The Anchor Summer 2019


Why We Go to Cuba

During Easter Week, twenty-two members of Christ Church, along with our bishop Rob Hirschfeld, traveled to Cuba. Christ Church has made five previous visits to Cuba over the last five years, and this 2019 group was by far the largest. Since we were traveling during school vacation week, seven young people were able to journey with us. Such a blessing! As many of you know, Christ Church has a companion- parish relationship with San Francisco de Asis in Cardenas. We spent five days there and two in Havana.

With twenty-three travelers total, we were able to transport more than 1000 lbs. of supplies and donations to be distributed throughout the island in our luggage. Christ Church, along with the Exeter Rotary Club, has donated more than nine water filtration systems over the past four years. We are committed to resupply and help maintain the various donated systems through regular visits. As this point, the only way to reliably donate supplies is to carry them in with travelers.

The goal of our trips is to create space for encounters and fellowship, and so we ate meals with people of St. Francis, and our young people spent time talking, playing soccer, and—like most young people everywhere—sharing photos and posts from social media. We celebrated a joyful Sunday Eucharist with Bishop Rob who spoke about how the Risen Christ invites us all to come closer. We come away from each visit to Cuba feeling blessed and filled with the Holy Spirit.

As global events, such as the unrest in Venezuela and tightening of policies towards Cuba by the current US Administration impact the lives of many average Cubans, I found the political and social situations on the ground to be in a “holding pattern.” We heard stories of the shortages of food stables, such as rice and cooking oil, which is not uncommon and will likely get worse.

On a personal side, my wife Leslie and I had a chance to spend some family time with the mother of our Cuban daughter-in-law, Naylet.

We at Christ Church commit to both local and global service. What is clear is that our friends in the Episcopal Church in Cuba remain faithful through difficult days. We are happy to report that we were also able to supply the funds that will allow three Cuban young people to attend at an upcoming regional Episcopal Church conference in Panama.

I believe and hope that our ongoing visits and support of their ministry and convey our good will and our affection for our brother and sister Episcopalians in Cuba. Please hold them in your prayers.

The Rev. Mark Pendleton

A home visit in Cardenas Cuba with Simon Potter, Chrissy Dube and Mark Pendleton
A home visit in Cardenas Cuba with Simon Potter, Chrissy Dube and Mark Pendleton.


In October of this year I will be completing my tenth year as your pastoral care associate. What a wonderful gift this retirement position continues to be!

During this time, I often reflect on what Christ Church means in my life. It is so much more than a place where I do a job. It is a community that connects me to children of God and gives me a sense of belonging that is impossible to really describe. I recently told someone that “Christ Church gives me a perfect reason to get up in the morning!”

Of course, we have different ways of connecting. Worshiping and socializing on Sunday mornings is huge for me. Working with others to accomplish a task is more than just a task; it is an opportunity to be with other children of God and to deepen relationships. Pastoral visits that often involve the sharing of our stories deepen our connections.

Another way of connecting is through getting together and simply having a good time. That is what the Fisher Cats baseball trip is really all about. How about using this event as a way of re-creating and connecting with your Christ Church family? See the info below and join us by connecting with me. The date is June 23 and the deadline for signing up is June 16. Have fun!

The Rev. Dr. David D. Holroyd


Sunday, June 23rd, 9:30am

43 Pine Street

Exeter, NH


Please join us on June 23rd (** Note earlier date*) for the annual outing to a Fisher Cats game! Join us following the 9:30 service to begin the fun!

10:30- tailgate party in the church courtyard with ballgame food. Choir rehearses National Anthem and Priest Associate warms up for ceremonial first pitch.

11:45- depart for Manchester by bus or car.

1:30- New Hampshire Fisher Cats vs. the Trenton Thunder, (a Yankee affiliate!). Bus returns to Exeter after game.

Cost for everything is $20.00 per person. Contact David Holroyd here to let him know how many tickets to put aside for you.

This is a great event for families and individuals. Let’s make it ecumenical by inviting a friend(s) or neighbor(s).


Our next Seacoast Family Promise host week is fast approaching. On June 2nd we will welcome 3 families, comprised of 3 adults, 2 teenagers and 10 children under the age of 10 into our church home. (Note: The make-up of SFP families and the children’s ages vary from week to week as the guests move into and out of the program.) During that time, we will feed, house and love them as they work diligently with SFP staff to gain access to much needed services in the NH Seacoast region.

Our love and support for them during this difficult time allows them to focus on taking care of their families, finding jobs, practicing good health care, and many other important needs.

