Weekly Update for Sunday March 29, 2020

Please watch Brian’s Weekly Update Intro Live+Stream video on Facebook!

In this week’s Update you will find information on the following (more details on each of these below):

  1. Worship This Sunday
  2. Procedures for Holy Week
  3. Welcome Baby Seligman!
  4. Financial Giving
  5. Youth Netflix Watch Party

Worship This Sunday

Again this Sunday, we will continue with the Live+Stream of services on Facebook and through our website. After we gather virtually, we will have two stations set up to receive Holy Communion as we did last week. The first station will be in the grass parking lot at Knox from 11:30am -12:00pm. The second station will be in Chesapeake at the Branch’s home from 12:30 – 1:00pm.

***Brian+ will not be at church this week. David+ will be celebrating and A.J. Nolte will be preaching.***

Looking Ahead: Holy Week

We will be celebrating Holy Week virtually as a community this year. Our Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter services will be conducted on the Live+Stream. However, the bishop is allowing priests to pre-consecrate the sacraments to be distributed to individuals and families for them to self administer at the appropriate times during the Maundy Thursday and Easter services. We will provide more information concerning logistics next week. Please be preparing your hearts and minds for Holy Week and making a commitment to join in our communal life as much as you are able during this important season.

Welcome Baby Seligman!

Baby Joseph Walter Seligman was born on Friday March 20, 2020 at 7:00am. He is currently in the NICU at CHKD. He was able to move out of intensive care yesterday as his respiratory rate is becoming more stable. Please continue to be in prayer for this new member of our congregation and his family. If you would like to bless the Seligman’s with a meal, there is one date available on the Meal Train (Saturday April 18).

Financial Giving

Last week Brian+ asked us to continue to maintain – as we are able – our financial commitments to the church. The best two ways to do so are through our direct PayPal link (or visit our webpage at https://christtheredeemer.org/home/giving/) or to mail in your tithe to: Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church P.O. Box 9632, Norfolk, VA 23505.

The Clergy and Leadership Council are continuing to work on ways we can support one another financially, spiritually, and physically in these troubled days. Please let Brian+ or the Leadership Council know if you have, or know of any, needs within the church in the meantime. We will continue to update as methods and procedures are finalized.

Youth Netflix Watch Party

Get your popcorn ready: next Thursday, April 2, David+ will be hosting a virtual movie night for the Youth Group! They will be watching The Prince of Egypt starting at 7:30pm. David+ will send out the information to parents via Groupme. If your children are interested in participating and you are not already on the Youth Group parents’ Groupme, please send David+ an email at revdavidwatts@gmail.com to be added.

“Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

– Collect for The Fifth Sunday in Lent (BCP 2019)

Updates on Sunday Worship, Home Groups, and Financial Giving!

Dear Friends,

In Psalm 42 the Psalmist, who himself is in exile, cries out:

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

One of the great and grave costs of the current situation is our inability to gather for worship. We too cry out, “When shall I come and appear before God?”  The good news is that while we can no longer gather ‘in person’ to worship, we can gather ‘on line’ (and safely ‘in person’) for worship

Sunday Worship

Here is how we shall proceed ON SUNDAYS for the next few weeks.

  • First, we will Live Stream the service at our regular time with a minimal team (musicians, Booth person, clergy, and one lay assistant). NO ONE ELSE WILL BE ABLE TO JOIN US IN PERSON!
      • Our communication team will strive to make access to the stream as easy as possible (especially for those like me who are tech-challenged!).
      • Simply go to our web site (christtheredeemer.org) and you will be able to ‘click on’ the latest recording of the service. They will be streamed “live” from Facebook and posted on our website.
  • Second, as Anglicans, the reception of the sacrament is the apex of our worship. Quite literally, we need to receive the tangible grace of God to be nourished and sustained as gracious Sons and Daughters of God. Here is how we will receive the Sacrament on Sunday and I trust, thereafter).
      • We will have two ‘Stations’ for Communion, one in Norfolk (the parking lot of Knox), the other in Virginia Beach (the home of the Beers).
      • One of the clergy and a lay Assistant will be present at each location to pray with you and your family and to distribute the bread (our bishop has asked us not to communicate in both kinds during the duration of the pandemic). Simply stay in your car and we will come to you.
      • As we anticipate more people to come to our Norfolk Station (and given we will already be present at Knox), the clergy and assistant will be present at the Station from 11:30 am – 1:00pm.
      • As it will take some time to travel to Virginia Beach, the Beers’ Station will be manned from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

