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Loaves and Fishes - Watermelon and Flowers

Posted by Melanie, March 15, 2017

At Christ Church we have many stories to tell, as we are part of a vibrant life in the Alexandria community. In outreach we encounter our brothers and sisters in need every week and we hold them up in various ways. Many parishioners don't realize that our weekly Lazarus Food Pantry by design is a complete act of faith. Each week we don't know how much food will be donated, we don't require that volunteers sign-up (but hope they will) and we don't know how many guests will come in need of food. Talk about a test of nerves!

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Deep Gratitude for Works Done in Secret

Posted by Melanie, December 8, 2016

"Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come." After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, ‘Where is he?’ John 7: 8-11

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The Gospels: Fact and Mystery

Posted by Melanie, September 28, 2016

I did not go to church this past Sunday; I however did go to my prayer table, I lit some candles and pulled up the lectionary page on my phone. I opened my bible, I wanted to read and hear what you were reading and hearing.

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A Little Something for the Soul

Posted by Melanie, August 17, 2016

Greetings Christ Church and all readers!  As I prepare to leave tomorrow to take my last child to college I am scrambling to get all that must be done – done. I was sent this prayer a few minutes ago. So please read this lovely prayer and watch this short video my husband made from our balcony in Buxton, North Carolina a few weeks ago. The prayer and the video fill my heart and soul, I hope they speak to you as well. 

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Praying for Others and Meaning It

Posted by Melanie, July 6, 2016

Evelyn Underhill writes ‘What, then, is Prayer? In a most general sense, it is the intercourse of our little human souls with God. Therefore, it includes all the work done by God Himself through, in, and with souls which are self-given to Him in prayer…. Prayer is a purely spiritual activity; and its real doer is God Himself, the one inciter and mover of our souls.’

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Fiestas and Feasts

Posted by Melanie, May 11, 2016

Parties are fun!  And Christ Church parties are super fun!  Last Friday evening we celebrated the Our Little Roses Mission and raised money to support the activities that are done with the girls on the trip.  The event was packed, the food was delicious and the fellowship was lovely.  I met so many parishioners I had not met before and we even had neighbors come and express excitement that we were hosting a Fiesta where the community was invited as well.

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Calling up and Bringing up “Little Christs” part 2

Posted by Melanie, March 9, 2016

The three perspectives I wrote about last week - hope, reciprocity and shared responsibility - help keep us get close to God and nearer to finding that best part of ourselves that is called serve others, i.e. our own “Little Christ.” I have to re-anchor myself to these perspectives all the time, it’s not a onetime shift in perspective. 

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Calling up and Bringing up “Little Christs” (part one of two)

Posted by Melanie, March 2, 2016

C. S. Lewis wrote that the singular purpose of the Church is to create “Little Christs.” The simplicity, yet pin point bold accuracy of this statement strikes me deeply.  What else should creating “Little Christs” be the singular purpose of? Parenting, working, loving, serving? If we think of our purpose this way and we accept that we are all called to serve, what does that look like in real life?  These big thoughts that we may agree hold important truths beg the question of how to translate them into our day to day lives.

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The Ache of Love

Posted by Melanie, January 14, 2016

On Monday, January 11, 1999 I was a single parent of an 18-month old.  I worked full time as a supervisor of six home visitors for a program in Alexandria called Healthy Families.  Our goal was to prevent child abuse and neglect by doing home visits with individuals or families during pregnancy and staying with them until their child entered kindergarten.  The 125-140 families we visited were considered to be at very high-risk for abusing and neglecting their children.  It was an intense, but very rewarding job. I loved the work, I loved being a parent, but I was often exhausted with a toddler at home who rarely slept. I had so little time left over for anything other than eating and sleeping.

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My Spiritual Playlist

Posted by Melanie, October 28, 2015

I have certain books I cannot be without and I bet you do as well. For me, after the NRSV version of the Bible, my list includes The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis; The Cloud of Unknowing (author unknown); The Practice of the Presence by Brother Lawrence; Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton; and The Testament of Devotion by Thomas R. Kelly.  I have many other beloved books in my spiritual library, but these serve as my cornerstones, my go-to’s, my playlist.

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