In order to support the SFP families, Christ Church needs to provide a significant number of volunteers. The guests arrive on Sunday and leave the following Sunday. The jobs are many and varied:

  • Set Up- Assist in the setup of bedrooms and common areas for the guests. Generally, setup begins after the 10:00 AM service (9:30 in the summer) on the first SFP Sunday.
  • Dinner Preparation- Prepare a meal for the guests – dinner must arrive at the church by 5:30 PM each night.
  • Evening Host- Arrive at 5:30 PM, have dinner and visit with the guests until 8:30 PM.
  • Overnight Host- Spend the night at the church with the guests from 8:30 PM to 7:30 AM the next morning. At 7:30 AM the guests go to the SFP day center.
  • Take Down- Remove SFP setup items from the rooms and common areas. Restore the areas to standard design. This is done on the final SFP Sunday after the 8:00 AM service.
  • Laundry- Wash sheets, towels and other items the guests have used.
  • Transport- Transport the guests’ belongings to next church. Generally, this occurs around 11:00 AM on the final Sunday.

Seacoast Family Promise is Christ Church’s primary outreach ministry. During any given SFP week there are around 60 volunteer positions that need to be filled. We invite you to join us in answering God’s call to reach out in love to our neighbors in their need so that we can be assured of continuing this vital ministry.

Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)

Contact Christine Nelson, or

Judy Blaisdell, to get involved!

What exactly is “Safe Church/ Universal Training”?

We, at Christ Church, are committed to being a Safe Church. What is a Safe Church? Here is an excerpt from the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire’s Safe Church Policy and Procedures:

In our Baptismal Covenant we promise:

To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves

To strive for justice and peace among all people

To respect the dignity of every human being

Living up to these baptismal promises requires not only God’s grace but our willingness to examine the quality and conduct of our relationships within and outside of the context of our local church settings. All who are baptized are to represent Christ and to proclaim by word and deed the Good News of God's tender love for all humanity. Our conduct in relationships is one of the most important ways in which this vocation is carried out.

Safe Church training, otherwise known as Universal Online Training, is a key component of Christ Church’s goals of a safe place to learn and to worship. Please consider taking this course as you never know when a situation may arise.

The best news is that it can now be done online and completed at your own pace, in the comfort of your home!

Barbara Armstrong has been our faithful minister in this and she has decided it is time to turn it over to someone else while she enjoys time with her grandchildren.

Thank you, Barbara, for all of the years you have invested in this important ministry.

If anyone feels called to take on being the Safe Church Minister, please let Sally Farrell know. In the meantime, she will be taking over for Barbara.

Contact Sally Farrell for more information:

To learn more here is the NH website:

Summer Solo Series

While Christ Church Choir’s season has sadly come to an end, the summer season offers a chance to showcase the fine musicians of the community at 9:30 am services.

June 16: Steve Watt, baritone

June 30: Caitlin Mcgonigle, soprano

July 7: Gretchen McBride, soprano

August 25: Phoebe Flewelling, soprano

We’ll also be joined by Alyssa DiPalermo, flute, Laura Wyskiel, flute, Wendy Gladstone, recorder, and others (dates TBD).

There will be an Impromptu Choir for services on June 23rd, July 28, and August 18th. All are welcome!

Maggie O’Neill

Director of Music


The Gardens are calling……we know the Spring has been slow to arrive, but look around our CC grounds and you’ll see lots of evidence that the gardens have resurrected! We have many planted areas around the buildings and grounds that need tending and the Garden Team is hoping you can help. New members are always welcome, whether you prefer to be hands all in the dirt or just like to pull some weeds (very therapeutic). We need to plant some flowering things among our many perennials or redesign some areas to enhance their beauty, and of course, there are always those weeds to control (did I mention it can be very meditative?). What sings to you? We’re all about the flexibility and setting your own time frame, however much or little you can give to this ministry.

If interested, please contact Judy Blaisdell or see her after the late service on Sundays!

How to Give Flowers for Sunday Worship

Certainly, beautifully arranged flowers add to the beauty of our worship experience. You might like to contribute to this ministry.

There are two ways to signal your interest in providing flowers:

1) Write your name and phone number on the Flower Chart. You will find it that hanging in the Narthex, the main entry hall of the church.

2) You can also call Administrative Assistant, Darla, in the office directly at 772-3332 or email her at No later than the Wednesday before the Sunday you’ve selected for your flower donation let Darla know how you would like the acknowledgement, dedication, honor or memorial to be noted in the bulletin and in the prayers.

The suggested minimum donation for the flowers is $50. Please write “Altar Flowers” in the memo section of your check. Note that flowers can be given in memory of loved ones and in celebration of an event, such as an anniversary, a birth or a baptism. More than one name or occasion may share flowers on a given Sunday.

All present at the liturgy that Sunday will, no doubt, appreciate your contribution to worship.


Calling all campers! There is still time to sign up for one of the multiple camp sessions being held at Barbara C. Harris (BCH) Episcopal Camp this summer! BCH Camp is a place where all campers feel accepted and loved, and are able to develop authentic lifelong friendships. BCH Camp offers sports, water activities, dance, drama, music, challenge courses, outdoor activities, and much more. Counselors work closely with campers to support their development in activities, building friendship and furthering their journey in faith formation." The first camp session will begin June 30th. To learn more or to register, click HERE.