Home Groups

What about our gatherings during the week?

  • Our Leadership Council met on Monday night and prayerfully discerned that our Home Groups (and study groups) should NOT meet officially for the next two weeks (March 18-April 1).
  • Our Home/Study group leaders met last night on Zoom and discussed ways that we can stay connected (even physically connected) safely and helpfully in the days and weeks ahead. We are committed to ‘be the church’ for and with one another.

Financial Giving

Can I also make an appeal for all of us to maintain- as we are able- our financial commitments to the church?

  • Again, our communication team will make access to our PayPal account as accessible as possible (https://christtheredeemer.org/home/giving/). For those who wish to mail your tithe, please use our P.O. Box 9632, Norfolk, VA 23505 address.
  • The Leadership Council is crafting ways we can support one another financially (as well as physically and spiritually) in the days ahead. Once those ‘ways’ as clear, we will let you know. If you have a financial need in the meantime, please do not hesitate to make it known (to me, or to any of the Council members).

Please be diligent in checking the web site for the latest information. We will endeavor to communicate as clearly and as frequently as needed.

May God’s peace and grace be with us all.


Update on the Coronavirus from Bishop Steve Breedlove

March 13, 2020

Dear Clergy, Leaders, and Congregants of the Diocese of Christ our Hope,

As we all know, we face a pandemic in our world. No one yet knows what this will mean for our country, churches included. As difficult as this may be, the Lord has purposes for us and our neighbors if we seek him through this.

This morning’s appointed Psalms speak powerful words of assurance to us:

The Lord sits above the floodwaters, and the Lord remains King forever. 
The Lord shall give strength to his people, the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.
Psalm 29:9-10

I wrote in my journal:

In this context, in the context of our world reeling toward chaos, we know the King, and we know his ultimate purposes, our place in his care, and our final end. Therefore, while we live in this chaos, we have:

  • Strength to face reality head-on and do exactly what he calls us to do.
  • Peace – the blessing of personal and corporate peace – with which to serve the people we meet with love and attentiveness.  

So Lord, please give me strength to tackle my priorities and responsibilities, to do what I am called to do, and to serve well. And Father, please give me peace so that I can love others well out of a soul that is at rest in you. Amen. 

I’m grateful for this word from the Lord, but it is certainly not intended to be “the whole truth or the final truth.” It’s one small gift out of a treasure-trove of truths that will sustain us as we go through the days ahead. Our individual task is to set apart time with the Lord, to hear his word afresh, and to be open-eared to direct, personal spiritual truths and perspectives made alive by his Spirit. “Strength and peace as we wait upon the Lord . . .”

Let me summarize facts and implications as they continue to come into focus.

