Week of April 1, 2018

As we begin the final days of Holy Week, please make every effort to join with us in the following, deeply meaningful ways:
Tonight, Maundy Thursday: The meal begins at 6:00 p.m. and foot washing and Stripping of the Chancel follows. The church will be open for prayer vigil after the service ends until 7:00 a.m. Friday.
Good Friday: The service begins at 6:00 p.m.
Holy Saturday:   9:00 a.m. prayer, then set up for Easter Sunday
                           10:00 – Noon Jennifer Brown will be having Holy Communion training
Easter Sunday, The Day of Resurrection: Please remember to bring in some cut flowers from your garden (if you have any!) for the children to use to “flower the Cross.” The children will gather in the fellowship hall at 10:00 a.m., then process into the Sanctuary.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no children’s program during the Discipleship Hour Easter Sunday. The adult Catechism class will take place at 9:00 a.m., but there will only be a children’s program during the regular service.
Looking forward to worshiping with you this week.

Week of Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018

Dear Friends,
We are now on the cusp of Holy Week—the one week in history that truly changed the cosmos! Pray that our Lenten journey has prepared us to reflect more deeply on the mystery of salvation so that we may embrace more fully the new creation it offers to us.
Before I remind us of the schedule for Holy Week, let me give some pastoral news:
First, Hank Thompson continues to recover from his recent surgery and expects to return home tomorrow (Friday).  Hank’s surgery took place on Ash Wednesday, so he has literally spent Lent ‘living-into-his-new-heart’! We rejoice at God’s goodness to him and continue to pray for his full restoration.
Second, Charlie Watkins has completed his chemo-therapy treatment and now awaits a final scan to determine its results. Continue to pray for he and Blythe as they await – with hope—the news.
Third, while we rejoice in Hank’s and Charlie’s news, I need to ask for your prayers for Delbra Moore and her family. Delbra (and her daughter Valerie) have been worshiping with us for the past year and a half. During that time Delbra has been dealing with a serious recurring illness, lately necessitating trips to Richmond for treatment. On Monday, as she was returning from Richmond, she received news that her house was on fire! When she finally arrived, she discovered that the family had lost everything.
Please hold up Delbra and her family in your prayers. As any particular needs become known to us we will pass them along to you.

Holy Week at Christ the Redeemer:

Passion Sunday, with Palm Procession:  We gather in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00 am preparing to ‘remember’ the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. We will begin the Liturgy at 10:15 sharp so please make a special effort to be present and centered, ready for worship.
(Please note: We will need some help following the service to take down the banners in the Sanctuary)
Maundy Thursday, with Dinner and Foot Washing: Thursday, March 29 at 6;00 pm.  We gather in the ‘Upper Room’ to remember that fateful Passover meal that Jesus transformed into the New Covenant Feast!  Following the Foot Washing we will process into the sanctuary and celebrate the Feast, and end the evening in ‘Gethsemene’, stripped down and ready for Good Friday.
(Please RSVP by Sunday, March 25 to aid those who are preparing for the meal.) If you did not receive a Survey Monkey email, let Amy know: ctrsec@gmail.com.
Good Friday, Friday, March 30 at 6:00 pm. We gather in the starkness and the silence of the sanctuary to reflect on John’s Passion and to pray to the God ‘who loved the world’ in this way; loved it into its fulfillment according to his mysterious and gracious will.
Holy Saturday, Saturday, March 30 is a day of quiet and of preparation.
We need some help to set up the Sanctuary for Sunday morning (We gather at 9:00 am for Morning Prayer)
‘First Communion Preparation’ takes place from 10:00 am to noon.
Easter Day, The Day of Resurrection, Sunday April 1 at 10:15 am. The Apostle Paul speaks about the ‘secret and hidden wisdom of God’, that had the ‘powers and principalities of this age had understood ‘they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.’ The Day of Resurrection is the ultimate ‘April Fool’s Day’ for the powers of evil and death.
I look forward to participating in Holy Week with all of you.

Dear Friends,

We are fast approaching Holy Week!

It is time now to set our intentions to be present to the work of the Spirit in and through our worship that week. Consider this: The Spirit is unleashed into the world through the agony of the Son, and through that unleashing gives birth to New Creation. The Story of Redemption, culminating in the pains of Holy Week, are best seen as the ‘Labor’ of God giving (re)’birth’ to his Creation. There are real ‘pains’ associated with Holy Week—costly pain, deadly pain—but they truly are the pains of birth, and thus, joy-filled, life-giving pains. We are meant to be part of that new birth, to be caught up in that new birth; and we can be, will be, if we too embrace the birth pains of Holy Week.

Let me remind us all once again of our Holy Week Schedule:

Passion Sunday, with the Liturgy of the Palms: Sunday, March 25, 10:15 am sharp.

Maundy Thursday, Dinner and Foot washing, Eucharist and Stripping of Chancel: Thursday, March 29, beginning at 6:00 pm

Good Friday, Meditations on John’s Passion: Friday, March 30, beginning at 6:00 pm.

The Day of Resurrection: Sunday, April 1, beginning at 10:15 am sharp.

Please be sure and RSVP to the Survey Monkey email you received concerning the Maundy Thursday dinner. If you did not receive the email, check you spam or trash folder, then please contact Amy in the office (ctrsec@gmail.com, or 226-8700) so she may resend it to you.

Finally, some Pastoral news:

The Shellocks: Both Sarah and Luke are doing well and hope to be home today. Praise God for Luke’s safe arrival.

