Liturgy & Sermon - March 15, 2020 Christ Episcopal Church
382 Boblett St., Blaine, WA USA
Christ Episcopal Church is an affirming and inclusive Christian community. Our members and leaders strive through love, worship and service to welcome all people just as God created them. No matter where you are on your journey of faith, our welcome knows no boundaries of age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, or economic condition. We believe that God delights in the diversity of creation and so do we.
Join us for Holy Eucharist, Sundays @ 10:00 am.
A FAMILY HOME LITURGY FOR CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
from The Rev. Jo Beecher
Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
His mercy endures for ever.
The leader may read the following sentences
Jesus said, "The first commandment is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8,9
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14,16
Then the Confession is said:
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor. Silence may be kept.
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Prayer of Forgiveness
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
The Collect for the 3rd Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Gospel according to John chapter 4, verses 5 - 42
Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” They left the city and were on their way to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
The Sermon – The Rev. Jo Beecher
“He told her everything she’d ever done.” We were going to sing the old Peter, Paul and Mary song “Jesus Met the Woman at the Well” as the gradual hymn. But nothing is really going as we had imagined it would a week or a month ago.
In today’s Gospel we have Jesus in the middle of his teaching, healing and wandering ministry. Here he is up in non-Jewish Samaria. He has come from Galilee and will turn back to Galilee. He was with John and has now taken off on his own course.
Usually when I read this Gospel I am struck by the inclusiveness of Jesus. His passion is for all to know the truth that God has to offer to all of God’s children. The blessing, the grace, the forgiveness. The Samaritan woman pushes back, finding it hard to believe that this Jewish man is talking to her, a Samaritan. His disciples are shocked that he is even talking to a woman. It seems timely to read this as countries around the world put up travel bans, lock downs and quarantines, and as we as individuals, are being forced to isolate ourselves physically from each other.
But today I’d like to ask you to put aside your worries about these necessary barriers that we are having to construct between peoples, our ‘social distancing,’ and think about this encounter between these two human beings, Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
Sure, Jesus is God so he’s not worried about where his dinner is coming from. His disciples say, “Rabbi, eat something!” To which Jesus answers, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me …” But, at the same time, he is just as human as we are. After all, this scene starts with him asking the woman for a drink of water.
So, picture this, Jesus is seated by the well of Jacob. The reading says it was about noon, the sun beating down on him. Now, I used to live in El Salvador and had to go down a long steep path every morning for water and to do my washing in the stream. All the women got up as early as possible to get water because no one wanted to have to make that steep climb back up in the heat of the day. So, why was this Samaritan woman at the well at that time of day?
Probably one of two reasons. One, her quote unquote husband told her to go then. Or, two, that was the time when there were no other women there. This woman who had gone through 5 husbands most likely was not well thought of in Sychar. Would she have been spat at, if she had gone at the same time as the rest of the village women? Gotten into a knock-down, drag out fight with the women who her previous quote unquote husbands had actually been married to?
How she must have craved that living water that Jesus was offering her! What a relief it must have been – a shock and a relief – that this man knew everything she had ever done! After 5 husbands she must have been so tired of the shame, the ostracism, the nasty words behind her back, and the loneliness. We can’t even imagine her story that had led her to have had to depend on that many different men.
I met a young woman many years back who I just got to like very much. We liked the same kind of music. We had kids the same age. And we were both Christians. After we had known each other for a month or two, she very seriously said to me over coffee, “I have to tell you something.” She was scared. “I hope you won’t hate me when I tell you this.” She said, “I go to church with my husband, but I grew up Jewish.” I said, “Wow, that’s cool!” But she thought I would not want to be her friend anymore because she was Jewish. That friendship became a deep blessing to me because it gave me an opportunity to learn so much about her Jewish family and history. But for good reason – the tattooed numbers on her parents’ best friends’ forearms, the cross that had been burned on her lawn – she had lived in fear of telling me everything of who she was.
I have another friend who told me her everything. A pregnancy from a rape that she had hidden from her husband. She and her husband had raised that child together as his, until finally, when the child was a teenager, she could no longer hide the truth from him. He divorced her, as if the rape had been her fault or choice. He had continued to stay in the child’s life but never forgave the mother. This friend also waited until we had known each other for a while, to share her everything. And she shared it thinking she would lose my friendship.
Imagine that woman at the well. She came there hoping not to have to meet anyone. Not to have to suffer public shame and ridicule. Who knows what more? Stoning? Certainly, scorn and judgment.
