The Anchor March/April 2017
A BIMONTHLY PUBLICATION OF CHRIST CHURCH, EXETER NH
Harris House to go under construction soon
Update on Parish Hall Renovations
With our Capital Campaign in full swing—We’ve received pledges for almost $650,000 to be paid over the next three years!—we are finalizing plans with our construction company and architect to begin the renovation this May. Much needs to be done to ready the building for the work: essentially we have to remove every (every!) item from the building to store for future use or for donation or disposal. This will be a massive project that will be made easier and less expensive with the help of many volunteers. In April we will be renting storage pods to be placed in the parking lot next to a temporary office trailer that will keep the church office operating for the duration of the project.
We are not yet in the final design phase, which means that we have not yet chosen colors and light fixtures, etc. but we have made some key decisions to keep the project within the budget set by the Vestry. We anticipate up to six months of work to complete this extensive renovation, so from late May to well into the fall, the Parish House will be off limits for our own use and that of outside groups. We have notified our many groups that the specific dates are not yet finalized, but that they should begin looking locally for temporary options.
When the work is completed we will have an asbestos-free Parish House with new flooring and ceiling tiles, new windows, refreshed bathrooms, and a full sprinkler system that will carry into the church sanctuary making the entire facility safety code compliant. We will also have a new lift installed between the three half floors allowing for much better physical access. On the exterior we will get a new roof and new siding, adding much needed insulation. To be determined is the extent of kitchen renovations: stay tuned.
All the above would not be possible without the generous pledges and donations made by nearly 145 households. Thank you!
Wednesdays in Lent
Walter Brueggeman’s A Way Other than Our Own: Devotions for Lent
Each Wednesday in Lent we will set time apart from 11:00 a.m. to noon, and then again from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. to gather in the Chapel for prayer and reflection. Our guide will be the little gem of a book by noted author Walter Brueggemann. The church has purchased the books for $13, which can be paid for when we meet, or by putting a check in the offertory plate or sending a check into the church office. The series begins on March 8 and concludes April 5. Email Mark at email@example.com if you are interested in gathering with us.
Brueggeman writes: “Lent recalls times of wilderness and wandering, from newly freed Hebrew slaves in exile to Jesus' temptation in the desert. God has always called people out of their safe, walled cities into uncomfortable places, revealing paths they would never have chosen. Despite our culture of self-indulgence, we too are called to walk an alternative path--one of humility, justice, and peace.”
Family Ways of Lent
The season of Lent is upon us and, as parents know, Lent can seem so “heavy” in comparison to the anticipation and excitement of preparing for Christmas during Advent. What can this season of preparation for Easter, which I have often heard described as the celebration of “the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed” mean for children and youth?
For many of us, the Lenten seasons of our childhood meant “giving up chocolate,” which wasn’t a bad way to introduce us to the notion of self-discipline. But simply giving up something for Lent, without an understanding of the whole spirituality that youth can enter into, can leave many dreading Lent rather than looking forward to it. It is important for us to enter into it ourselves with real devotion and joy. If Lent makes its way into our homes and into our conversations and practices that children and youth can see, they will naturally grow up in a culture that embraces Lent as a season of grace. The addition or subtraction of something in your life should enhance your spiritual journey and further your focus on Christ during the Easter season.
So, how do you enter into this season with your family? Here are some ideas:
• Choose a Lenten sacrifice or tradition that you can all do together as a family. Is there something your family can sacrifice or “take on” that might help another family in need? Consider donating what you might spend on a meal out to a food pantry instead.
• The season of Lent is a perfect time for children to take on the challenge of learning a prayer by heart, or memorizing a Bible verse.
• Make cards of encouragement to those in need, even if it is for a family member!
• Commit to reading a Bible story every day together as a family.
And lastly….attend Church Services!
I fully understand that it can be hard getting to church sometimes. But children and youth learn to be in church by being in church! The beginning years can be tough when they are young but with weekly “practice” your children will learn to be engaged in the service more often than with each other!