  • While the number of diagnosed cases of coronavirus is growing rapidly, there are likely many more active cases than are being reported. Testing capabilities are not coming into play nearly fast enough. Many are likely walking around with active contagious conditions.
  • An aggressive response is not “panic:” it is proactive wisdom that is seeking to act lovingly and intelligently to lessen the spread of COVID-19.
  • The church has the opportunity to exercise leadership and thereby strengthen our testimony by joining in solutions.
  • The church has the responsibility to love our neighbors: that includes many things, but particularly not overburdening resources and systems so that they are flooded with seriously ill people. In other words, we love our neighbors by working hard to minimize rapid increase of coronavirus. We love our neighbors by seeking to “flatten the curve” and delay the spread of this disease.
  • There is virtual universal agreement that the most important thing leaders can do is limit large gatherings of people. The phrase being used, “social distancing,” makes a point, but also has distasteful implications for Christians. Rather, we should think about “responsible social intentionality.” How can we (especially leaders) protect the vulnerable, at-risk people (i.e., by canceling large group meetings) while, at the same time, be pastorally present and create opportunities for continuing interaction that keeps us deeply in touch with one another and functioning as the body of Christ should?
  • The biggest issue on the table for us is the most important thing we are called to do in this world (and the next) – to worship the Triune God. As Anglicans, we have a profoundly high view of worship, especially corporate, Eucharistically-centered worship. The tension between “loving our neighbor, not overburdening medical and communal resources, and flattening the curve of the growth of infection” and “gathering for worship, participating in the sacraments, and walking in radical trust in the Lord” is real.

Therefore, based on these realities and tension, the principles governing our practices are:

  • Constant prayer.
  • Active consultation and exchange of ideas with local peers and professionals (in your church / in the community) and with diocesan peers and professionals. (The Diocese has a wealth of creative people who are coming up with great ideas for continuing ministry while serving the community in radical love. Call each other! Exchange resources!)
  • Constant discernment between the essentials of faith and ministry versus the strategies and practices we normally follow and significant outside-the-box thinking about how to do both ministry and mission.
  • Adjust services or specific activities – continue active ministry and mission!
  • Seeing this crisis as offering opportunities for us to serve in ways we’ve perhaps forgotten, or never embraced.

Here are some practical recommendations for your consideration:

  • If you meet for worship, follow the guidelines established by local and state authorities. In North Carolina, the strong request is “no groups larger than 100.” In Chapel Hill, where we live, it is “no larger than 50.”
  • If you meet for worship, consider seriously having only morning prayer without the Eucharist; if you serve the Eucharist, please serve in “one kind only,” i.e., bread.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, for the next few weeks, as a health precaution, this church will administer only the Bread at Holy Communion. Please be assured that receiving the Bread only is understood by the Church to be full reception of Holy Communion.
Abp Foley Beach, ACNA, RE: his own local cathedral church in Loganville, GA.

  • If this option is chosen, when the table is prepared for the prayer of consecration, put only a very small amount of wine in the chalice. Use the prayer of consecration as normal. No one, including the celebrant, should partake of the wine during the service. It should be consumed reverently in private after the service.
  • Suspend coffee hour after worship.
  • Suspend all other activities other than Sunday morning.
  • If you do permit small group events, cancel food service – or if you must serve food, arrange to creatively do so in ways that ONLY the person eating each portion touches the portion he/she eats.
  • If you call for / allow any group meetings, then use every possible precaution:
    • No one who is highly susceptible or has an underlying health issue, no one who has any symptoms, no one who has been around anyone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus in the previous month, should come.
    • Strongly encouraging those over 60 to stay home.
    • Urge everyone to wash their hands with soap and water before entering into a group meeting; make hand sanitizer readily available.
    • Do not shake hands (hugging – side hugging – is safer than hand shaking, but I urge ONLY the exchange of a wave or a warm smile).
    • Give people warm permission to follow their own consciences and stay home.
  • Seriously and prayerfully consider suspending regular worship services for several weeks.
  • Consider virtual worship activities (Zoom, live streaming), or take advantage of others who are live streaming Anglican worship.
  • Post your sermons online and remind your people where they can find them.
  • Consider urging people to use the online Daily Office at an agreed-upon time.
    • Daily Office 2019
    • Urge people to use their imaginations and “come together” with others in the fellowship, or even to call each other and leave their phones on speaker in order to share in worship.
  • Encourage online giving or mailing in checks. If your church does not offer online giving, this is a great time to create that option.
  • Rectors, talk weekly with your wardens, your other clergy, and ministry leaders. Assess things constantly.
  • Use this time to think aggressively and creatively about outreach – and to encourage your people to “be as Christ in this world.”
    • Check on and care for elderly friends and neighbors
    • Be alert to the radical needs that would be engendered if and when schools are canceled: many kids depend upon school breakfast and lunch programs. How will the church intervene in this realm of vulnerability?
    • Be aware of the drain on local Food Banks.
    • Be aware of those most vulnerable financially – hourly workers who are on work lay-offs, etc.
    • Shop for, or pick up prescriptions for, those who are vulnerable.
    • Consider the loneliness factor. Make many phone calls; encourage others to do so.
    • Create a fund in your church for those who are out of work.
    • Remember international university and college students who may be stuck in the US and unable to go home.
  • Continue to read, find resources, and share ideas about practical aspects of how God is showing up in your ministries and churches during this time. Send all ideas and recommendations for resources, practical ministry opportunities, etc., to Buddy Hocutt (rhocutt@adhope.org) and we will attempt to put together a regularly updated “Resources, Ideas, and Wisdom” document for distribution to the Diocese.
  • Above all, PRAY. Pray for deliverance and healing of people. Pray for the Gospel to be powerfully proclaimed in word and deed. Pray for people to seek the Lord. Pray for wisdom to know how to love your neighbors. Please pray for the Lord to use this season to expand his Kingdom. We worry about saving people’s lives physically, which is well and good, but our greater concern should always be to bring the gospel to those who are perishing.

