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.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Let the Alleluias ring out. Our Savior Jesus Christ is truly risen. In many parts of the world, Christians greet one another with this festal shout through the great Fifty Days of Easter.
And, yes! There are fifty days in Eastertide. Fifty days of rejoicing. Fifty days of feasting. (A priest once told me that it is a sin NOT to eat dessert during Eastertide.)
So, keep the Alleluias going in your hearts and in your minds. Share the Alleluias with your friends and neighbors -- even strangers! Share the joy of Christ's glorious Resurrection. Share life and hope and joy! And, although we're not yet able to raise our voice in song in our public worship, sing out at home, in your car, as you take a walk.
I am very grateful for all who have helped to make Holy Week meaningful. Several of our members worked together to make palm crosses and to fill your Holy Week bags. Thanks to the members of the worship team who have made it possible to send out our Sunday services. Thanks to lectors, musicians, Altar Guild members, and all who are participating through their computers, their phones, and in their hearts.
May the joy and excitement of those first witness to the Resurrection be in our live, now and always.
LENTEN PILGRIMAGE ON THE LABYRINTH
Christ Episcopal Church, Blaine has installed a temporary labyrinth on the grounds during Holy Week. All members of the community and congregation are invited to visit and walk the Stations of the Cross on the labyrinth from Palm Sunday, 3/28 – Easter Sunday 4/4 at 382 Boblett St., Blaine, WA. Masks and social distancing are required; the space is limited to one household at a time. Watch for signage on the church lawn for more information about how to walk the labyrinth, which may be accessed from the front lawn at any time during Holy Week.
In addition, the church is offering free downloads of a contemplative booklet titled “A Lenten Pilgrimage: Walking the Labyrinth and Praying the Scriptural Stations of the Cross.” The booklet may be accessed from the church website at www.christchurchblaine.org. (Church members will receive a copy of the booklet in their Holy Week/Easter care packets mentioned in Vicar Susan's message above.) Community members may use the booklet at home, or print it and bring it with them to use while walking the labyrinth on the grounds.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for all churches. Christ Church has been resilient, moving to online worship and maintaining connections with members through Zoom, email, phone calls and care packages for families. We wanted to offer a way for the community and our church members to enjoy our beautiful grounds, and experience a new, yet ancient form of prayer while the building is still closed due to COVID-19.” – Myra Ryneheart Corcorran, booklet co-author and Veriditas certified labyrinth facilitator.
The Stations of the Cross has been an important devotion used in Lent for about 800 years, a means of enabling Christians who could not go to Jerusalem personally to follow in Jesus’ footsteps on Good Friday. We walk with Jesus (literally around the labyrinth) from his condemnation by Pilate, through his suffering and death, and finally to the tomb.
Historically, the Labyrinth pre-dates the Stations of the Cross by several hundred years. The Chartres Labyrinth was constructed in the stone floor of Chartres Cathedral, France in 1201 AD. Medieval Christians visited Chartres (and other cathedrals) and walked the labyrinth as an alternative to taking a hazardous pilgrimage to Jerusalem to walk in the footsteps of Christ. Today, modern pilgrims walk the labyrinth as one of many tools to enhance prayer, contemplation, meditation, and/or personal growth.
The Stations AND Labyrinth are offered together on the church grounds, at this time, as a pilgrimage, and an opportunity to experience the passion of the Christ on a personal level in an ancient, yet new way. The church also hopes that this will provide a safe, meaningful Holy Week activity while the church building remains closed during the pandemic.
FOOD BANK DONATIONS - Please keep up your generous donations to the Blaine Food Bank, whether food or financial support. As has been reported, Christ Church members are the only ones who give diapers, baby food, and formula, so that type of contribution is always needed. Food donations as well as hygiene items and pet food are always in demand. If you leave donations on the back porch of the church, that works well. Please let Mary Rebman know (360-319-8495). This is what we can do to help and heal our community.
VOLUNTEER NEWSLETTER EDITOR - Many thanks to Brad Siefkes, Rev. Susan and Susan Thomson for attending our newsletter training last Sunday. Brad will be trying out the position, with both Rev. Susan and Susan T. for backup. Until further notice, please send items for the newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONLINE MORNING PRAYER LEADER - Would you like to lead online Morning Prayer? We are considering adding weekly Morning Prayer to our online services. Training will be provided. Please contact Vicar Susan at Christ Church (360-332-4113) or email her at email@example.com.
ZOOM COFFEE HOUR HOSTS- New volunteers are always welcome. Please contact Vicar Susan if you are interested.
DIGITAL USHERS- We need folks to help welcome others and post the bulletin in the Facebook comments on Sunday mornings. No experience or training needed. If you see that the bulletin hasn't been posted in the comments, please click on the link in the email newsletter, copy the link and paste it into the comments with "Welcome to worship at Christ Church Blaine, here is today's worship bulletin"! Everyone is already doing an awesome job greeting and welcoming one another, thank you!
READERS ROTA - Many thanks to Boni Merrill for coordinating the Readers' Rota over the past several months. In order to simplify the process, we invite those who would like to read on Sundays to call the church office (360-332-4113) or email the Vicar (firstname.lastname@example.org). We need two readers each Sunday: one to read the First Reading and lead the Psalm; one to read the Second Reading and lead the Prayers of the People. Once you have signed up for a particular Sunday, we will send you a copy of the rota. (Please be sure that we have your email address.) If you have never read in church before, please let the Vicar know, so that she can assist you with the procedure.
Dearest friends in Christ,
I'd like to update you all on my process in pursuing Holy Orders. As you know, I was approved for Postulancy in January. As a Postulant, I will be pursuing further education as I prepare for eventual ordination as a priest.
