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Life in the Churchyard

Posted by Pierce, June 7, 2013

Next to the National Cathedral, I believe Christ Church Alexandria may be the most photographed church in the country. During tourist season, we can have as many as 2,000 people move in and out of the church in a week. As I come and go, there isn’t a time when I don’t see someone holding a camera in the direction of our sanctuary.

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Take a Pause

Posted by Heather, June 5, 2013

We’ve had a dog, Midnight, for nearly a year now. While I can’t say that I always enjoy taking her for a walk, lately it has been a delight. For me, these dog walks are a chance to just be and to pay attention. We walk the same path most of the time. I don’t listen to music and I try to not talk on the phone. Earlier this week I saw my first lightning bug (firefly) of the season – exclaiming “Oooh, a lightning bug!” out loud for no one except Midnight to hear. There are small moments of seeing God’s love and wonder in creation on those walks, as long as I remember to pause and be present where I am.

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Reach for God

Posted by Pierce, May 29, 2013

In the last 30 years, neuroscience has contributed much to our understanding of human identity, passion, and aspiration. Brain scan studies are revealing some amazing things about how we think, what we cherish, and why we pursue a particular direction in life.

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Till Death Do Us Part

Posted by Jason, May 22, 2013

I recently was having dinner with a group of friends and the conversation turned to what we had all done at work that day. I mentioned that I played a funeral in the morning before getting on with other normal routines of work. Suddenly I was being peppered with questions – “Do you find it difficult to play for a funeral?” “Isn’t that depressing?” “Do you see the body?” “What are funerals like at your church?”

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Likewise the Spirit

Posted by Ann, May 15, 2013

At a staff meeting yesterday, my colleague, the Rev. Heather VanDeventer said, “Oh, we forgot to send out a prayer to the parish about the shootings in New Orleans. We sent something out after Newtown. We sent something out after Boston. We sent something out after the explosion in Texas.”

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Just Ask ...

Posted by Heather, May 9, 2013

I have been away for the past few days at Shrine Mont, the camp and conference center for the Diocese of Virginia. Twice a year the bishops of the Diocese of Virginia invite the clergy to pause from day to day life and take time together. The spring conference is always open to lay staff at churches, as well as spouses, partners, and (preschool) children of clergy and lay staff. Five of us from Christ Church went to the spring conference, which is part conference and part R&R.

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Reaching Out

Posted by Pierce, April 30, 2013

During the month of April, we provide a Sunday in which we celebrate our outreach ministries to our neighborhood, the nation, and the world. A few things stand out even though we have had to make cuts in funding. Our volunteers have really stepped up to the plate and provided discovery and strength to continue to provide resources. Last month I noticed we distributed 1,000 bags of groceries from the doors of Christ Church.

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Sunday's HVAC Forum

Posted by Pierce, April 25, 2013

On Sunday, April 28 during the forum hour, we will hear from Barry Stauffer and the committee that has been researching the state of our entire heating and air conditioning system which is spread out through four different buildings on our church campus. This is an “annual meeting” moment for us to gather because of the extensiveness of the reconditioning our contractor is proposing. Caring for this national landmark property, given its age, is always challenging.

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A Blessing

Posted by Pierce, April 22, 2013

Sunday night at our 5:00 p.m. service, we blessed the union of Melissa Capers and Bruni Hernandez. In keeping with our mission that Christ Church is a welcoming, open, and inclusive congregation and recognizing that our membership represents a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, political affiliations, family configurations, sexual orientations, abilities, and religious traditions, this is one more milestone that acts on our words. We are single, married, partnered, divorced, widowed, re-married, gay and lesbian, with and without children, empty nesters, old and young, and differently gifted. You name it—we’re here.

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Standing Strong with Boston

Posted by Pierce, April 18, 2013

The bombing of the finish line at the Boston Marathon broke all our hearts. Very soon we will be seeing the funerals and interviews of the victims who have been injured. Funerals take place in churches and many of the persons interviewed will be speaking from a faith perspective. Thus we are reminded what congregations and religious leaders do at such times. Congregations, synagogues, and temples are places where people turn to pick up the pieces of their lives broken by violence. It’s where the funerals are held and our grief work is conducted. These are important and needed roles that houses of worship have played for centuries.

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