Pray that the Lord would use this time for his glory!

In the bonds of Christ’s grace and peace,
Bishop Steve Breedlove

Important resources we received from clergy in the DCH:

Livestreams and recordings from churches around the Diocese of Christ Out Hope can be found at the link below. Please feel free to add any livestreams you know of:

DCH Livestreams

Livestreams from around the Anglican Church at North America are available at the link below:

ACNA Livestreams

If you would like to livestream your own service, Facebook Live and Youtube Live are two easy ways to do so. You can find directions below:

Facebook Live

Youtube Live

Week of Sunday March 15, 2020

In this week’s Update you will find information on the following (more details on each of these below):

  1. Concerning the Coronavirus
  2. Welcome Baby Reyes!
  3. Memorial for Albert Duckworth
  4. Anchor Fund Offering Continues

Concerning the Coronavirus

The CtR Clergy, Staff, and Leadership Council are asking God for wisdom, and working through what precautionary measures need to be in place regarding the coronavirus. Here are the ways that CtR, week by week, is adjusting to the coronavirus :

  • Hand sanitizer will be located at the front and back of the Sanctuary, as well as all of the Sunday School rooms
  • Substitute ‘fist bumps’ for handshakes (and definitely forgo the ‘holy kiss’) during the ‘Passing of the Peace’
  • In place of passing the Offering baskets around, the baskets will be located at both entryways to the Sanctuary at the beginning and the end of the service. If you are more comfortable with giving online, just click on this donate link to give safely and securely through PayPal.
  • When receiving Communion, come up as normal in our two lines. The Chalice Bearer will be standing next to the Priest/Deacon, and the Priest/Deacon will break off a piece of the bread and dip it into the cup and then place it on your outstretched hands.

And a few general reminders: be prayerful about the spread of this virus; wash your hands frequently; cough/sneeze in your inner elbow instead of your hands; and if you’re experiencing symptoms of a cough, disease, or fever, please isolate yourself and rest (for the sake of others, do not ‘push through it’).

Welcome Baby Reyes!

Baby Rowen David Reyes was born to Sharon and Ryan Reyes on Saturday, March 7th at 2:30am! He is a healthy baby boy at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 21.5 inches. If you would like to help support the Reyes’ as they adjust to being a family of three, please sign up to bring a meal through this link: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/l19wz6
Join us as we rejoice over the gift of this precious new life, and as we pray for strength and rest for the new parents.

