The Anchor November/December 2018

A BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF CHRIST CHURCH, EXETER NH

Stepping Back and Taking in a Wider View: Local goes Global

Some times to see what is in front of us we have to step back and take in a wider view.

I write this article for this issue of The Anchor while at a conference in Cartagena, Colombia that is sponsored by Trinity Parish, Wall Street in New York City. This is the third conference I have attended, the first two having been held in Panama and in Jamaica. My main role is to observe, help get conversations going between participants, and to continue to support and track Trinity’s substantial financial support for the church in Cuba.

The days are packed with speaker after speaker, multiple worship services. and Bible studies. The content is thought provoking and compelling. Many of the challenges faced by the participants are common to us all: living out our faith in challenging times, reimaging the future, and equipping leaders to carry out mission.

We have heard presentations from church leaders from around Latin America and the Caribbean. All of these churches, from Mexico to Argentina, are products of English and American colonization. Where the Brits and Americans went, they brought their churches. These gatherings are reminders of the immense diversity within the Anglican Communion, of which The Episcopal Church is a part. We heard from a newly ordained bishop from the Diocese of the Amazon in Brazil—the first female bishop in all of South America—who talked about the environmental concerns of deforestation. The bishop from El Salvador spoke about the desperation in Central America that has caused many people to risk everything to flee the violence and the utter poverty. He referred to the caravan of people currently moving north from Honduras through Mexico to the U.S. border to seek asylum as a new Exodus. He hoped people would have more compassion for them than fearof them. The clergy and laity from the West Indies continue to shed the colonial legacy of the British as they try to hold their communities together across multiple islands. The Brazil delegation was concerned about the potential erosion of democracy in their country as they awaited the coming presidential election which brings with it a possible return of authoritarian rule.

We live where we live. Our challenges and contexts are our own. We are called to bloom where we are planted. And at times, it is good for the soul to take that wider view, to get out of the weeds of daily life and see what others are doing. They face problems large and small. They rejoice in the joys of life: family and faith. We are members of the one Body of Christ. May we live into this hope.

Mark Pendleton +

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Welcome Maggie O'Neill

Maggie O'Neill of Newmarket, New Hampshire has been selected to be our Director of Music.

Maggie holds both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree from Westminster Choir College in New Jersey. She has been a Music Director with Seacoast Choral Society, a Choral Conductor at the Seacoast Rep in Portsmouth and an Associate Conductor of ChildrenSong of New Jersey. Maggie is a singer (soprano) and has sung in Episcopal churches and with leading orchestras.

The Director of Music for Christ Church has served our staff liaison to Pine Street Players at Christ Church, our growing youth theatre program, and Maggie will continue in this role. She will also serve as Head of Music and Music Director for the Pine Street Players. When she's not working here at Christ Church, Maggie will continue as a performer at the Seacoast Rep and other local companies. She is married to John Wilson, who serves in the U.S. Navy out of Portsmouth.

We are excited to bring Maggie on board to continue Christ Church's fine music tradition. She will assume her position here as of November 1, 2018. I want to give my personal thanks to Bruce Adami for his leadership in the search process, which saw applications come in from around the country.


From Maggie, "I'm thrilled to be joining the community at Christ Church, and I look forward to making music with you."

REST … “the gentle art of doing nothing”

The clergy of the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire recently gathered in retreat at the St Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Hopkinton. This idyllic camp and retreat center provided the perfect setting for sitting back and being guided by Brother David Vryhof of the Society of St John the Evangelist in the “Wisdom of the Sabbath.” I’d like to share some of what was offered to us.

The Hebrew Scriptures speak to Sabbath. In the book of Deuteronomy (5:12) we hear, “Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God ….” In other words, observe this day and separate it from others. Brother David suggested we mark this day with rest, and renewal, and resistance.

Sabbath rest is life-oriented and life-giving. At the end of creation God rests so that creation can continue. The Sabbath is created for life. As God rests for the sake of life, so must we.

Using a booklet on keeping the Sabbath, Brother David led us to ask two questions: What are we to rest from and what are we to rest for?

We need to strive to rest from:

1. Stop working. Our society values work, not rest.

2. Stop producing and accomplishing. God’s love for us is what makes us worthy and valuable, not our accomplishments.

3. Stop worrying. What anxieties and fears do you need to let go of?

4. Stop acquiring. How can we disengage from our consumerist culture, for this one day a week?

5. Stop trying to be God. This is a day to lean on God, and trust in God’s love and provision.

6. Stop living a mindless, meaningless routine. This is a day to open our eyes to the people alongside us and to the God dwelling in us.

And, we need to strive to rest for:

1. Worship. How might we worship and be mindful of God on our Sabbath day?

2. Rest. What is restful for each one of us?

3. Reflection. How might we reflect on our lives, our relationships, our values?

4. Renewal. How might we renew ourselves in body, mind, and spirit?

5. Beauty. What beautiful places or things can we seek out on the Sabbath?

6. Being with people. With whom can we “be” on our Sabbath day?

7. Stillness. Where and how can we find stillness and peace?

You may find it helpful to begin your Sabbath with prayer:

O God, in the course of this busy life you give us times of refreshment and peace. Grant that we may use our Sabbath to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation and our lives refreshed by the bounty of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Charlie Nichols

Harvest Sunday November 18

Matthew 9:37-38 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

On Sunday November 18 we ask our households to prayerfully consider making a pledge for 2019. We will gather for a breakfast from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. so that folks from both services can continue to meet and connect.

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PSP News

The Pine Street Players at Christ Church (PSP) are gearing up for their annual Fall Musical! This season’s production of James and the Giant Peach features nearly 100 youth performers from Exeter and surrounding towns. Performances will take place at Exeter Town Hall on the following days:


  • Junior Cast (Grades 1-6): November 9 & 10 – 7:00 PM / November 11 – 2:00 PM
  • Senior Cast (Grades7-12): November 16 & 17 – 7:00 PM / November 18 – 2:00 PM


Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased online (https://www.pinestreetplayerscc.com) or at the door, subject to availability. This will be the first PSP production offering pre-assigned seating, so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance!

Members of the Senior Cast, consisting of seventh through twelfth graders, recently performed two numbers at Stratham’s Family Fun Day, a promotional performance organized by PSP’s Student Working Group (SWG). They are hopeful that this exposure could lead to even more performers auditioning for shows and to new audience members. The SWG’s next project was a Halloween Costume Party held in the Parish Hall on October 31st from 4-8 PM. There were games, music, snacks—and a costume contest!

Also this fall, PSP will be participating in Maggie’s Caps for Cancer, a donation drive started by Maggie Goodes, a pediatric cancer “rockstar” and the younger sister of a PSP performer. Maggie found that the knit beanies offered by hospitals were hot, itchy, and generally uncomfortable, and so she has begun collecting new (with tags) baseball caps sized for newborns through 18 year-olds. A box will be present in the Christ Church narthex from now until performances of James and the Giant Peach, at which time the box will be moved to Exeter Town Hall for collection at performances.

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Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Service Times

Christmas Eve

4 pm - Christmas Pageant and Holy Communion-Children and Youth lead a dramatic re-telling of the Christmas story

7:30 pm - Choral and Instrumental Prelude
8 pm - Festival Eucharist and Service of Candle-lighting
Festival choir, organ and instrumentalists lead the music at this traditional Christmas Eve celebration.
10 pm - Traditional Midnight Mass

Christmas Day
10 am - Christmas Day Liturgy & Holy Communion with carols