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Friend or foe?

Posted by Pierce, September 18, 2013

Is this something everybody knows and I’m just beginning to notice? We hear a lot about the United States’ political gridlock, and when I get close enough to our legislators to have more than a thirty second sound bite, all of them agree that what distinguishes the current political climate from the recent past is the total breakdown of friendships across the aisle. Moreover, together they are becoming rigid about their ideologies on both the left and the right.

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Teacher's Pet

Posted by Jason, September 11, 2013

One of the most foolish decisions I have ever made was when I agreed to accept a job teaching at a private nonsectarian school. I was interested in earning some extra money, and the newly appointed headmaster at the school made a convincing case to me that I’d be a perfect fit for the part-time job they had to offer in music. I accepted the job, and before long was busy teaching high school music history and music theory, and conducting the 5th grade chorus, 6th grade chorus, junior high and high school choirs.

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The end of summer ... sigh ...

Posted by Ann, September 4, 2013

Nothing says summer vacation more to me than getting lost in a book. As a teenager, I read Gone with the Wind in a single week in August, spending most of my time in various different positions of prone. As an adult, the Washington Post comes every day to our doorstep and we get the Sunday New York Times as well. I read a fairly steady diet of the New Yorker and Christian Century magazines, but a book, especially novels, suggests leisure and respite, an opportunity to disappear into another world.

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Listen for Something New

Posted by Heather, August 29, 2013

Christian rock and praise music (which are not the same thing) have never been my go-to musical styles for Christian music. I love the camp and VBS songs – the Lord said to Noah there’s gonna be a floody-floody… I love Gospel music, especially the style where there is a call and response between one or two lead voices and the big, powerful choir.

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Open House Sunday

Posted by Pierce, August 21, 2013

Many churches across the land have homecoming Sundays in the first week of September – presumably to welcome back those who have been away on vacations and other kinds of activities to relax and recharge. We have changed this and now call it Open House Sunday. We encourage our folks to bring new people and families to church to receive the same spiritual benefit that we all enjoy at Christ Church and to learn about our partners in outreach and mission.

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Saints, Angels, Singers

Posted by Jason, August 14, 2013

I had the great joy of attending the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) course in Newport, Rhode Island last week. Each summer, there are RSCM camps at various places throughout the country. The weeklong camps are geared towards boys and girls, but adults come along as well and fill in the gaps needed for the alto, tenor, and bass parts. I was thrilled to take five of our own choristers to this camp.

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Reflections on the March on Washington

Posted by Ann, August 9, 2013

The August I turned six, my parents walked in the March on Washington. I didn’t understand why it was so important that my parents go to Washington to be part of the March, but I sensed the heightened anxiety around it. Theirs and mine. They were concerned enough about their safety that new wills were drawn up so that if anything happened to them, we would be raised by my Aunt Alice. That was a scary prospect. While they were gone, my brother and I stayed with her. She was cool and aloof, not particularly mother-y even though she had several children of her own.

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Conversation and Listening

Posted by Heather, July 31, 2013

I have been thinking about a pair of youth, brothers, who were in the first congregation where I served. That church had a bit of racial and ethnic diversity, similar to Christ Church, but was fairly white. These teenage boys were born in the US with parents from Nigeria. At that time, there was a lot of concern about racial profiling in the northern suburbs of Chicago where the congregation was. The elder of the brothers, and the more talkative of the two, had some surgery and so I had a chance to have some longer conversations with him while I and one of the youth group leaders visited him in the hospital.

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Consumer or Servant?

Posted by Pierce, July 24, 2013

We have all been reading in national journals about the waning fortunes of mainline churches. These articles describe, it seems, with pundit glee how Episcopalians and their Presbyterian, Methodist, United Church of Christ, Catholic and now even Baptist peers are losing their potency on the American scene. Evangelical journals suggest that it is the adoption of progressive political views that have caused the decline.

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My AAMish Family

Posted by Jason, July 17, 2013

I returned last week from the annual conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) held in Denver. I belong to a number of professional organizations, but AAM is the one that is most near and dear to me; its annual conferences are often a highlight of my summer.

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