The most important services to prepare for are Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday—the three days that Lent builds up to.
• On Holy Thursday, a special meal can be prepared and the family can remember the meal Jesus had with his disciples, the night before he died for us, and how he gave us his body and blood that night.
• On Good Friday, plan to observe the day in many special ways. The time between Noon and 3 o’clock should be a particularly quiet and reflective time.
• Holy Saturday, can be the day of waiting.
Lent—it’s a beautiful and meaningful season...a time to live our faith.
Good Friday Requiem
For the third year in a row, the Christ Church Parish Choir, under the direction of Suzanne Jalbert Jones and accompanied by Bruce Adami on organ, will perform a full-length requiem at the evening Good Friday service on April 14th at 7pm. A requiem is a mass for the souls of the dead—a fitting musical setting for the service remembering the death of Christ. This year, the Parish Choir will perform a rarely heard requiem by Malcolm Archer. This hidden-gem of a requiem includes soprano and baritone soloists and a richly dynamic organ accompaniment. Communion from the reserved sacrament will be offered in the chapel at the conclusion of the requiem. Join us and invite a friend!
The Easter Vigil gets a time change
This year Christ Church will join other churches that have moved the time of their Easter vigil from Saturday evening to the wee hours of Easter Day. The service can take place anytime between sundown Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day.
We will start the service on April 16 at 5 a.m. in total darkness outdoors as the new fire is kindled. We will hear the lessons of God’s saving deeds in history retold, renew our Baptismal vows, and proclaim the first Easter Alleluia around sunrise (6:01 a.m. in Exeter) and share the first Eucharist of Easter.
Moving the time of this year’s vigil, becoming a predawn Easter service, will allow for a movement from darkness to light. This year’s service will most likely be smaller and more meditative. For those who join us, a light breakfast will be shared in Harris Hall after the service concludes, allowing for clergy and other participants to prepare for the 8:00 a.m. service which includes the Sacrament of Baptism.
As always, we invite worshippers to bring with them any kind of hand-bell to ring as we celebrate.
Who are the Pine Street Players at Christ Church?
The Pine Street Players at Christ Church (formerly Christ Church Players) are the current expression of our youth theatre ministry, which has continued to evolve over the last decade. The youth theatre program creates a safe space for children and teens to discover new truths about themselves, each other, and the world around them, and to share those truths with the community through the art of theatre. Founded by Suzanne Jalbert Jones, Director of Music at Christ Church, and her longtime collaborator Lexi Meunier, the newly-renamed Pine Street Players (PSP) serves as an important outreach ministry for young performers in the Exeter area, as many of its cast and audience are not church members. It is the belief of PSP that exposure to the performing arts helps to build the foundation of well-rounded and well-adjusted individuals for the betterment of our community.
Into the Woods
The Pine Street Players invite you to journey Into the Woods with us on May 5-7! This Tony-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim uses sophisticated music to tell the tale of beloved fairytale characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Jack (of beanstalk fame) as they journey into the woods in search of their desires; they soon learn that sometimes wishes have consequences that cannot be known until it is too late. Tickets are $15 and can now be purchased via the Pine Street Players’ webpage:www.christchurchexeter.org/youth-theatre
Friday, May 5th @ 7 PM
Saturday, May 6th @ 2 PM & 7 PM
Sunday, May 7th @ 3 PM
April Vacation Disney Revue
Do you have a favorite Disney song you could belt out in front of an audience, or maybe a scene from a Disney movie you’d love to bring to life onstage? This is your chance to live your Disney dreams! Individual performers and group acts are encouraged to sign up with a song, monologue, short scene, or dance routine of their choosing to be polished and coached by the PSP production staff. If you’re not sure what to perform but definitely want to be a part of the magic, we have plenty of suggestions! Rehearsals will take place over Exeter’s school vacation week, and there will be a revue-style performance on Saturday, April 29th. There is a production fee of $50/performer. Space is limited so email us today! Theatre@ChristChurchExeter.org