The Anchor January/February 2019


Annual Meeting January 27: Vote on Revised By-Laws

Christ Church is currently operating under two sets of governing documents: the “Constitution and By-laws of Christ Church, Exeter”, adopted in 1875 and amended in 1962, 1969, 1972, 1975, and 1989; and the “Articles of Agreement,” adopted in 1990. These documents are outdated, occasionally conflict with each other, and need to be brought into conformity with the Canons of the Episcopal Church and the Canons of the Diocese of New Hampshire.

Recognizing this need, the Christ Church Vestry has been drafting a revision of our parish by-laws. We have used the excellent Model By-laws provided by the Diocese of New Hampshire as a template for the proposed by-laws. Much of what the Model By-laws contain is, essentially, non-negotiable: The local church must conform to diocesan and national canons. In these areas, we have followed the diocesan model exactly. A section-by-section summary of the proposed by-laws follows. Note that areas in which local congregations have discretion to make choices are indicated.

Article I specifies that Christ Church’s governing rules are subject to the Canons of the Diocese and of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA.

Article II sets out what constitutes membership and voting membership in the congregation. We have discretion to specify how disputes about voting membership are to be resolved and have chosen to specify that rector and wardens together shall resolve such disputes.

Article III governs congregation wide meetings. We have specified that 7 days notice is required, that 35 constitute a quorum, that absentee ballots are permitted, and that the rector, senior, or junior warden presides, in that order.

Article IV sets out the responsibilities and the authority of the rector. These are dictated by state and national canons.

Article V specifies that vestry officers are two wardens, a treasurer, and a clerk. There is no canonical requirement that there be two wardens or that one be a “priest’s” warden and one a “parish” warden. We have left that open, so that the gifts of the two people in those positions can be used where they best fit. To avoid confusion, we have specified in some places a hierarchy of decision making: rector, senior warden, and junior warden, but have otherwise left the duties of the two unspecified. All officers may serve two consecutive three-year terms but then must sit out a year. We have followed the model by-laws in enumerating the duties of each office.

Article VI allows for a minimum of 6 up to a maximum of 9 vestry members, again to provide flexibility. Vestry members are limited to one three year term and then must sit out a year. Article VI does provide for Standing Committees: Finance; Nominating; Personnel; Buildings and Grounds; and Stewardship. Vestry is responsible for creating these committees and overseeing their work, but there is no requirement that they be led by a vestry member. Ad Hoc committees may also be created. A minimum of four vestry meetings a year; one each quarter, is required. Vestry may meet electronically and may, in exigent circumstances, take action without meeting. Provisions have been added to fill vacant vestry seats between annual meetings, although removing the requirement that there be 9 on the vestry makes this optional. Provisions have also been added for removing a vestry member.

Articles 7 through 9 have to do with the handling of financial matters. Their language follows that of the Model By-laws, as local congregations have very little discretion in this area.

Article 10 sets out the requirements for serving as a diocesan convocation and convention delegate.

Article 11 describes the process for amending by-laws. Amendments may be proposed, voted on, and take effect at the same annual meeting.

The members of the congregation will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed revision at the annual meeting on January 27.

To review the proposed by-laws revision use this link to visit our website:

Annual Meeting- Chili Cook Off-2019

The Annual Meeting will be held on January 27 at 11:30 a.m. to update parish By-Laws.

Please bring in a pot of chili for a parish cook-off! Don't forget about vegetarian and vegan options!

An update from Lydia Pendleton, our YASC (Young Adult Service Corps) Missionary serving in the Diocese of Puerto Rico

Since arriving in Puerto Rico I have joined the Department for Communication and Digital Evangelism of the Diocese Puerto Rico. I feel honored to be a part of this diocesan team that continues to inspire me daily with their hard work and dedication to spreading the good news of Christ. My role in communications allows me to travel around the main island and the island of Vieques, to build relationships and connect with our brothers and sisters here in Puerto Rico. Now that I have been here for almost four months, I’m truly settling in, finding ways to lend a hand while enjoying all that this beautiful place has to offer.

My daily work involves writing, translating, and other projects that allow me to help share the work of this diocese with the wider Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. The diocese of PR creates new themes each year to help guide the diocese in new directions. This year the diocese has transitioned from a year of “Discipleship” to a year focused on “Reconciliation with God, people, and creation.” With the help of the department for Communication and Digital Evangelism, I hope to create a bilingual documentary, guided by this year’s theme of RECONCILIATION. Using interviews and videos, we will share these stories of the people in the diocese of PR, not just those within the diocese, but using English and Spanish we hope to reach our partners around the globe.

In addition, my work involves updating the Asset Based Map of the diocese. This map will be an important resource that will gather needed information on parishes and institutions in one place. The diocese of PR is an active diocese of approximately 5,000 Episcopalians. The Diocese has 86 properties: 52 of which are Episcopal churches/missions spread throughout the diocese of Puerto Rico (including the island of Vieques) Other institutions include 3 Episcopal Schools, San Lucas Hospital in Ponce, multiple health clinics, hospice and home care centers, and a seminary.

My work with the Asset Map of the diocese will help gather information as to which institutions and churches have emergency plans and resources in place and which are in need of assistance from volunteers who come to Puerto Rico to help with continued relief. It will also include information on the different ministries the churches and institutions are involved in. Realizing the extent of the assets that are already in place, the local communities are finding that they have as much to give and show the outside world as they do to receive in times of crisis and disaster.

