Loaves and Fishes - Watermelon and Flowers
, 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!
Deep Gratitude for Works Done in Secret
, 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
The Boy With the Pull-Along Wagon
, October 6, 2016
On Thursday mornings, Lazarus food pantry volunteers distribute love in the form of smiles, warm greetings, and food to our neighbors in need in the City of Alexandria. The Meade Room is transformed into a mart of kindness and comestibles. One by one, our neighbors are warmly greeted by a love-in-motion coordinator and assigned a beatitudes-hero to guide them through tables with non-perishables, meats, vegetables, bread, and an assortment of fresh items.
Welcoming the Stranger, Praying for your Neighbors
, December 23, 2015
Last Friday, my day in the office started with sharing words of blessing, encouragement, and welcome with the students in the New Neighbors English Language Learners program that Christ Church hosts and is run by a great local organization, the Campagna Center. They have 170 adult students this year, taking classes 3 mornings a week, along with a number of children in their nursery and preschool programs. The students come from many countries – Honduras, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Korea, and Mexico – to name a few. Most are recent arrivals, with others have been here for 15 years.
, November 25, 2015
Thanksgiving arrives this week and brings a bevy of different emotions. Many will bemoan the travel, the consumerist tendencies clouding the holiday, and snap reactions on social media about trivial “wars” on different holidays. I will travel to Knoxville this weekend to be with my wife’s family. The house will be packed with a family I dearly love. We thoroughly enjoy this time. Relaxing, catching up, watching football and basketball (go Kentucky!), enjoying the fall air, and being with one another as we break bread.
The Power of One, Four, Six and Twelve in Outreach
, July 8, 2015
Last Tuesday was a busy day at Christ Church. And yes, Christ Church is always busy, but let’s just say things were bustling in Outreach. We had 6 volunteers, some seasoned and some brand new, making 65 bag lunches in the Auditorium kitchen to be brought and served at Meade Memorial Church down the street. On the menu were homemade egg salad sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruit, cookies, and lemonade. Christ Church is part of a rotation of 7 churches that take turns making and serving lunch. The hospitality that is given to our brothers and sisters during bag lunch is as important as the food itself. For many of the people who come for lunch this fellowship may be their only fellowship.
Letter from the Cathedral
, June 3, 2015
I recently had the opportunity to attend a writing workshop at the National Cathedral taught by Barbara Brown Taylor, author of An Altar in the World and Learning to Walk in the Dark and Nora Gallagher, author of Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic and Things Seen and Unseen. Attending this workshop was exciting yet intimidating at the same time because we would have to actually write and share our writing during the workshop! It’s one of those things you know is coming and you wonder why you signed up, but then you are really glad you did. Otherwise, how else do we learn?
Keeping the Faith
, May 13, 2015
We have lots of paintings and sketches of Christ Church all over our campus. I'm not sure any of them really tell the full story. If I were creating one, I'd be sure to include a number of people in our courtyard, including many who are struggling to meet their day to day needs. I heard a preacher recently say that if your church doesn't have beggars, it's not a church, it's a museum.
To have and to have not….
, 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.
The Alpha and Omega – Discernment and Action
, February 11, 2015
Someone asked me recently if I had a motto that I live by. I have a couple of mottos, but the most important one to me is simple, yet at times elusive, no action without contemplation. I don’t know who said it first or where it came from exactly, but from the first time I heard it I knew it contained a really big Truth, one that we either wrestle with or we are lost.