The Anchor September/October 2019


Planning for a 2020 Sabbatical Leave

Time flies when you are having fun! In April 2020 I will complete my seventh year as your rector. The word sabbatical is derived the Greek word sabatikos, which means “of the Sabbath,” the day of rest God intended to that happens every seventh day.

I am not in need of rest per se, but I do need a time away to renew and refresh. I am keenly aware that many do not have the opportunity to step away from work duties for such an extended period, so I count this time as a blessing. I am also aware that for me to preach, to give of my heart to this work, I can use time to away from the daily routine to replenish the well, so to speak, and remind myself of how this spiritual journey began.

More news will follow in the November/December issue of The Anchor. Some of my time away is set with travel. Beginning in early January, Leslie and I will live for five weeks Oaxaca, Mexico. The extended immersion will allow me to return to my spiritual roots in Latin America and also help me to keep improving my Spanish, which I use in the jail ministry with immigrant detainees in Dover.

In March, I will participate in the St. George’s College (Anglican) in Jerusalem “Introduction to Bible Lands” course. I have never visited the Holy Land. The course will help me to understand better the historical contexts and cultures in which Biblical stories took place and to begin to understand some of the contemporary issues in Israel and Palestine.

During the sabbatical, David Holroyd will continue his normal pastoral work and we will add a part-time priest (her name to be announced soon) who will be the main presider and preacher on Sundays and offer support during the week for the staff.

My thanks to the Vestry for their support as I plan this time away. I also thank the Diocese of New Hampshire for providing me with some extra funds for travel and study.

In Gratitude,


Inquirers’ Classes/Episcopal 101 Returns

The Rector will offer occasions throughout the year for those who want to learn more about the Episcopal Church. The gatherings are intended for those who have recently started coming to Christ Church and/or those who would like to think about their faith. Grab some coffee in the Parish Hall and join us. No need to RSVP but Email Mark if interested so we can get a head count.

  • Sunday September 22- 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. in the Dodd Room -What does it mean to be an Episcopalian/Anglican? What do Episcopalians believe?
  • Sunday September 29 - 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. in the Dodd Room - Are Episcopalians Protestants or Catholics? The History of the English and American church.
  • Sunday October 6 - 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. in the Dodd Room - Structure, Decision Making, and all things Episcopal.
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RenewalWorks challenges parishes to refocus on spiritual growth and to identify ways that God is calling them to grow. It is a catalyst for refocusing parishes (and the individuals in them) on spiritual vitality. It has been tailored to the Episcopal tradition, adapting 10 years of research that has uncovered key characteristics of flourishing congregations. The process is meant for congregations and leadership to rediscover who Jesus is, and what it means to follow him.

A Spiritual Life inventory will be offered beginning September 15 to be filled out that will generate a report that will help guide the follow-up. Your participation is important. For more information, please see the RenewalWorks website.


Dear parents of children at Christ Church,

Welcome to a new chapel year! We are so excited to welcome you and your children to a fun, grace-filled year of growing in faith. The fall season begins on September 8th at the 10 am service.

As parents and caregivers, you are the most important people in the faith life of your child. We are here to support you as continue this journey of faith with your children.


WHEN: Each Sunday Morning at the 10:00am service. (There are a few exceptions to the chapel service schedule. You will be notified in the weekly enews.)

WHERE: Before the service begins, bring your children to the chapel, which is just inside the Narthex (lobby) of the church. At the Peace, the children are brought into the church at the Peace, and they can join you in your pew for the remainder of the service.

WHY: Our mission is to create a place where children feel welcome, have fun learning about God, and enjoy contributing to our Christian community.

WHAT: We introduce scripture stories in an intriguing way that encourages children to use their imagination and think independently. We want them to learn the fundamental stories of our faith that proclaim the message of God’s love and best illustrate how to live out our Baptismal Covenant.

HOW: Each child is welcomed! We open with a prayer of thanks and share our thoughts of the week. We are using a new curriculum, called “Whole People of God,” which presents the same scripture being read in the main church. This offers you a wonderful way to connect with your children by talking with them about the lessons everyone heard and have a conversation about it together. In chapel, each child has an opportunity to touch the story through an activity or two. Finally, we gather for a closing prayer and our own passing of the Peace.

WHO: All children ages 4 and up and adults are welcome

Lastly, this cannot be done alone: Should God lead you to our Chapel, I invite you to join us and be a part of it. Use this link to sign up and help.

I hope you will find a way to help us to grow, develop, and be loved. When life is at its toughest, God uses us to encourage and come alongside others. He always uses our study of His Word to enrich and strengthen our lives.

I am happy to spend time with your child, and I encourage parents to come observe and see for yourself what Chapel is all about. For more information please feel free to email me.

Sunday, September 8th will be a big day at church! Have your children bring their backpack to chapel and we will bless it in the church. What a great way to start the new school year!

