The Anchor September/October 2018


From the Rector

What I like to say to first-time visitors to Christ Church who are looking for a church home is that we are a size and kind of church where you can be as active or as anonymous as you want. You will not be asked to be on a committee during your first month of attending, nor will you be asked to usher next Sunday. What I hope to convey is that there is room to make and find a place to be, even if that place is simply to come to pray and worship when you can. All of the other opportunities for gathering, service, and supporting parish life are there when you are ready.

Our mission statement, now a few years old, is, I believe, holding up quite nicely. It continues to point us forward and give us focus. Our mission is to:

joyfully in faith

with God and one another

the local and global community

This program year (September to May) we will be fully utilizing Harris House as a space for gathering and mission. We are introducing new groups that will invite greater connection with one another through learning. See what interests you. Get to know a few others who are also on a journey and looking for a place to rest, to be fed and inspired, and to contribute to something positive and real in today’s complex world.


Recovery Sunday October 14

Christ Church has long been a host for recovery groups. This fall, we will join other parishes in the diocese in designating October 14 as “Recovery Sunday.”

Those whose lives have been affected by addiction—either their own addiction or the addiction of someone close to them—know how deeply the disease touches us. Whether the addiction is to alcohol or drugs or gambling or something else, the effect is not just a physical malady, but a mental and spiritual one as well.

“Recovery Sunday,” October 14, will focus on worship, education and prayer. More information is available at

The Rev. Mark B. Pendleton

Save the Date: Cuba Night returns October 13!

Do not miss our third Cuba night, this year on Saturday October 13 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

We will be roasting a whole pig “Cuba style” in the courtyard. Come early at 5:30 pm as we finish the cooking process and enjoy the chicharrón – or crispy skin (the best part!).

Christ Church is sponsoring a return to Cuba Easter week, April 22. The evening will be an opportunity to learn more about Cuba and to support our companion parish. The evening will include Cuban food, sharing and music. Please join us!....and bring your friends for a fun, informative evening.

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Jim Mills and Paul Sirois with our local Cuban plumber


On June 24th, Christ Church honored me with a wonderful 50th anniversary celebration of my Ordination to the Priesthood. Thank you to all of you who made this occasion so special. When I thanked Mark for his role in all of this, he shared that he wanted it to be fun and light and not a retirement party. So what better time to review what I have been doing here for the last nine years and also share how I can be of service as we look to what lies ahead.

After being ordained fifty years ago, I assumed my first position as a priest: that of serving as curate at Christ Church in Gardiner, Maine. In those days curates were often fresh out of seminary and were often responsible for Christian education and formation, especially for church school and youth programs. My ministry was very specialized and yet it helped to prepare me for becoming a rector as well. A former bishop of mine once said, "The only place you can really learn to be a parish priest is in a parish." Wise words indeed! Not only did I learn a lot during those first four and one-half years as a curate, but I also met my wife Snookie there. And it was there that we celebrated the birth of our two daughters. Call me the happy Junior Curate!

The next stop on my 50-year journey of ministry took me to St. George’s in York Maine, where I served as rector for twenty-six years, retiring from full-time ministry in 1999.

Since then I have served as an interim on four different occasions, not at all unusual for a retired clergy person. And then I came to Christ Church as your Priest Associate nine years ago.

At Christ Church, I am now engaged in a specialized ministry once again, but serving at Christ Church is quite different from being a full-time curate in Gardiner, Maine. I am here in a quarter time position, anywhere from ten to twelve hours per week. I spend more time with seniors who may be somewhat younger or older than myself. I recruit and train Lay Eucharistic Visitors and pastoral visitors to share this ministry with me. And I visit many people myself, many of whom are temporarily or permanently unable to attend church. What I don't do any more is attend Vestry or other committee meetings, nor do I spend much time doing what a rector does which is mainly just about everything you can think of —I leave those duties in Mark's capable hands!

At a Riverwoods gathering last fall, we were discussing my role at Christ Church. An astute parishioner described me as the Senior Curate. These fifty years have indeed gone full circle -- from Junior Curate to Senior Curate with a few other ministries in between. And I am richly blessed!

The Rev. David D. Holroyd, Pastoral Associate


Those words might not be familiar, but they’re found on page 328 of The Book of Common Prayer. When the 1979 edition of The Book of Common Prayer became the accepted prayer book for the Episcopal Church, it provided two forms for Holy Eucharist, Rite I and Rite II. Rite I, which more closely mirrors the 1928 prayer book, uses the above line to introduce the Prayers of the People. The form we use, Rite II, does not use these words, but I believe the sentiment they express is important. When we offer our prayers – the prayers of the people – our community prays for the needs of people near and far—those across town and those around the world.

