Week of February 25, 2018

This Week at Christ the Redeemer
The second week of Lent is when the excitement of ‘new beginnings’ begin to wane and the realities associated with ‘new practices’ begin to rise up. Now is the time to reaffirm your Lenten commitments and ask for the grace to see them through. Rejoice, you are now developing the virtues of patience and endurance.
Here are some of the things you need to know this week:
First, Our Congregational Meeting takes place this Sunday, February 25 from 5:00 -7:30 pm. Thank you to all who RSVP’ed (and to those who have NOT, please do so today!). We ask that we come prayerfully to our time together, eager to discern the movement of God among and within us corporately.
Second, a Mini-Work Day has been set for this Saturday, February 24 beginning at 9:00 am. The renovation of our new space is complete, and it is time to move our offices to their new quarters and the Nursery to our ‘old’ office space. If you can spare an hour or two this Saturday we’d appreciate it greatly.
Third, Our Agricultural Project in Mbyo, Rwanda continues to be blessed. We have received the latest report and  posted it on our website. Please take a moment and read the report, click here, then stop and give thanks for the joy of participating in this work of God.
Fourth, ‘First Communion’ and ‘Baptismal’ Preparations:  Easter is a great time for baptisms and for deepening our children’s understanding of the means of grace in and through communion. If you desire to be baptized, or to have your child baptized, please speak to Brian+ directly. If you have a child between the ages of 7 and 10 who have not yet received our ‘First Communion Training’, please speak to Jennifer Brown.
Fifth, some news regarding Hank Thompson. Hank continues to recover from his major heart surgery and expects to be transferred today (Thursday, February 22) to the rehab facilities at Harbor’s Edge, Norfolk (just across the street from Sentara Hospital). He is grateful for your prayers and eager for (some) visits. Please call Hank on his cell phone (757-277-4059) to arrange a time to see him (so as not to catch him in a therapy session).
Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.

Week of February 18, 2018

This Week at Christ the Redeemer
There are a number of important things to note today:
First, Our Lenten Journey begins tonight at 6:00 pm!
Near the beginning of our Ash Wednesday Service this evening, I will issue the following invitation:
“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”
I cannot think of a more succinct and practical way of describing the practices of Lent. But remember the intended end of these things: Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that when one does these things, “our Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Isn’t that wonderful! The One who issues the invitation is also the One who rewards those who accept it; and rewards them by and with the gift of himself!
Our Lenten Journey begins tonight at 6:00 pm.
Second, Sundays in Lent:
Can I also remind us all that our Sundays in Lent, beginning with the First Sunday of Lent, February 18, will begin with the Penitential Rite (the Exhortation, the Decalogue, and a sung Kyrie Eleison). To ensure the solemnity of the rite the doors to the Sanctuary will be closed at 10:15 am and reopened at the end of the rite. Please do all within your power to be seated and prepared for the start of the service.
Third, Our Special Congregational Meeting, Sunday, February 25 from 5:00-7:30 pm:
We gather in a few weeks’ time to mark ‘where we are’ and to reflect and deliberate on ‘where we are going’ as a community of faith. We have attempted in multiple ways to issue the invitation to all those associated with Christ the Redeemer with very mixed results. Apparently, no matter how we have tried to send the ‘links’ or ‘attachments’ to one and all, several people report that they have been unable to RSVP.  In an attempt to remedy this situation, Amy will be sending out another Evite tomorrow to all of us (even those who have already RSVP’ed). Please take a moment as soon as you receive it to respond as you are able. We apologize for the confusion.
Fourth, Some Pastoral News:
We have been praying for several of our members in the past weeks. Charlie Watkins continues with his chemo regimen encouraged by the news that the tumor is responding beyond anyone’s expectation. Rejoice with Charlie and Blythe in this.
Also, Hank Thompson had his surgery yesterday and came through it well. They anticipated a simple one but ended up with a very complex surgery—12 hours in length as they had to ‘recraft’ his heart. The prognosis is good however, so again, I would ask for prayers of thanksgiving and of continued healing.
Fifth, Another ‘Help’ for your Lenten Journey:
The Anglican Church of North America has produced a devotional guide for the Season of Lent. You can access the guide by going to https://giftoflent.org/.
I am looking forward to worshiping with you tonight and on Sunday, and walking the way of the Cross with you to Easter.