How many of us carry those “everythings we have ever done?”
At the church where I used to serve, they have put up a rustic cross made from two small tree trunks, and scraps of paper are stapled to the tree. People are invited to write down their sins. What they perceive as their sins. The notes are folded over, for no one to read, and they will be burned in the new fire of the Easter Vigil. But we don’t have to do that.
Jesus is the friend that already knows everything we have ever done. Imagine the slowly gathering amazement of the woman at the well. Imagine what she must have felt when she realized this man already knew everything about her. I think this is an important message in this Lenten time. And in this fearful time as we struggle to cope with the reality of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jesus knows exactly what we are feeling. All our anxiety. All our fears. All our failures. All our sins. All our losses. All our grief. It is Lent and we remember where we have failed, and we resolve to do better. It is Lent and we remember the disciples who didn’t have as much courage and faith as Jesus wanted them to have. But Jesus knows everything we have ever done. Jesus knows us. Jesus offers us the Living Water. And Jesus encourages us to tell our story, like the Samaritan woman who told the townspeople of Sychar about Jesus. Like my friends who told me their shames and their pain.
You don’t have to tell a friend. You don’t have to write it out and physically pin it to a cross. You just have to know that you can tell Jesus. And know that Jesus already knows. He died for us because God loves us. For all we are, all the ways we come up short, in all our fears. Jesus knows us. Jesus forgives us. Jesus heals us. Jesus loves us.
URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN
Dear Friends at Christ Episcopal Church, Blaine:
I'm writing to let you know that Bishop Rickel has issued a directive to suspend all church services and activities beginning now through March 22nd. This includes all our activities as well as other groups who use our building. I have conferred with our Bishop's Committee as well as our supply clergy team, and we have decided that we will be closed through at least March 24th. Rather than try to summarize his letter, I'll share a link to it, as his heart behind the decision is worth reading:
More updates may follow next week. Please watch your email for further news.
-Doug Dahl, Senior Warden
NEED PASTORAL CARE OR CONVERSATION? The Rev. Jo Beecher has offered to be available for a time. You may contact her at 1 (360) 707-1595.
NOTE FROM THE TREASURER Please continue to send your pledges by mail to Christ Church, Blaine.
If you normally place your pledge in the offering plate on Sundays,
please consider mailing it while worship services are cancelled to
382 Boblett St., Blaine, WA 98230
LENTEN SOUP & BREAD GATHERING CANCELLED Wednesday Nights, 5:30-7pm in Gibbs Hall March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1 and April 8
We regret to inform you all that Lenten Gatherings have been cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns. Please keep one another in prayer, and stay in contact via email or phone as you are able, as we all seek to stay healthy during this virus outbreak.
Easter Dinner Baskets:
Conveying Abundance of God's Love
to our Neighbors in Need
“For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Mark 14:44
The familiar story of the Widow’s Mite is one of complete generosity. She gave all that she had. Amy Jill Levine, author of Entering the Passion of Jesus invites us to look at what she does in light of what Christ did. He made the decision to go to the cross where he gave his life for all. Levine points out that the woman was in the Temple, a place that welcomed rich and poor alike; a place where all offerings have value and all people are cared for.
What if Christ Episcopal considered the measure of gifts and service as one that calls us to consider where others might receive their next meal? This congregation has risen to goals of pounds of food before. We understand hunger. We strive to be generous with what God has given us. We know that we can meet needs in our community with our Blaine Food Bank contributions. We have filled baskets with food for our sisters and brothers at Loads of Love as well. During this Lenten Season, may we once again act in service and generosity. Easter dinner can be a family event where one meal, conveys to those in need the abundance of God’s love.
Here is a list of what we are collecting for our baskets. Please help in any way you can.
We need funds to purchase hams, fresh vegetables, pies, and cheese. (Please make checks to CHRIST EPISCOPAL for OUTREACH)
5 lb bags of potatoes
1 1b of butter
Biscuits or Dinner Rolls (1 dozen)
Jello (large package)
Canned Fruit for Jello
We will put a complete list of basket needs out in Fellowship hall on Sunday. Thank you for your support!
2/26-4/4 Season of Lent
4/5 Palm Sunday
4/9 Maundy Thursday (5:30pm)
4/10 Good Friday (12:00noon) Stations of the Cross
4/12 Easter Sunday, Easter Egg Hunt
4/19 Bishop's Committee Meeting
LOADS OF LOVE
This vital ministry of Christ Church Blaine provides laundry money, detergent, dryer sheets, and refreshments at The Washhouse on 3rd Street on the first and third Mondays from 5-7:30pm. To learn more, or volunteer to help, contact Susan Thomson.