Memorial for Albert Duckworth

There will be a Memorial Gathering this Saturday, March 14th, 4:30pm – 7:00pm at Virginia Beach Community Chapel (1261 Laskin Rd., Virginia Beach) to remember Albert Duckworth. Please come if you can to support Robin and the kids in an informal atmosphere with light hors d’oeuvres. There will be a time of sharing and remembering Albert at 5pm, followed by play time for the kids at the church playground. Even if you can’t come, please be praying for the Duckworth family as they continue to mourn the loss of a great husband and father.

Anchor Fund Continues

We will continue taking up donations for the Diocese of Christ Our Hope’s “Anchor Fund” offering  this Sunday and next Sunday. If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to learn about the offering through this page: https://www.adhope.org/anchorfund. There is a helpful video with Bishop Steve, as well as an option to give online if that is your preference. If you plan to give at church over the next three Sundays, be sure to write “Anchor Fund” in the memo line of your check. 

“Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of Christ Jesus; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

– Collect for The Third Sunday in Lent (BCP 2019)

Week of Sunday, March 8th, 2020

In this week’s Update you will find information on the following (more details on each of these below):

  1. Clocks Spring Forward
  2. Sundays During Lent
  3. Concerning the Coronavirus
  4. Anchor Fund Offering this Sunday
  5. NEST Outreach Donations
  6. Wanting to be Baptized?

Clocks Spring Forward

Daylight saving time begins this weekend, which means that we “spring forward” and lose an hour. Be make sure to change all your clocks on Saturday night and try to go to bed early so you don’t miss Discipleship Hour!

Sundays During Lent

Speaking of Discipleship Hour, it is not too late to attend the Evangelism Training Discipleship Hour class offered at 9:00am. During the next four Sundays of Lent, this will be our only class and it is open for all adults and youth.  We meet in the main office spaces and are using the CCQ model of “Connect – Content – Question” to learn how to authentically share our faith with others. 

Please be ready for worship by 10:15am, as we will begin promptly with the Penitential Rite. If you arrive late, please enter quietly into the Sanctuary. Similar to the season of Advent, services during Lent will be more reverent and quiet as we reflect on our own sin and the suffering of Jesus, as well as the deep love of God, which is revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus! 

Take home some of the Lenten resources available in the Fellowship Hall to help you intentionally observe Lent through prayer, fasting, and giving. We are recommending the book Lent: The Journey from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week to use as a guide, and it is available in the Fellowship Hall to purchase for $10.

Concerning the Coronavirus

Make sure to check your email inbox tomorrow for details concerning our response as a church to the coronavirus outbreak. The email will outline the preventative measures we can take as a congregation to help prevent the spread of this virus (as well as other diseases going around). 

Anchor Fund Offering this Sunday

We will begin taking up donations for the Diocese of Christ Our Hope’s “Anchor Fund” offering  this Sunday, and for the two Sundays following. If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to learn about the offering through this page: https://www.adhope.org/anchorfund. There is a helpful video with Bishop Steve, as well as an option to give online if that is your preference. If you plan to give at church over the next three Sundays, be sure to write “Anchor Fund” in the memo line of your check. 

NEST Outreach Donations

We are currently helping Crossroads Church in ministering to the homeless through the Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST) program, by assembling bag lunches at CtR each afternoon during March 4th-11th. Please pray for the homeless individuals who will be receiving these lunches. 

If you weren’t able to sign up to help put together the lunches, we could still use your help covering the cost of the food, waters, and bags that were purchased for this outreach!   If you would like to contribute, please send a check or money to CtR with NEST in the memo line.  If you have any questions you can speak to Temple: 757-620-0740 or  t.richardson@cox.net .

Wanting to be Baptized?

We are planning to celebrate Baptisms on the second Sunday of Easter (April 19th). If you and/or your children are interested in being baptized, please contact Father Brian at revbriancampbell@gmail.com as soon as possible. 

“Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities that may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

– Collect for The Second Sunday in Lent (BCP 2019)