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Back from Vermont

Posted by Chris, August 5, 2015

Last week Christ Church sent some youth, and a couple of chaperones, on a mission trip to Rutland Vermont through Youth Works. The programming by Youth Works was quite strong and well organized. The service sites, and relationships with various organizations, have been maintained by Youth Works for over a decade in Rutland. Christ Church was one of many churches serving with Youth Works during the week.

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The Deepest Identity

Posted by Heather, June 17, 2015

A couple of news stories have me thinking about identity. To be honest, I haven’t delved deep into either story but it has been hard to avoid surface-level stories about Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner or Rachel Dolezal (the NAACP local branch executive whose racial background is white but who identifies as black). These are people who have changed their outward identity dramatically. Both would say, I think, that they have tried to make their inward self-identity match with what the world now sees externally. Their quest to do this is not unique – I’m guessing that each one of us has tried to do that at one point or another. 

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So what do you do come Wednesday?

Posted by Heather, May 7, 2015

I just got back from a few days away at Shrine Mont for the Bishop’s Spring Conference. Twice a year, the Diocese of Virginia hosts conferences for those who work in churches – the fall one is for clergy only, while the spring conference is open to clergy, lay professionals, and spouses and partners. It is always a rich gathering characterized by beautiful worship with great singing, hearty fellowship and opportunities to connect or reconnect, downtime for hiking, napping, reading, and contemplation, and breathing in the special air of Orkney Springs. Each year there is a program, something to feed our minds and hearts as well, plus a chance to hear what is on the hearts of our bishops.

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To have and to have not….

Posted by Melanie, April 15, 2015

Each week I am humbled and blessed to work in concert with our Lazarus counselors and Lazarus guests to thoughtfully share our resources. Our resources become the lifeline that keep people housed, keep water running, lights and heat on, ensure vital medicines are purchased and medical bills are covered. Each week we look to each other to make good decisions based on the circumstances and the money we have available that day and we offer our own brand of hospitality and caring.

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Why talk about race and reconciliation?

Posted by Heather, April 8, 2015

Some of you know that I led, along with Chris Hamby, a reading and discussion group this Lent on race and reconciliation. Our sessions were grounded in a small book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu called In God's Hands. This was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent book for 2015. In this book, Abp. Tutu wove some stories from the struggle against apartheid in South Africa with reflections on various passages from the  Bible which tell the story of God's love for us.

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Happy Hearts

Posted by Melanie, March 25, 2015

This post by Sarah DeCamps is from Honduras, Our Little Roses Home For Girls, where Liz Hoekstra and Sarah are visiting the girls now:

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Sing your song! #MakeItHappen

Posted by Heather, March 11, 2015

What a wonderful celebration we had on Sunday for International Woman’s Day! There was powerful and challenging preaching by parishioner Pauline Muchina and the singing of familiar and new hymns written by women at the 10:00 a.m. worship service. At the international marketplace that followed, organized along with our partners at Empowered Women International, we were enriched, cheered, and challenged by the singing poetry of Anna Mwalago and the sharing of stories of the other women entrepreneurs. Across the day, we moved from strength to strength and from joy to joy.

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A Quiet Day in Lent

Posted by John, February 25, 2015

An important writer of the 21st century is the poet, novelist, and essayist Wendell Berry. Though he has no idea of his influence, Wendell has had a profound impact on my ministry. 

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Saying Goodbye for Now

Posted by Ann, February 18, 2015

“We live a life of departures,” one of my seminary professors once said. “We are given all these opportunities to practice and prepare for the final departure,” he went on to say. That’s why goodbyes are hard. There is loss and grieving around goodbyes, just as there is loss and grieving around change and death.

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All of Us are Grass

Posted by Ann, January 7, 2015

On the cover of Atul Gawande’s new book called Being Mortal there is a single piece of grass. If you rub your fingers over it, you can feel that it is embossed, raised off the paper. Even though the picture of the blade appears raised because you can see its shadow, it actually has dimension if you touch it. Although there is nothing overtly religious about this book, it is one of the most theological books I have read in a long time, beginning with the subtle reference to Isaiah 40:6-7 on the cover.  The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it. Surely the people are grass. This was a brilliant design metaphor. Kudos to whomever came up with it. Even though we are all grass, each of us can have dimension and dignity until we die.

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