3/3 Steve Windell
3/5 Lisa (GeeGee) Burns
3/9 Emmy Johnson
3/12 Harper Hamilton
3/16 Jerry Mason
3/20 Cullie Schewe
3/23 Shirley Susich
3/24 Mary Jellison+
3/28 Jay Rozendaal+
3/31 Jean Savidge
March 15 and March 22, 2020 Worship Cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns
March 29, 2020
First Lesson + Psalm: Jodith Allen
Second Lesson: Jeane Austin
Prayers: Gwynne Fowler-Briggs
Chalicists: Myra Ryneheart Corcorran/Leslie Mason
Ushers: Jeane Austin/Myra Ryneheart Corcorran
Altar Guild: Debbie Little
Acolyte: Mary Rebman Coffee Hour: Blue
VICAR TRANSITION UPDATE
A Call Committee has formed as we wait in hope for a candidate for Vicar for our congregation. The Committee will be responsible for reviewing candidates' materials, meeting with the candidates, and strict confidentiality is required.
Christ Church's position has been posted on the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia's job listings, so we are making progress!
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a priest for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP, p. 818, Prayer 13).
DIOCESE OF OLYMPIA
All dates subject to change, due to Coronavirus concerns.
4/27-4/28 BISHOP'S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE, Port Townsend. The Diocese of Olympia’s Office of the Bishop is pleased to bring back “The Bishop’s Leadership Conference: Size to Size, Strength to Strength” – a conference that explores what it means to be faithful, healthy, and effective in your church’s current, local context and help you discern if God is calling your congregation to grow in new ways. Over the course of the week, each church will attend two days of the conference. The first day, connect and network with other churches of similar size to share and discover strengths specific to your congregational size. On the second day, learn more about how growth would look by joining the next congregational size up! More details and registration info will be coming soon, so mark your calendars! Visit with last year's attendees...Myra Ryneheart Corcorran or Doug Dahl...if you have any questions about the conference.
6/21-6/27, COLLEGE FOR CONGREGATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, Federal Way. The College is a comprehensive training program that seeks to nurture and develop congregational development practitioners from within existing parish lay and clergy leadership. The program draws on a) organization development theory and practice, b) congregational development theory and practice, c) theory and practice related to healthy, responsive leadership and ) current and traditional understandings of Anglican/Episcopal ethos, culture, spirituality and ways of being the church today. The training consists of readings, presentations, experiential exercises, application activities, and back-home projects and will be offered in two formats:
Four 2-day sessions for each of two consecutive years, or
Two seven-day intensive sessions over two consecutive summers.
For more information, visit www.cdcollege.org or visit with previous year's attendees...Myra Ryneheart Corcorran or April Thomson...if you have any questions about the conference.
10/23-10/24 DIOCESAN CONVENTION, Seatac, WA. The Diocesan Convention is held annually for clergy and lay delegates to conduct diocesan business. This includes electing individuals to offices and deputations, admitting worshiping communities as missions or parishes, and voting on resolutions. The bishop also gives an annual address. Visit with previous year's attendees...Jodith Allen, Mary Rebman, or April Thomson...if you have any questions about the convention.
Doug Dahl, Senior Warden; Mary Rebman, Junior Warden;Jodith Allen, Gary Little, Sexton Pro Tem; Eileen Richardson, Secretary; Myra Ryneheart Corcorran; Jim Savidge, Sexton Emeritus; Bruce Smith, Peter Smith,April Thomson STAFF
Carl Bradley, Organist
Mary Rebman, Housekeeping
Eileen Richardson, Treasurer
Susan Thomson, Bookkeeper and Guitarist/Choir Leader
Altar Guild: Mary Rebman
Children’s Giving Garden: Wendy Kunst-Massey
Choir/Music Committee: Susan Thomson
Crafters: Eileen Richardson, Caroline Hodgins
Garden Team: Brooke Finley
Hospitality: Jeane Austin, Leslie Mason
Outreach: Susan Thomson
Prayer Team: Myra Ryneheart Corcorran
Ushers: Jeanne Austin
Want to get more involved?See our list of contacts/ministry leaders if you feel called to help in a particular area of worship or parish life. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, and we welcome your help.