Our prayer book offers six suggested forms for the Prayers of the People. (You can browse them on pages 383 through 393.) Many people believe, myself included, that these are to be used as guidelines for the prayers and are not to be the only forms offered. In fact, in my deacon formation program, we had the privilege of studying liturgy with The Rev Patrick Malloy, a noted liturgical scholar and retired professor of liturgics at The General Theological Seminary. When we talked about the Prayers of the People, Dr. Malloy suggested – in jest, of course – that we enter our churches, under the cover of darkness, armed with a pair of scissors, to excise these ten pages from the prayer books in our pews! He wanted us to feel free to create our own prayers.

In my former parish, one of my long-standing ministries was to create the weekly Prayers of the People. When I arrived here last October, I began a similar ministry.

I’m always careful to make the distinction between “writing” the prayers and what I choose to call “weaving” the prayers. I believe weaving is a much better description, for I pull strands from numerous sources and knit them together in what is hopefully a cohesive whole.

My sources include prayer books from other Anglican branches such as the Churches of England, Scotland, and New Zealand. I also draw on a myriad of web-based sources. One of my favorite titles is re:Worship, a diverse collection of resources and reflections for planning worship. Part of my ordination charge as deacon is to “interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.” To help me with that, I follow the news and often include in the prayers concerns of our local communities, our nation, and the world. In these challenging times, there is no shortage of situations that require our prayers.

So, I have a request for you who are reading this. I would like your feedback about the Prayers of the People. What do you think about the length, content, and the responses for the people? Should the responses be read or short enough to be memorized? What resonates with you and what doesn’t?

Please talk with me before or after worship, at coffee hour, or send me an email at The Prayers of the People belong to ALL the People!

Charlie Nichols


Dear Parents,

Thank you for bringing your babies to worship. When I was a young mom in our church in NY, we were encouraged to bring our babies to the nursery, not the sanctuary, so I missed out on holding my newborns while Psalms were read, sermons delivered and songs sung. Now from my seat at the altar, I love watching you rock your little one to sleep. Seeing such care reminds everyone that God’s family includes all ages.

I’m glad you’re bringing your toddlers along too. I remember watching during a Sunday worship a 2-year-old girl passed lovingly from one set of arms to another while others looked on and her mom held onto the twin sister. Of course everyone wanted a chance to hold her as she smiled and waved her hands to the music. Watching each person extend their arms toward this little one as they seemed to ask “me too?” was like watching our baptismal promises come to life: “Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” (BCP)

Thank you for including your young children too. When they join in for the hymns and listen to the organ, feeling the joy of the music, they show us what it means to worship God with joyful abandon. I see the grace and beauty of God when your children accept communion at the altar rail, as part of the whole community, many generations together. Participating in the Lord’s Supper with the children nurtures our faith as much as it nurtures theirs.

I’m so glad you’re looking for opportunities to involve your children in worship. When families greet the people at the door with a smile a handshake or sometimes a high five—many times making a game out of handing out the bulletins—I can’t think of a better way for God's family to enter the church building on a Sunday morning!

You teach your children what it means to give back when they help pass around the offertory plates and then present them at the altar.

During baptism, when your children join the crowd around the font to pray for the person being baptized, they learn that they belong and we're all a part of an intergenerational body of believers.

Thank you for encouraging your children to go to chapel where they experience their own special church service filled with traditional elements of our Episcopal worship. In their own chapel service they even get a chance to lead each other in prayer and song!

Parenting is hard work. Rounding up your family on a Sunday morning, when often times you’d rather sleep in and stay in your pajamas, is hard work! I know that some Sundays you’re just longing to sit in your pew with silence. And I suspect that there have been times when you’ve felt like your young ones weren’t always welcome in worship. Please persist. Because, as author Robbie Castleman says in Parenting in the Pew, “In addition to the blessings your children bring to us as God’s family when we worship together, you’re training your child to do the one thing we get to do forever: worship.” .

Children learn by observing. But they learn even more by participating. So keep coming. Keep trying. We’re glad you’re here.



P.S.: And remember, for those Sundays when you absolutely need quiet time alone in the pew, Christ Church offers childcare in the nursery room downstairs.


