Week of January 31

Dear Friends
Last weekend was ‘Snowmaggedon’. This weekend will hit 60! Go figure!
We had a great time with the nearly 50 folks who were able to handle the snow and ice and get to worship. However it did push back some scheduled meetings and brought closer some pending deadlines. Let me highlight those now:
Women’s Retreat Deadline is this Sunday, January 31st! If you have been mulling over whether this is for you this year, it is time to draw the reflections to a close and ACT! No one has regretted taking the time to bond with others in the Body of Christ while seeking God together!
Confirmation Information and Organizational Meeting has been rescheduled for this Sunday after worship. If you and your teen have not yet decided to participate, I encourage you to come and hear about the process (I am excited about it!). For those who have ‘signed’ up, please bring your ‘calendars’ as we need to come to consensus on the day,dates and times of the ‘monthly meeting’ aspect of the process. For those who have agreed to act as ‘mentors’, bring your calendars as well as we need to set the day and time for our ‘training’ session.
Lenten Preparations: Please remember to bring in your palm crosses from last year’s Holy Week celebrations as we need to burn them to make the ashes for this year’s Ash Wednesday service (February 10 at 6 pm).
Additionally, remember to RSVP for our Lenten Inter-Generational Event scheduled for Saturday, February 6 (5 – 7 pm).
Finally, every year, as part of my Lenten discipline, I choose to read a book appropriate to the season. This year I have chosen Rebecca Konydnyk DeYoung’s Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies. If you would like to ‘read along with me’ this Lent and Eastertide and participate in a book discussion (one chapter per week), I invite you to join me on Sunday mornings before worship from 9:00 -9:45 am beginning February 14 (and running through to May 1, with the exception of Palm Sunday and Easter Day).
Looking forward to worshipping with you all  on Sunday.

Week of January 24

Dear Friends
As we prepare for ‘Snowmaggedon’ (although our little corner of the state should be spared the superabundance of the snow) here are a few things to note this week.
First, our new Leadership Council meets for a full day on Saturday (9;00 am to 3;30 pm) to bond as a group, and to begin to pray, organize and reflect on the year ahead. Please keep us in your prayers as we gather.
Second, our first formal Confirmation Process for our teens kicks off this Sunday with an organizational meeting immediately following worship. Again, I say this to ask for your prayers for the teens, their families, their mentors, and teachers as we begin together this four-month journey of faith. We will liturgically mark this beginning on the First Sunday of Lent (February 14) but ask your prayers for the preparation that needs to take place between now and then.
Third, speaking of Lent, allow me to remind you to bring in your palm crosses from last year’s Palm Sunday celebration as we will be burning them for our ashes for Ash Wednesday at our ‘Lenten Preparation Event’ on Saturday, February 6 from 5-7 pm. You should have received an ‘Evite’ to this event and we encourage you to respond and join with us in a fun and helpful night. (If you did not receive an ‘evite’ please let us know–by replying to this email–and we will get one out to you soon.).
Looking forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.

Week of January 17

Dear Friends
It is still early in the new year and there is time to become intentional about making a new start! Here are some suggestions for you to consider:

New (or Continuing) Study Groups:

There are two Women’s groups starting up this week (which means that next week they begin in earnest) which would love to have you join them. The Wednesday Evening group meets at Temple Richardson’s home beginning at 7 pm. They will be starting a seven week course studying Angie Smith’s Seamless (t.richardson@cox.net). The Thursday Morning group meets at the church beginning at 9:15 am. They will begin a new study on the book Fervent beginning in earnest next week. (janiscampbell58@gmail.com).
The Men’s group meets on the First and Third Saturdays of the month beginning at 8:30 am. We continue our study of Scot McNight’s The Jesus Creed (but you can join in at any time!).

Opportunity to Serve:

Five Loaves Food Pantry (Brother Tim’s ministry in Newport News) needs some help on Monday, January 18 beginning at 9:00 am. The Pantry is located in Olivet Christian Church at 14425 Old Courthouse Way in Newport News. Jennifer Brown is organizing this event (brownie7506@yahoo.com).

Preparing for Lent:

Lent starts early this year (Ash Wednesday is February 10!) Here is how you can begin to prepare to make it a great season:
First, bring in your old palm crosses from last year’s Palm Sunday service. We will be burning them for the ashes for our Ash Wednesday service early this year! Baskets will be provided at the sanctuary entrance beginning this Sunday.
Second, plan now on coming to our Intergenerational Lenten Event on Saturday, February 6 (from 5-7 pm). We will have our Pancake Supper that night (we are making Shrove Tuesday a ‘movable feast’ this year!), enjoy our annual ‘Talent Show’, have several tables with suggestions for Lent for families available, and burn the ashes for the service on the following Wednesday night.

Some Significant News:

Finally, there are several significant things happening around CtR that you may be interested in:
First, the Primates of the Anglican Communion continue to meet in Lambeth this week. This is an important and potentially pivotal moment in the life of the larger Church. Continue to pray for all involved but especially the GAFCON Primates as they seek God’s direction.
Second, we are about to begin our Confirmation process for several of our teens in early February. This will be the first, formal attempt at helping our young people grow into a more mature way of being, thinking, and living christianly. I am excited about the process and ask that you pray for all involved in it.
Third, finally some personal news. I have finally completed my dissertation for my Doctor of Ministry degree. The date set for my defense is Monday, February 15. Lord willing, this long journey will come to a grace-filled end that day.
Have a great week. I look forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.

Week of January 10

Dear Friends
As we move from our celebration of the Christmas Season into Epiphany (that part of ‘Ordinary Time’ that precedes Lent) we do so with great anticipation: Having recognized once again the One who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords we now seek to live our lives within his Kingdom for the glory of his name!
Here are some of the things you need to know this week:
First, we rejoice with Okechukwu and Elan Ihenacho at the birth of their son Marcus-Alexander Chibuzo Ihenacho. Marcus-Alexander was born on Sunday, January 3. We welcome this gift of God into our community.
Second, we also gather around Bruce and Ann Harper as they mourn the death of Bruce’s mother, Kathleen Harper. A Memorial Service celebrating Kathleen’s life will take place on Saturday, January 9 at 11:00 am at Christ the Redeemer. All are welcome and encouraged to join in on the remembrance and celebration.
Third, we look forward to Sunday and the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. We not only have the chance to renew our own baptismal vows but welcome into sacramental covenant with us, Jasper and Miloh Embry. (We will also receive Sharon and Ryan Reyes and Charles Kello into covenanted membership–They were unable to be present last December when we officially and liturgically welcomed our new members).
Fourth, we have been asked to pray for the Primates of the Anglican Communion as they gather in Lambeth next week seeking God’s direction for the future of our church! (See the web site for GAFCON for more information on this:www.gafcon.org). This is a crucial time in the life of the Church universal and we seek the grace and the direction of the Lord of the Church in all things.
Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.