I am happy to report that Puerto Rico is recovering. There is a phrase from a song that has stayed with me these last few months because the words perhaps perfectly describe the spirit of this diocese and its dedication to living out the Jesus movement: “Que no caiga la fe, que no caiga la esperanza”: “Don’t let faith fall, don’t let hope fall.” This holiday season, everyone here is very excited to be able to celebrate with lights and decorations, food and fiestas, family and friends. I am looking forward to being part of this year’s holiday season here in Puerto Rico, witnessing the joy that the birth of Christ brings to us all.

Thank you to Christ Church, the Diocese of New Hampshire, and to everyone who has prayed for and supported me, thank you!

-Lydia Pendleton

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A Feasibility Study for Christ Church Preschool

Christ Church has, for many years, been a place for youth to gather. We have Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and other youth groups meeting here. And, of course, our Pine Street Players theatre group uses Harris House regularly. With the remodel and upgrades of our parish house completed, it is an opportune time to explore the possibility of opening up our lower floor classrooms, which are underused during the morning hours, for a preschool. To begin our exploration, we have embarked on a feasibility study to determine if Christ Church might house a faith based preschool in those empty classrooms.

While there are many other preschools in the area, we have not learned of any that are “faith based.” Christ Church’s preschool would be a ministry of the church and have Christian values at its core. We invite all to the preschool, whether they attend church, Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians, Christians and non-Christians, and people of no faith tradition. Our faith based preschool offers an opportunity for all to seek clarity about their own beliefs and religions and to honor those traditions more fully and faithfully in their own lives.

As an Episcopal school, the philosophy of Christ Church Preschool is to provide an enriching Christian environment that will enable each child to develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. We will also provide opportunities for creative, imaginative and artistic expression with an appreciation of a global environment. Christ Church Preschool shall function as an integral part of the life of Christ Church and shall serve as an educational arm of its pastoral and missionary life.

Goals and objectives

● Introduce new families to the Christ Church community through the preschool

● Create a small-scale warm environment for children to learn

● Create potential for significant revenues for the church

● Foster intergenerational connection among the members of the church

● Provide opportunities for young parents to participate in church activities

● Instill respect for God’s creation through nature based program

We believe the educational process of the proposed school should address all areas of learning – social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual. A wide variety of activities designed to reflect the children’s interests and abilities and to help develop reasoning skills would be offered as part of a flexible curriculum. Through age-appropriate activities children will be able to learn and explore while being guided and encouraged by their teachers. Structured activities emphasizing acquisition of basic skills are balanced with child-directed ones, providing many experiences that help nurture self-expression, self-discovery and self-esteem.

At this point of the study we are applying for a license and will begin to advertise as well as prepare rooms for perspective families.

Submitted by,

Sally Farrell- Assoc. For Christian Formation and Parish Life

Kevin Sorber- Senior Warden

Our Organist to Offer a Benefit Concert

On Friday, February 22 at 7:30, organist Bruce Adami will play a benefit concert for New Hampshire’s Young Organist Collaborative (YOC). The program will be a diverse one featuring works by Bach, Franck, Mathias, Pachelbel, Thalben-Ball, Vierne, and Widor. Bruce will be playing Christ Church’s Lively-Fulcher organ, which was installed in 2006. The instrument is highly thought of by organists throughout New England.

Formed in 2001, the YOC has provided organ lessons for over 110 middle and high school students thoughout New Hampshire, southern Maine, and Massachusetts. Run by an all-volunteer board, the YOC conducts auditions in May of each year. Qualifying first-year students are given full scholarships, which pay for 16 introductory organ lessons scheduled every other week over an academic year. Students are paired with a teacher and given support in finding a suitable practice instrument. Scholarships are provided for second year students as well. Along with regular practice, students receiving scholarships are also required to play in the annual recital each May.

The recital at Christ Church on February 22 is open to the public. A free-will offering will be taken to benefit the ongoing work of the Young Organist Cooperative.

May 2018 Young Organist Collaborative Students

A Letter from the Director of Music

Dear Christ Church Parish,

I want to thank you for the incredibly warm welcome I’ve been given, and for the friendship and music that we’ve created so far. It has been clear to me from the moment I set foot in Christ Church, that this place is remarkable.

On my first Sunday here, the choir sang these words:

Locus iste a Deo factus est,

Inaestimabile sacramentum,

irreprehensibilis est.

This place was made by God,

a priceless sacrament,

it is without reproach.

This anthem by Anton Bruckner is often sung to commemorate the dedication date of a church building. In fact, it had originally been programmed nearest the anniversary of the first service in the current Christ Church building: November 13, 1965. But anticipating my arrival, our inimitable organist, Bruce Adami, moved a few anthems to ease the transition, and this one jumped the line. So, my first anthem with the choir was a dedication to this place. No choice could have been more apropos.

To be clear: what makes this place “this place” is its humble servants, ever-ready to plan, help, give, sing, serve God, and love.

Thank you for enfolding me in this place. In the new year, we welcome new additions to both our Junior Choir (grades 3-6, rehearsals Wednesday afternoons) and the Christ Church Choir (high school through adults, rehearsals alternating Wednesdays and Sundays). Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions about either group:


Maggie O’Neill