All individuals from ages 12 to 100 are welcome to join our Parish Choir! We rehearse Sundays after church and one Thursday a month. We learn repertoire from all different styles of music. We pride ourselves on having fun, while producing high-level music. You do not need to be able to read music to be part of this amazing group of musicians. Still feeling hesitant to join? Ask one of the choir members about his or her experience in choir—I’m sure it will be positive! We sing at most Sunday mornings at the 10 AM service, as well as at the Christmas Eve and Holy Week services. If you are interested in joining, please email

Our beloved lasagna dinner will be on Thursday, September 6th from 6:00 pm-7:00 pm in the Parish Hall followed by rehearsal from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm. Please RSVP with a side, salad or dessert that you can offer!

Learning and fellowship opportunities coming up this fall

  • 4th and 5th grade Book Group**- As a group we decide on books that have a good moral lesson. Meets the first Tuesday of the month from 3:30-4:30- Begins September 4, 2018

  • The Wonder Group**- Middle School and older- meets the second Tuesday of the month from 6:00-7:30- Begins September 11th.

  • Snack and Study**- for Middle School students. Meets every Wednesday, from 2:45-4:00, (Location TBD) Begins September 12th. An opportunity to get the work done early with friends! Snacks will be provided.

(**Please Contact Sally Farrell to register for all of the above groups)

  • Men's Breakfast Group- Once a month on Saturday morning- Christ Church's Men's Group gathers to create opportunities for men to develop friendships, deepen faith, and to support one another through life's journey. We meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Starting in the kitchen at 8:00 a.m. for a light breakfast and coffee, we will move into the Dodd Room. The group will be co-facilitated by the Rector Mark and our Deacon Charlie. Make plans to join us. Begins September 15 (Please email Mark if you are interested.)

  • Community Forums- Immediately following both the 8 am and 10 am services once a month. Join us for discussions on current issues and topics. Begins September 23rd.

  • Soul Sisters- A mom's group that meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. This fall we will be reading the One Town/ One Book selection, "Beautiful Boy". Location varies.Begins September 19th at Sally Farrell's house.

  • Living in Faith- Book Discussion- Tuesdays from 1:30-2:30 in the Dodd Room- First two sessions will be on Sept. 18th and 25th.The group will be reading the One Town, One Book selection, “Beautiful Boy” and discuss sections during the meetings. Books can be purchased at church or Water Street Bookstore in Exeter. Contact Bonnie Stafford at, for more information.


Unplug from those electronics and enjoy dinner with your fellow Christ Church parishioners! First dinner will be on Thursday, Oct. 4th at 6:00. We will require a registration for these dinners as they will be catered. An Evite will go out prior to the evening.

PSP News

PSP’s 4th Theatrical Season Begins this Fall with



JUNIOR CAST: (Grades 1-6): November 9th & 10th, 7PM

November 11th, 2PM - Town Hall

SENIOR CAST: (Grades 7-12): November 16th & 17th, 7PM

November 18th, 2PM - Town Hall

The beloved children's novel JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is now a wickedly quirky musical with a score by the Tony Award-winning team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, Dogfight, The Greatest Showman). When the orphaned James is ordered by his conniving aunts to chop down their fruit tree, he stumbles upon a magic potion that results in a tremendous peach! Finding himself in the center of the peach amongst enormous insects with equally over-sized personalities, he sets off with the group on an accidental journey across the ocean. That adventure requires quick wit, creative thinking, and learning to exist together as a strange but loving family. This delightfully off-beat adaptation of the novel offers endless creative possibilities as performers take on a zany ensemble of characters while performing brand-new material from one of Broadway's hottest duos. This musical is a true masterpeach!


Register today for Acting with Lexi on Mondays

and Dance with Katie on Thursdays

For Registration/More Information,


Diocesan Convention- 2018


The 216th Convention will be held on

Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Christ Church.

Keep an eye out for more details about how you can help to make this a successful event for the diocese.


Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to the 5th annual Youth@Convention Retreat here at Christ Church in Exeter! The Youth@Convention is a great opportunity to share in food, fun, and fellowship alongside the 216th Annual Diocesan Convention.

The retreat will include:

  • Dinner, program, worship, and games on Friday evening
  • Breakfast, worship with Convention, a service activity in Exeter, and lunch on Saturday

Youth@Convention will begin on Friday 11/2 at 6:00 PM and end on Saturday, 11/3 at 12:30 PM. We would like participants to arrive at Christ Church at 5:30 PM for a 6 PM kickoff! Please use this link to register

One Town, One Book- 2018

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