At the Bishop's direction, I applied to four seminaries: Sewanee School of Theology (Sewanee, TN), Seminary of the Southwest (Austin, TX), Bexley Seabury Seminary (Chicago, IL), and Virginia Theological Seminary (Alexandria, VA). I have just begun visiting the seminaries virtually, attending Zoom classes and interviewing with admissions committees. I am also applying for three scholarships. I welcome your prayers as I and my family discern where we are called to live and study during the next few years.
The Bishop also directed me to step back from lay leadership and ministry at Christ Church to make room for my postulancy, and I have been doing that. Although I am feeling joyful about the future, letting go of these pieces of ministry has been difficult. It has been an honor and privilege to work alongside all of you and I am very grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded, and all of the trust you have placed in me at Christ Church Blaine. I appreciate each and every one of you who has stepped forward to serve, especially Brad Siefkes, Jodith Allen and Rev. Susan Mills.
I would like to especially thank the Bishop's Committee for approving a line item in the budget for seminary studies. $2,400 per year has been pledged toward seminary costs by Christ Church Blaine, and the Diocese has also pledged a similar level of support. When I began this process, I did not know nor expect to have this kind of support from my church. I am so grateful to all of you who pledge to the church, and to the Bishop's Committee for their leadership in making this gift to my education.
I will continue to keep you all in my heart and prayers, and I pledge to continue updating you as God's will for our family becomes clear, and we make our decisions.
Holy Week blessings,
JOIN INTERFAITH COALITION
FOR AN EVENING OF STORYTELLING
On April 10, 2021 @ 7 pm, all are invited to come together virtually to hear stories from Bellingham community members, including a former Family Promise guest, a Moth Story Slam winner, and a member of the Nooksack tribe, all on the theme of Sanctuary: Calm in Chaos. Laughter, tears, encouragement, surprise – the stories will inspire these and more.
Many churches throughout the world celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter as a time to laugh, tell jokes, play silly games, have fun. This Sunday gives us a chance to celebrate humanity's greatest miracle: the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We celebrate the triumph of God in Christ Jesus over sin and death in that one earth-shattering event. We also celebrate and offer thanks for those smaller resurrections each of us experiences throughout our lives. On Sunday, April 11th, we will observe Holy Humor Sunday. We invite you to come to a Zoom Coffee Hour and to share good, clean jokes and stories with your sisters and brothers in the congregation. Especially now, as we enter the second year of pandemic isolation, let us come together to lighten our hearts, share our joy, encourage one another to persevere - with humor and with love. Led by Rev. Susan Mills.
In the cosmology of North and South American peoples, Turtle Island is the geographic region covering Canada, United States, Central America, and South America.
Join together online Sunday, April 25, at 11:00am to worship Jesus with Episcopalians from all over the Diocese of Olympia led by our Circles of Color and focused on the languages, cultures, and experiences of the First Peoples of Turtle Island. This online service is a chance for diocesan-wide worship, learning, connection, and conversation, as well as an opportunity to give our working clergy a Sunday off from preaching and presiding.
There will be no Christ Church Livestream service on Sunday, April 25, so that we may all participate in this Diocesan-wide service.
The One Service will include a Town Hall webinar after worship with Bishop Rickel and members of Circles of Color to process the worship experience and go deeper into dialogue around issues of race and culture in our diocese, with special attention to the experiences of Indo-Hispanic/Indigenous peoples. All are welcome, and congregations are encouraged to “attend” together in whatever ways you can – viewing parties, online watch parties, or whatever means are safe and responsible given the state of the pandemic at that time. More details coming soon!
UPCOMING BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
3/31 Jean Savidge 4/5 Stan and Alice Owen
4/7 Gary Little
4/9 Matt Emerick
4/19 Nathan Hamilton
4/21 Monika Kiley
4/25 Kaitlyn Trautmann
4/29 Victor Bliven
In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer:
4/4 The peace of Jerusalem
4/11 The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
4/18 The Church of Ireland
4/25 The Nippon Sei Ko Kai
In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer:
4/4 St. Matthew's/San Mateo, Auburn and St. Elizabeth's, Burien
4/11 Good Shepherd, Federal Way and St. Columba's, Kent
4/18 St. James, Kent and St. George, Maple Valley
4/25 St. Luke's, Renton, Misa Guadalupe, Renton and St. John's Sudanese, Tukwila
For peace and healing for...
All those ill with COVID-19
All health care providers
Claydene & Melanie
Rod and family
Steve & Erin and family
For the repose of the soul of:
Please send your prayer requests to Jodith Allen, prayer list steward, at email@example.com. Jodith updates our list and shares it with the prayer team for daily prayers by the prayer team.
Our faith is not just something we check in with on Sundays; our faith is how we live lives of meaning and purpose every day of the week, if we will learn to notice and respond to how God is moving.
But this awareness, like anything worthwhile, takes practice. Which is why a weekly discipleship practice of Reading, Reflecting, and Responding to scripture in the context of community is so important.
The devotions on the Faith@Home website have been written with this practice in mind. Use them with friends or family to help you deepen your experience of faith experience from Monday-Saturday.
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. You may also click on the "Donate Now" button or this link to be connected to the secure giving page on our website. Thank you!
Please note that pledges may be modified or changed, especially if you are experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic. Email Susan Thomson, our pledge secretary, if you need to make any changes.
Newsletter Image Credits: Faith@Home, Lois Campbell, Amanda Christie, The Rev. Susan Mills, Diocese of Olympia, Interfaith Coalition
Jodith Allen, Jeane Austin, Wendy Dahl, Gary Little, Sexton Pro Tem; Leslie Mason; Eileen Richardson, Secretary; Jim Savidge, Sexton Emeritus; Mary Rebman, People's Warden; 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 List Steward: Jodith Allen
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.