The Anchor September/October 2017


Imagining a Newly Renovated Space

Summer has been a productive time at Christ Church as our renovation of Harris House went into overdrive. The asbestos has been removed, a new roof added, new windows installed, the covered walkway partially removed (avoiding a costly outdoor sprinkler system) and new electric wiring has been run throughout the building. This long-awaited work could not have reached this stage without the commitment and gifts of our members who worked on project oversight and on design, and the many people who cleaned out and moved the entire contents of the parish house into storage pods. Lest we forget, this project is being funded by the capital campaign that has raised pledges of $675,728- with $324,960 already being paid. We have not yet reached our $700,000 goal —with a $900,000 challenge goal. It is not too late to be a part of this project. Remember that pledges made now can be paid off over the next 2-3 years.

From September to early December, we will be limited to the church sanctuary and the chapel as our only worship and meeting spaces. We ask for your continued support and patience as the end product will allow us to more fully carry out our mission.

Thank you!

Mark Pendleton

A New Deacon for Christ Church

Bishop A. Robert Hirschfield has appointed Charles Nichols to serve as deacon for the next two years. Charlie, a member of St. John’s Portsmouth, will be ordained as a deacon on Wednesday, September 13 at St. Paul’s Church in Concord at 7 p.m. All are invited.

I met Charlie and his wife Christine when they made two trips to Cuba with us in recent years. He is a very spiritual person who has many gifts to share with us and the wider community. He is a person of prayer and finds great strength and community from the brothers at S.S.J.E. in Newburyport, where he and Christine live.

A deacon is one of the three orders of ordained ministry. In Charlie’s case, he will be what is often referred to as a vocational deacon or, at one time, a permanent deacon. This means that he will not be ordained a priest after a certain matter of time. Deacons can preach, baptize, preside at weddings and burials, but they do not celebrate Eucharist, bless or pronounce absolution.

Charlie’s first Sunday at Christ Church will be October 1. Do welcome him.

From our new Deacon, Charlie Nichols

Greetings to the Christ Church Family!

My name is Charlie Nichols. I’ve lived in Newburyport, MA since 2012 and for the past ten years I’ve been part of St John's Church in Portsmouth.

I grew up in Hampton, NH where we had our family home for 40 years and have always lived on the coast, between Portland, ME and Newburyport. I spent my working life, from 1974 - 2004 in banking, for mostly small community banks. My focus was in what's often called the “back office,” dealing with technology and bank operations. When I was laid off in 2004, my life took a new direction and I began devoting my time, talent and resources to those aspects of life that make my heart sing.

I completed my undergraduate degree at Granite State College, UNH’s adult education division. I then connected to a local, community-based hospice —Seacoast Hospice —where I served for four years as a patient and family volunteer, and one year on staff as a volunteer coordinator at the Hyder Family Hospice House. Beginning in 2008, I began five years of part-time study at Bangor Theological Seminary in Portland, ME. My studies concluded with the school's closure in 2013.

My wife, Christine, and I were twice privileged to be part of a group of NH Episcopalians, led by your rector Mark, that made a pilgrimage to Cuba bringing water filtration systems in 2015 and again in 2016.

Christine and I are both in partnership with the Society of St John the Evangelist, a monastic order of The Episcopal Church, with guest houses in Cambridge and West Newbury, MA.

At St John's, I was involved with a myriad of activities and spent a large portion of my time in areas of adult formation. I co-facilitated a weekly group using a lectionary-based resource titled Bible Workbench. I helped create and lead a monthly Celtic Worship service at St John’s using material from the Iona Community and John Philip Newall.

My ministry in Exeter begins on October 1 and I look forward to continuing my journey with all of you.

Chapel time

Dear Parents,

Harris House renovations continue, each day I arrive and something new has happened across the driveway! And we have a new service time, which gives us an exciting opportunity to try something new with our chapel service. Since we will no longer have the Sunday school time before church, Chapel will now become the main formation time for the children and youth of the church.

Beginning Sunday September 10th, at the 10 am service, children (4 years and older) and youth are invited to go directly to the chapel while their parents go into the sanctuary. The two services will be very similar as we will utilize a model in which the content of the learning program is the Sunday scripture readings. All age levels explore at least one common Bible reading each week, making it possible for family members to discuss their discoveries at home. I love the church/home connection that this model allows.

