ‘but I give myself to prayer’ – literally, he says ‘I am prayer’ (ESV note).

I have said it before and I will say it again, the genius of the faithful Jew – and of the faithful Christian-  was that he responded to calamity by praying!  By devoting himself to prayer! I found myself challenged once again this morning by this fact.

But notice, as well, how David prayed. He begins by ‘railing’ against his foes to God (v. 6-20).  The lectionary suggests that we can safely ignore the bulk of this rant, as if it is too salty for our sensitive cultured ears. And it is pretty brutal stuff: ‘Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand….. May his days be few…. May his children be fatherless… Let there be none to extend kindness to him… May his posterity be cut off…’ – and we could go on.

This is brutal – honest, but brutally honest.  And even though David argues his foes deserve it – ‘For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and the needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death’ – the only good thing to say about it is that at least David prayed it!  In situations like this, if you must vent, at least vent to God!

This is where David begins his prayer, but he goes on. In v 21-29 he finally prays for himself.  Having vented about his enemies, he now cries out to God for help –‘But you, O God my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake…. Help me, O LORD my God…. Save me according to your steadfast love’.  First comes the explosive venting, and then the anguished request. It seems we need to get rid of our emotional eruption before we can come to our reasoned desperation.

But David goes on further: he begins by venting, he proceeds to requesting, and he ends with praise.

‘With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD;

I will praise him in the midst of the throng’, And why?

‘For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.’

What is going on here? How is it that David can go from ‘desperate request’ to ‘confident praise’?  My only answer is that God showed up.  God answered his prayer. Together they would leave that holy ground and go out to face the situation at hand.

Have you and I learned to ‘give ourselves to prayer’?

If not, it’s time we did.

November 13 of Week 32 in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Here are some of the things you need to be aware of this week:

PEARUSA Mission Fund Offering: Every year PEARUSA (the Missionary Jurisdiction of the Anglican Church of Rwanda in the USA – our parent organization) asks all of its churches to take a one-time offering to support our efforts to extend church planting initiatives beyond the scope of our existing networks. This Sunday we will all have the chance to give to this effort for 2015. We will supply envelopes in the bulletin this week for this offering. Please prayerfully consider your response to this request and come joyfully this Sunday to fulfill it.

Annual General Meeting has been set for Sunday December 7 after worship. We will begin with a Pot Luck Lunch and then celebrate what God did through us and for us in 2014 and consider what God is asking of us in 2015. All are welcome and encouraged to come.

Nomination Process for Leadership Council. We have a six-member Leadership Council at CtR. Every year two members rotate off the council and two members are elected to serve a three year term on the council. Every year the Leadership Council proposes a slate of two members, and then the membership is invited to add to the list as they are led by God. This year Pete Fraser and Charles Zimbrick-Rogers have been nominated by the Leadership Council. If you would like to nominate someone in addition to these two, please do so in writing – with the person’s permission- by Sunday, November 30. Nominations can be sent to the office or handed to any of the existing Council members.

Advent Family Event takes place on Saturday, November 22 beginning at 6:00 pm. We gather 3 – 4 times a year as a ‘Family’ to have some fun together and prepare for the season at hand. Advent starts November 30 and this event will help all of us get ready for a wonderful season. Sign-up sheets for the meal can be found on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday School Christmas Project. This year the Sunday School has decided to serve Park Place School this Christmas by encouraging all of us to help fill ‘School-Supply Gift Bags’ for the 34 students. The list of supplies needed may be found on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall. The deadline for bringing the supplies into the church is Sunday, November 30. This will be a fun and easy way of supporting the ministry at the school.

Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.

Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church

November 7 of Week 31 in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends

The Church’s year is fast coming to a close (Advent begins on November 30!) and there is much happening within and around the church. Let me bring some to your attention:

Home & Study Group Leaders meet after worship on Sunday, November 9. I mention this for two reasons; one, to remind all leaders of the meeting and two, to remind all of us that we have nine groups meeting at different times and for a variety of reasons that are open for more members. If you have not yet found a ‘family’ at CtR – that group of 12 that will live life with you- then please ask for help and we will gladly find one for you.

Visit to ‘Five Loaves Food Pantry’ in Newport News. Jennifer Brown is leading this venture of ministry and service on Tuesday, November 11 from 9:30 am to 1;00 pm. Brother Tim runs this ministry that feeds the homeless and we will have the chance to learn about his work while participating in it. Lunch will be provided. We gather at the Food Pantry at 9:30 am (housed in Olivet Christian Church, 14425 Old Courthouse Way, Newport News, VA 23608).

Men’s Group meets again on Saturday November 15 at 8:30 am. This group is open to all men associated with the church. Even though we are working our way though a book (Peter Walker’s The Jesus Way) we encourage to come as you are able (We meet on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month).

PEARUSA Mission Sunday takes place on Sunday November 16. Each year, on one Sunday of the year, all PEARUSA churches are invited to participate in an offering for PEARUSA’s National Church Planting Reserve. The funds raised will be used for the expansion of the church beyond the capacities of our networks and regions. More information will be found in the bulletin this week.

Advent Community Event takes place on Saturday, November 22 beginning at 6:00 pm. Three to four times a year we gather as an extended family for food, fun and fellowship centered on the Seasons of the Church’s year. Advent begins on Sunday November 30 and this event will help us all – singles and families- prepare ourselves for it.

Annual General Meeting has been set for Sunday December 7 immediately after worship. We will begin with lunch and then celebrate what God did in and through us in 2014 and anticipate where God will lead us in 2015. All are welcome.

Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.

Peace be with you.

Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church