To Parents of Young Children:

• Relax! God put the wiggle in children; all are welcome here.

• If your child is under 4-years-old, you may take her or him to the Child Care room located downstairs in the Harris House. We have two amazing teachers that will take very good care of them.

• If your children are sitting with you in the pews, quietly explain the parts of the service. If they are shy about coming to chapel, offer to join them. Children learn to participate in liturgy by copying your behavior as you sing hymns, pray, and voice responses.

• If your child needs a book during the service, there is a book basket on a windowsill for your use; feel free to borrow a book and return when done.

To the Members of our Faith Community:

• The way we welcome children in the church directly affects the way they respond to the church, to God, and to one another. Let them know that they are at home here!

• Remember that the presence of children is a gift to our community. They are members of our church and a sign that our faith community is growing.

• Please greet the children warmly and give their parents a sign of encouragement.

Music for All Ages

Individuals from ages 14 to 100 (and beyond!) are welcome to join the Christ Church Parish Choir! We meet two Wednesdays a month, from 7:00-8:30 pm, and Sunday after the 10 am service. We learn repertoire of all different musical styles, and 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! We sing at most Sunday morning 10 am services as well as at the Christmas Eve and Holy Week services. Our first rehearsal of the fall will be Wednesday, September 4. We will start with a food and fellowship hour of lasagna dinner at 6:00 pm in the Parish Hall, followed by rehearsal from 7-8:30 pm in the church.

In addition to the start up of the choir season, Pine Street Player’s production of Fame and Fame Jr. is underway. To supplement the vocal training of PSP participants and other youth at Christ Church, we will be offering a “Homework & Harmonies” program to any interested children in grades 3-6. For a better description, see below in Youth offerings.

Please email if you have any questions or would like to join one of our programs!

Maggie O'Neill

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Opportunities for youth and adults coming this fall

Yet, O Lord, you are our God; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. –Isaiah 64:8

Throughout all our doing and being, we are reminded that God's "hands" are continually present in our efforts to gain both "head" knowledge found in education and learning and "heart" wisdom discovered through prayer, ritual, and practice. So, it is indeed most fitting to say that faith formation is at the heart of what our living and being is all about; but without the potter God’s hands that guide what we are continually becoming, the process is incomplete.

Below is a list of the many opportunities for youth, families and adults to live faithfully in the life of Christ here at Christ Church.

Youth:(Contact Sally Farrell for more information)

Chapel- During the school year, at the 10 am service, beginning the first Sunday after Labor Day. Our goal is to introduce scripture stories in an intriguing way that encourages children to use their imagination and think independently. We want them to learn the fundamental stories of our faith that best illustrate and proclaim the message of God’s love and how to live out our Baptismal Covenant. This is for children ages 4 and up , youth and adults.

The Wonder Group- Middle School and older-The Wonder Group- Middle School and older- meets the second Wednesday of the month from 6:00-7:30. We will be doing a video/documentary series along with book discussions. The Wonder Group begins this fall with viewings of BYkids films.

“BYkids currently has nine completed films. With the help of expert mentors, kids around the world tell their own stories, in their own words, through documentary film. Come see the world through their eyes.”

It is our hope that these short films will help start conversations with our youth about social justice and open their eyes to the lives of other kids their age. We welcome any and all youth grades 6th and up! Contact Sally Farrell for more information.

Homework and Harmonies-. Meets every Wednesday, beginning at 2:45. To supplement the vocal training of PSP and the youth at Christ Church, we will be offering a “Homework & Harmonies” program to any interested children in grades 3-6 at no cost. Participants will unwind with snacks and fellowship, spend some time on homework, and develop ear training, vocal technique, and part-singing skills. Singers do not need to be in PSP’s fall production in order to participate, but the program provides a convenient bridge between school dismissal and PSP rehearsal which begins at 4:30. Homework & Harmonies will begin September 4th and continue Wednesdays through the fall. Contact Maggie O’Neill- for more information.


Men’s Breakfast Group- Once a month on Saturday morning- Christ Church’s Men's Group gathers to create opportunities for men to develop friendships, deepen faith, and to support one another through life’s journey. We meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Starting in the kitchen at 8:00 a.m. for a light breakfast and coffee, we will move into the Dodd Room. The group will be co-facilitated by the Rector Mark. Contact Mark Pendleton- for more information.

Soul Sisters- A mom’s group that meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 7:00-8:30 pm. Location varies. Contact Sally Farrell for more information. This fall we will start with reading The Spiritual Child, by Lisa Miller.

Serving at Christ Church

Jesus said he came not to be served but to serve. And the experience of many Christians is that we feel unusually whole, complete and fulfilled in life, when we are serving and caring for others. It is times like these when we feel especially joyful and at peace. We might say that it is at times like these that we feel most united to Christ.

