Week of July 3

Dear Friends,

As Vacation Bible School is wrapping up, Christ the Redeemer would like to send out a big “Thank You” to all who volunteered to help make VBS a fun and educational time for our children.  We would especially like to thank Jennifer Brown for all of her hard work and dedication to the children and for coordinating all of the volunteers and activities for VBS.  So, if you happen to see Jennifer, please take a minute to thank her for all she does for us at Christ the Redeemer!

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.

Week of June 26

Dear Friends,
The summer is upon us (and that is readily seen around CtR), and here are some of the things you need to know this week:
First, Vacation Bible School is all set for next Monday (June 27) as our entire education wing is clearly ‘under the sea’ and ready for action. Please pray for Jennifer and her crew, the children who will be attending, and all families involved in the program.
Second, we have two announcements regarding our staff this week:
Georgia Maas, our Church Administration Assistant, will be working remotely from home for much of the summer. She will be accessible by (the church’s) phone during office hours (9 am -1 pm; 757-226-8700) and will be checking voice mail and email daily. Georgia plans on being in the office on Thursday mornings in order to get ready for Sunday worship.
Jordan O’Byrne has asked to take a leave of absence from his duties as Music Director in order to deal with some personal issues. This is a mutually agreeable arrangement and comes after much godly counsel and prayer. Pray for Jordan often during the next few months that God will lead and direct his steps in graceful and wise ways.
Third, a ‘Music Ministry Development’ Meeting has been set for this Sunday, June 26, immediately following the service. In lieu of Jordan’s decision we need to piece the leadership of our ministry together for the next few months. If you believe you can help with any aspect of our music team (leading, instrumental accompaniment, technical or administrative assistance), you are encouraged to attend. Please pray for the ‘team’ this summer, that God will richly bless their time and service to our community.
Looking forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.

Week of June 19

Dear Friends,
The summer is here (‘Father’s Day’ seems to mark that transition for me more than other things), and the time to slow down and re-create is upon us. Can I suggest some things that will help you do so?
(1) Looking for some good summer reading? Let me recommend two books to you.
First, The Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight. (Paraclete Press). The Men’s group has been reading through this book for the past year, and personally I have found it to be a simple, helpful, and encouraging way of encapsulating the Story of Scripture for our life today. I highly recommend it.
Second, You are What you Love by J. A. T. Smith (Baker). Every once in a while someone writes a book that catches the imagination of the church (across the spectrum of life). This book is one of those. Smith has taken his earlier (and more scholarly work) Desiring the Kingdom and composed a work that is accessible to all! His thesis is simple: we are created ‘liturgical beings’, which means that we are constantly being ‘formed’ by the liturgies of our culture (and those, not necessarily the ‘liturgies’ of the church). This is a book I have been buying for others and I highly recommend it to you.
(2) Carrying on the ‘theme’ of formation, let me remind you that in the wisdom of the church three things have stood out as especially formative practices for those desiring to live the faithful and fruitful life:
  • The commitment to corporate worship (especially the Eucharist) where we ‘practice the liturgies of the church–the liturgies of true life’;
  • The commitment to daily prayer (and reflection on Scripture), bringing our lives into the rhythm of the Story;
  • The commitment to Christian community (we are to ‘live life together’).
As you head into these summer months, where we seem to have the encouragement to ‘relax’ and ‘slow down’, why not use some of that reclaimed time to strengthen your ‘practices’ of these ‘commitments’.
(With that in mind, Lauren Gyorfi has produced a compendium of our ‘Home Groups’ that offer a way of ‘living within community’ at various levels for all of us. If you are not yet connected to one of these groups, pick up the sheet and prayerfully consider ‘showing up’).
Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday (Shout out to all ‘Fathers’ as well! It’s great to be a ‘dad’, and an honor to have been given one).

Week of June 5

Dear Friends,
Here are a few things going on this week at Christ the Redeemer:
  • Vacation Bible School registration is now open and forms can be picked up from the table in the narthex or can be downloaded here.  Give forms to Jennifer or email them to vbs@christtheredeemer.org.  Hope to see all the kiddos there!  We are still in need of the following items: All white men’s ankle socks (50 pairs), Baby food jars with the labels removed, Battery operated tealight candles, Clear shower caps, Clear water bottle caps, Fish stickers, Glue dots, Soup cans (empty, standard size with the labels removed), and Two spools of fishing line.
  • Starting this week we will be having Children’s Church during our Sunday school time for ages 3 years old through 5th grade. Our two year olds will join our nursery crew for the summer. Children’s Church will meet in the ministry room (the large room next to the women’s restroom).
  • If you are looking for a fun and easy way to serve, please think about signing up for Hospitality.  You can either sign up on the sign-up sheet in the Fellowship Hall or by going to TakeThemAMeal.com  Login Name: hospitality   Password: food  You can bring a little or a lot, or you can sign up with a friend!
  • A Note from the Treasurer:  We are blessed to have a caring church family who responds when members are in need. Some have donated to Fr. Brian’s Discretionary Fund and he has used those funds to help when an unexpected crisis like a fire, medical expense, or family emergency has occurred. He has even given to some in the community with one-time rent assistance.  We have had quite a few needs within our church family this year and the Discretionary Fund is just about depleted. Please prayerfully consider giving to this fund.  Checks can be made payable to Christ the Redeemer with Discretionary Fund in the memo line and placed in the offering basket or given to Janie Atwood.
  • It’s time to celebrate!  Thank you to all who have pledged to this year’s project for our sister parish in Mbyo. It appears that over $11,000 has been pledged by 17 ‘family units’ (individuals or families associated with Christ the Redeemer) for 2016/17. We are well on the way towards our goal of $20,000 needed for the second phase of the project to become a reality (an additional two classrooms for their growing school).  If you have not yet had the chance to pledge towards this worthy project, please feel free to do so at any time. But take some time to give thanks to God for the generosity of his people and the privilege of partnering with him in the renewing of all things.
I look forward to worshiping with all of you on Sunday.