Week of February 11, 2018

This Week at Christ the Redeemer:
Dear Friends,
What a busy-yet-glorious time of the year! Here are some of the things you need to know this week:
First, our Diocesan Regional Retreat begins today and runs through Saturday in Greensboro, NC. Please pray for all those from Christ the Redeemer who will be attending. Ask that the Spirit would direct our deliberations and transform our lives through our worship, teaching, and interactions with one another.
Second, our Congregational Meeting has been confirmed for SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25 here at the church from 5:00 – 7:30 pm. If you have not yet RSVP’ed for the event, please do so by responding to the Google questionnaire which was sent this week, or by emailing or calling the church office. It is important that all who are able plan to attend, as we gather to hear from the Leadership Council as to the developments in our ‘3-5 year Goal’, and to begin a conversation with us all seeking the Spirit’s leading in the goal’s fulfillment. Nursery and a children’s program will be provided, and the dinner will be (simple and) catered. So, mark your calendar, RSVP (if you have not already done so), and pray for God’s blessing on our time together.
Third, our Discipleship Hour returns this week (both for adults and for children). Please note, we will begin at 9:00 a.m. sharp for the ‘Walk through the Catechism’ class in order to maximize our time together.
Fourth, our Men’s Group is returning in a new form! We plan to meet every other Tuesday from 7:00-8:30 pm either at one of our homes or a local restaurant. The purpose is two-fold: Fellowship—a chance to get to know one another in an informal way, and Growth-a chance to begin to go deeper in our faith together (we plan to have a ‘question of the day’ to spark some deeper conversation). Zach Kuenzli will take on the administrator’s role initially (zkuenzli@gmail.com). The next meeting will take place on February 20. Check the web site, your email and the weekly bulletin for updates and for more information.
Fifth, Preparing for Lent!                                                                                                           Take some time now to prepare yourself for a wonderful Lent.
  • Sunday marks the last day to bring in your palm crosses from last Palm Sunday! They will be burned and turned into ashes on Shrove Tuesday;
  • Shrove Tuesday—if you have not yet RSVP’ed for our Shrove Tuesday supper, so we know how much food to prepare, please respond to the Punchbowl invitation that was sent last week.
  • Ash Wednesday officially kicks off Lent with our service at 6:00 p.m.
  • If you are looking for a resource to make the most out of Lent, I cannot recommend highly enough Aaron Damiani’s The Good of Giving Up. Let me remind us all of the three ‘recommendations’ he makes as we prepare for Lent:
o   ‘Ask God for Vision’—what is it that God desires for you in your life with him? Given who you are and where you are, what is God calling you to tackle together this Lent?
o   ‘Be honest about your Inner Rebel’—What part of you does not like Lent and resists the vision for Christlikeness? Name the ‘beast’ and practice renouncing it before embracing the Season.
o   ‘Choose your Disciplines’- Ask God to direct you in the framing of a plan to act on your vision. Ask God to give you the courage to ‘ask others for help’ in the crafting of the plan. Ask God to strengthen your resolve to keep these intentions and to embrace these practices.
Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday and walking with you all through the Season of Lent.


Week of February 4, 2018

This Week at Christ the Redeemer
On this first day of a new month, as we look ahead to the ending of our Epiphany season and the beginning of our Lenten one, here are some of the things you need to know (and act on!):
First, the Invitation to pick a date for our Congregational Meeting on February 24 or 25 was sent out last week. The deadline for RSVP’ing is tomorrow, February 2nd.  If you have not yet done so, please go the link:  CtR Meeting Date Poll  and respond as directed. This promises to be an important event in the life of our church. Our Leadership Council desires to share with you some of the opportunities and challenges we face in 2018. We trust that we will then begin a Spirit-guided conversation as to how we are to embrace those opportunities and handle those challenges. All covenanted members of Christ the Redeemer are strongly encouraged to attend; all others associated with Christ the Redeemer are warmly invited to attend.
Second, Our Women’s Retreat takes place this weekend at the Oceanfront—‘Finding God in the Ordinary’. Please remember to pray for those who gather (some 35 women from CtR and 48 in total!)—that God’s will for their time would be amply fulfilled.
Third, Our ‘Discipleship Hour’ will not take place this Sunday (with the retreat, it was not possible to staff our children’s program). If you have been participating in the ‘Walk Through the Catechism’ class (and do not need child care) and would like to gather for an informal conversation on the class to date, please join me in our space at 9:15 am.
Fourth, Our Second Annual Diocesan Regional Retreat takes place next weekend (February 9 and 10th) in Greensboro, NC. The theme for this year is ‘Catechesis’ for all ages and stages of life. Workshops and plenaries take place from noon on Friday to noon on Saturday.  For more information and/or to register please go to  www.adhope.org/2018-southeast-regional-retreat.
Fifth, Lent is right around the corner. Please remember to bring in your palm crosses from last year’s Palm Sunday celebration, RSVP to the evite for our Shrove Tuesday Dinner, and plan now on attending our Ash Wednesday Service on February 14 at 6:00 p.m.
Looking forward to worshiping with you all (except those at the retreat!) on Sunday.