Speaking of church/home connections…once we are back in Harris Hall, we will be offering a once-a-month Thursday evening for food and formation! After eating dinner together in the hall, and depending on the evening’s topic, the group will either stay together or break up into smaller groups for study, discussions or even games! (Choir will meet after!) This will give the time to teach and learn and build our parish community. Look for more information to follow.

As we continue to be flexible with our limited space and experimenting with various ways of formation, I offer these benefits to your children attending the weekly chapel service:

  • Development of a personal, growing faith together
  • Support of positive peer relationships
  • Education on the tenets and beliefs of the Christian faith
  • Ways to store the words of the Bible in their hearts
  • Tools to deal with real life from a Christian perspective
  • Great opportunities to serve others and to be leaders in the worship service
    • Older children can be readers and if interested can write a simple story (homily) to go with the readings of the day.
    • Children can act as greeters and as acolytes to light candles.
    • Our youngest participants will love ringing our prayer bowl!

The mixed ages will allow the young to learn from the older and vice versa. It also provides a wonderful family feel to the service, much like what is happening in the bigger sanctuary.

Contact me if you would like to assist me in the service—especially if you have any musical talents!

Thank you for joining me as we take this path together. This may or may not be the right one that God has planned for us, but I feel confident the journey will be worthwhile and formative for all involved.




Junior Choir Begins September 7th

All singers entering 1st through 6th grade are welcome to join the joyful voices of Junior Choir! We meet on several Thursdays in the fall from 3:15-4:30. * During our rehearsals, we have a snack, learn basic music literacy skills, practice repertoire for upcoming church services and play fun theatre and music games. Junior Choir sings at the 4pm Christmas Eve service, the 8am Easter Morning service and select Sundays throughout the year. We have built a very loving, welcoming junior choir, filled with beautiful voices and spirit! If you are interested in your child participating, please email Suzanne:

Fall Rehearsals: Sept 7, Sept 21, Oct 5, Oct 12, Oct 26, Nov 16, Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14, Dec 21 (Christmas Party)

Church Services: Oct 15, Nov 19, Dec 24 (Christmas Eve), Jan 21, March 18, April 1 (Easter), May 6

*We don’t meet every Thursday in the fall as to not over-schedule those participating in PSP Fall show. We resume every Thursday schedule in January.

Parish Choir Begins September 7th

All individuals from ages 12 to 100 are welcome to join our Parish Choir! We meet every Thursday from 7:00-8:30pm. 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 morning 10 AM services as well as Christmas Eve and Holy Week services. If you are interested in joining, please email

Because of construction, In lieu of our treasured lasagna dinner kick-off rehearsal, our first rehearsal, Sept 7, will be from 5:30-7:00, followed by dinner at Margaritas in Exeter. Please RSVP so that we can make a reservation.

The Pine Street Players



Pine Street Players will be kicking off its third season with our Fall Mainstage Musical,

Guys & Dolls!

Auditions will be held August 25th-27th and roles will be double-cast according to age:

Junior Cast (Grades 1-6) and Senior Cast (Grades 7-12).

All auditioners for the Fall Musical are guaranteed a role and performers of all experience levels are welcome to learn and grow in a supportive environment as they mount an impressive and challenging musical.

Each cast will have its own weekend of performances with dates as follows:

Junior Cast: November 3, 4 & 5 (three shows, 7pm and 2pm matinee)

Senior Cast: November 10, 11 & 12 (three shows, 7pm and 2pm matinee)

$15 Admission. Tickets will be available on our website:


PSP is proud to announce many new class offerings beginning this Fall!

Registration for Group Acting Classes taught by Lexi Meunier is now open to the following age groups:

Mini (Grades 1-3), Junior (Grades 4-6), Senior (Grades 7-12), and Adults (19+).

Mini and Junior acting students will explore basic skills such as emotional intelligence and communication, spacial awareness, and successful storytelling. Senior and Adult acting students will learn to use active choices rather than personal habits, to perform text analysis, and to use inner truths in telling clear stories with visceral emotions.

Classes begin on September 5th and meet once per week, culminating in a small showcase at the end of fourteen weeks. No prior experience is required!