Below are the many ministries offered at Christ Church along with a contact name for anyone to get involved.

HEALING- Mike Woodworth, Patti Buck-, Judy Blaisdell-

Christian healing through prayer and the laying on of hands has its roots in the Gospel, which tells us emphatically that Jesus healed the sick, blind and deaf, as well as spiritual disorders. Therefore, healing prayer was a central part of the early Church. Our Healing Team meets regularly for study, prayer and training of new members. All Christians are called to healing prayer for ourselves and for each other. If you feel especially drawn to exploring this ministry, please speak to a member of the clergy.


Christ Church has a very active program of pastoral care ministry under the overall supervision of the Rector and the Priest Associate. It is designed to help parishioners of all ages who are in need of pastoral assistance because of a serious illness, a death or other problem where faith and prayer may be helpful and comforting.


Buildings and Grounds is a Ministry where the sum of the parts is definitely greater than the whole. It is so much more than just the physical plant. This is truly a ministry that is connected to all other ministries within the Parish.



ALTAR GUILD- Melissa Poirier-

The Altar Guild ministry is dedicated to assisting the clergy in preparing the sanctuary and the chapel for worship services. The Guild is responsible for both the set-up and clean-up for all services including weddings, funerals, and baptisms. Membership consists of women and men serving in teams of three and scheduled in one week rotations throughout the year. These teams change every four months to provide the opportunity to work with different people. Altar Guild is open to men, women and teens. The altar guild welcomes and encourages new members at any time! Contact Melissa either by email or phone 603 670-3468

WELCOME/USHERS- Pat (8:00 am Service),

Judy Makami-, (10:00 am Service)

Serving on the Welcoming Team is a great way to meet the members of our parish and contribute to parish life. You may serve as an individual, with a partner or as a family. As a diverse parish, we love having people of all ages. Please contact Pat or Judy if interested. All are welcome!

GARDENS- Judy Blaisdell-, Carol Allard

The Garden team is responsible for the design and upkeep of several planted areas/labyrinth around church grounds. This is seasonal in nature, May-October. We welcome volunteers to help with planting in the spring and garden maintenance throughout the summer.

SEACOAST FAMILY PROMISE- Christine Nelson-, Judy Blasidell-

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.

HOSPITALITY- Ann Malconian-, Pat


WE THE PEOPLE- Toy Fountain-

We the People is a free lecture and film series that invites participants to engage on issues at the heart of current events and religion. We the People is sponsored by Christ Church, the Congregational Church and the Universalist Church, in cooperation with Phillips Exeter Academy.

FLOWER DELIVERY — David Holroyd-,

Darla Watt-

Two flower arrangements beautify our church every Sunday for our worship. The flowers are then delivered to the sick, shut-ins, and also in celebration of baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. The flowers are prepared for delivery by a member of the altar guild and taken by volunteers. The Associate Priest often chooses the recipients and Darla prepares the schedule.


It is very important for us to make sure all are receiving notices about what is happening at Christ Church.

Here are the ways to stay in touch!

Enews- Sent out weekly on Friday mornings. This details all the upcoming events in the church, as well as any service information. If you are not receiving them, please check your spam and make sure you “allow” Constant Contact into your mailbox. You can call Darla in the church office or email her to add your name to the enews list as well. (

Facebook- Anytime something new happens or we announce an upcoming event, it is posted on our Facebook page. Please “like” our page to stay up to date!

Weekly Church Bulletins- Look at the last few pages of the bulletin and you will see announcements of many things going on at the church.

Anchor- Our bi-monthly newsletter. It is primarily articles written by the staff etc. and less about events. Sent out through Constant Contact at the beginning of the designated month. (see above to get on the list for this as well) In order to be more environmentally friendly, this is mainly an online newsletter. We do offer limited printed copies in the Narthex should you need one.

Church Website- This often has announcements of all that is going on in the church, from service times to PSP productions.

Simone Porter Violin Concerto in Portsmouth

Saturday, Sep. 28th, 8pm

28 Chestnut Street

Portsmouth, NH

Violin Virtuoso and Avery Fisher Career Grant Recipient SIMONE PORTER will perform Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major with Great Bay Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, September 28, 8:00 PM at the Music Hall Historic Theater in Portsmouth. The program will also include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

All Christ Church Members, Families & Friends may use the 15% VIP DISCOUNT CODE, ORCHESTRA19, for any level of ticket to attend the concert. Just apply the discount code at Checkout Online or at the Music Hall Box Office.

Executive Director and Producer, David Wold, says “SIMONE PORTER is arguably the greatest 23 year old violinist on the planet and certainly among the greatest of her generation. Great music at this level normally requires a trip to Boston, and we’re happy to share the opportunity with everyone in the Christ Church Community.”

Like us on Facebook

Christ Church's Facebook page has lots of information of all that is going on in the church.