Hank Thompson shows great progress in his recovery at Bayside Rehabilitation (1004 Independence Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA). He would love to have some visits (today, for example, his afternoon is completely free, as is his evening). Please continue to pray for the dissolution of a blood clot, the continued stabilization of his blood pressure, and the return to normal of his other systems.

Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.

Week of March 11, 2018

This Week at Christ the Redeemer:

Dear Friends,

The psalmist cries out to himself (Psalm 42 from today’s Daily Office reading), “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

In the midst of the stresses and strains of our daily lives within these latter weeks of Lent, that is a good reminder for us all. Let us instruct our ‘soul’ to ‘hope in God; for we shall again praise him’ for the transforming of our world through the resurrection of his Son. Easter is coming! Hang in there.

There are several things to note this week:

First, Holy Week Schedule: Allow me to remind us all once again about the dates, days, and times of our Holy Week celebrations:

The Sunday of the Passion, with Palm Procession, Sunday, March 25 beginning at 10:15 sharp!

Maundy Thursday (with a ‘Seder-like’ Meal and Foot washing; Holy Communion and Stripping of the Chancel; followed by All-Night Vigil), Thursday, March 29, beginning at 6:00 pm.

Good Friday, Reflection on John’s Passion, Friday, March 30, beginning at 6:00 pm.

The Day of Resurrection, Sunday, April 1, beginning at 10:15 sharp!

Second, Our times for Sacramental Preparations (Baptisms and First Communion) have been set. Please speak to Brian+ and/or Jennifer about the days and times.

Third, Our Renovation Project is nearing completion, but we still have some things that need to be addressed:

  • We need some able-bodied people to move the speakers in the Sanctuary closer to the Table (to enable us to add an additional row of seating to the nave). We would love to have this done BEFORE Easter if at all possible.
  • We also need someone to hang some shelves and white boards in various rooms.

If you can help with either or both of these requests, please let Brian+ know.

Fourth, some Pastoral News:

  • Charlie Watkins had his last session of Chemo therapy this past Tuesday. He has his next (and hopefully last) scan scheduled in a few weeks. He fully expects to hear the announcement of full remission! Let us join with him in prayer that this might be so.
  • Hank Thompson continues his recovery from heart surgery with some encouraging news. His blood pressure and counts have stabilized, he has begun his physical therapy, and today was allowed off his liquid diet. His bowels still need some encouragement, but the hope is that once his systems return to normal he will be released into full-time therapy. Praise God for the healing to date.
  • Lytton Musselman had an MRI this week which disclosed a small tumor on the front of his brain. It appears to be benign, but he sees his Neurosurgeon this coming Monday. Please pray for Lytton and Libby and all involved in his care as they begin the journey to wholeness.

Fifth, It’s Daylight Savings Time once again as we ‘Spring Ahead’ an hour this coming Sunday, March 11. Please take this into account this weekend (and be happy that it does not happen on Easter day!).

Looking forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday.

Week of March 4, 2018

This Week at Christ the Redeemer
Dear Friends,
There are a number of things to note this week:
First, Some Comments on our Congregational Meeting:
We had a lively and informative time at our Congregational Meeting last Sunday evening. Thank you to all who participated and to all who prayed for our gathering. God has been gracious to Christ the Redeemer over the years, first, by calling us into being, and then by nurturing us into who we have become. God has also been gracious to us by stirring us up to ‘remember’ and ‘embrace’ that original vision, and to become more intentional in the nurturing of our community in living it out. Two things have come to the fore in this venture:
First, we have embraced the question for 2018: “Given ‘Who we are’ and ‘Where we are’, What is God asking of us this year—especially in terms of our local mission and in the building up of our Norfolk-hub”
Second, we have embraced the challenge of adding another member to our staff team who will help us answer that question and encourage us in our acting on it.
We ended the evening by committing to meet quarterly – after worship over a Pot Luck lunch – for further communication and conversation.
Second, Looking ahead to Holy Week:
We are half way through our Lenten Journey, which means that Holy Week is around the corner. Let me remind us all of the dates and times of the important events of this ‘Week of Weeks’:
The Sunday of the Passion, with Palm Procession:  Sunday, March 25, 10:15 sharp!
We will gather in the Fellowship Hall and ‘Bless the Palm Branches’ then process into the Sanctuary to worship the King and prepare ourselves to embrace his Passion.
Maundy Thursday, Thursday, March 29, beginning at 6:00 pm:
We begin our service in the ‘Upper Room’ – our Fellowship Hall—where we will share a meal together and participate in the ‘Washing of our Feet’. We will then process together into the Sanctuary to celebrate the Eucharist, and end the service in the darkness of Gethsemane by ‘Stripping the Chancel’
Good Friday, Friday, March 30, beginning at 6:00 pm:
We gather in our stripped-down Sanctuary to reflect on the Passion and to Pray with and as the repentant and grateful Church.
Easter Day, The Day of Resurrection, Sunday, April 1, beginning at 10:15 sharp!
We start in the dark eager to hear the Angel’s proclamation-‘He is not here, he is risen!’ Then join in with ‘angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven’ to praise the Triune God for the establishment of his Kingdom!
Third, A Final Call for Preparation!
If you are wishing to be baptized or to have a child baptized during the Easter Season, please speak to Brian+ as soon as possible. We are scheduling baptisms for the Sunday after Easter, April 8, and will determine the appropriate times for preparation shortly.
If you wish your child to participate in the ‘First Communion Preparation’ day on Saturday, March 31st, please speak to Jennifer Brown as soon as possible.
Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.