Following an incredibly successful Summer masterclass, Rebecca Schneebaum will be offering six week group instruction for performers ages 12+ in Linklater Voice Method.

Learn how your speaking voice works, as well as what physically and psychologically blocks it. Through the Linklater Voice progression, you will find the connection to voice, breath, body, and imagination, and find the freedom to express all of you as an actor.

September 13th- October 25th.

Wednesdays: 7:00-8:30

For more information and registration, visit

GROUP DANCE CLASSES have expanded at PSP with instruction by Senior Choreographer Jacqui Young, and the addition of Junior Cast Choreographer, Katie Mize. Registration is now open to the following age groups:

Mini (Grades 1-3) Junior (Grades 4-6) Senior (Grades 7-12).

Group dance classes are ideal for performers committed to strengthening the dance aspect of his or her triple-threat musical theatre abilities. Classes meet once per week, focusing on the Broadway jazz style and culminating in a small recital at the end of fourteen weeks. No prior experience is required!


PSP is proud to present “The Young Company,” an audition-only youth dance company featuring dancers aged 13 or older with serious intent to pursue dance at the professional level. TYC is a performance-based, non-competition company whose mission is to foster high-quality dance education in the greater New England area.

Strong experience in ballet and jazz is required.

The second round of auditions for TYC will be held on September 8th.

For more information/registration, visit:


Our 2017 Summer Session took its final bow after three stellar productions: Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, and PIPPIN!

Many thanks and congratulations to the performers who spent two weeks of their vacation hard at work honing their craft. These young performers continue to exceed our expectations, and we are proud of their tremendous talents, curious minds, and loving hearts.

Summer Youth Camp in Havana, by Margaret Staller

Realizing that the man sitting next to me on the flight to Havana couldn’t understand my Spanish, as I tried telling him that he was sitting on my seatbelt buckle, only served to increase the worry I was already feeling. In just under an hour, I would be a world away from the US and everything familiar. Doubts ricocheted around in my head as the plane gained altitude. Would people understand that I might not be able to keep up with their conversation? That I was just shy? That I wanted to talk to them, but could not, to my dismay, spin complex thoughts into eloquent, perfectly accented, Spanish phrases? And what would a Cuban Episcopal youth camp be like?

Armed with a dictionary and a firm belief that I would enjoy myself despite my fears, I got off the plane and entered the bright red metal and glass terminal. This determination got me through immigration and the baggage claim, and then I saw a familiar face. Fr. Aurelio, the rector of our companion parish in Cardenas, smiled broadly and waved when he recognized me from our visit two years before. He introduced me to his father, whom he had brought along to translate, in case I needed it. I was relieved. We conversed in "Spanglish" on the way to the Episcopal Cathedral in Havana, about the parish in Cardenas, the water filter—which is holding up quite well—and foreign policy. Expressing myself was a challenge, and I was thankful for the patience of my audience.

“Youth,” as in youth camp, has a much broader definition in Cuba. Over a lunch of black bean soup and rice that afternoon, I met a few of the campers, some,15, a year younger than me, some nearing their thirtieth birthday and helping their toddlers feed themselves. All were friendly and outgoing, and by that afternoon, I already had a group to explore Havana with. I soon learned how easy it was to come out of my shell in such a welcoming community, and that youth camps in Cuba and the US had more similarities than differences.

There were trips to the zoo and to theme parks, vampire-themed lunches, trivia contests, great music, and evening walks along the Malecón (an esplanade bordering the sea). Enthusiastic priests from across the country gave morning lectures on family, and when energy levels flagged, they were always willing to play games and lead sing-alongs. Despite my initial shyness, I found myself having conversations about popular culture, laughing at jokes, and teaching words in English to anyone who was curious.

I am so grateful for all the support and kindness I was shown at the Episcopal Youth Camp, and would love to give more details to anyone interested in making friends, and being called Yuma*. (*Colloquial for American/ Cowboy. Comes from the American Western movie 3:10 to Yuma, which was popular in Cuba.)

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Sunday, Sep. 10th, 11:15am

43 Pine Street

Exeter, NH

Please join us for some good food and fellowship on the lawn! Bring your own chair!