The Anchor March/April 2018
A BIMONTHLY PUBLICATION OF CHRIST CHURCH, EXETER NH
Full House, Mark Pendleton
St. Paul wrote: Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.Romans 15:7
I am not a poker player, but I know that a full house is very good set of cards to have in one’s hand. After our $1.8 million renovation of Harris House — funded in part by your generous donations and pledges—we are in the wonderful position of having a very full complement of groups using our facilities. All told, in a given week, many more people pass through the doors of our meeting spaces than enter our worship space —and I do not necessarily think that is a bad thing. The quote that I never tire of is from one-time Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple: "The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members."
Several of our long-running A.A. groups have returned to hold regular meetings in the Parish Hall. Twice a month, we offer space to a network of local home-schoolers and their parents. They use our classrooms to offer forms of community and interaction between students and parents that would not take place without such an opportunity to gather. I have written about the return of the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts to Christ Church. We offer space for the W.I.C. program (Women, Infants and Children), which offers government support to new mothers and their newborns. (I recently met a mother through one group meeting at church who remembers bringing her baby to the church to get weighed and receiving much needed support). Music therapy classes offer healing to children with special development needs. And I haven’t even mentioned our own ministries—including our growing Pine Street Players youth theatre program—which are enjoying our renewed space.
As I write this, we are in the middle of a hosting week for Seacoast Family Promise—our first in the newly renovated space. It was the fire safety requirements for SFP that spurred us into action on the Harris House renovations. We had to install a fire suppression system and come up to code on a number of other building issues. Now that we’ve done our job, SFP is back! Deacon Charlie and I were evening hosts last night and spent time just sitting and talking with the families as they ate. We talked about raising kids, how expensive it is to maintain a car, the lack of good rental units on the Seacoast, the reality of living as racial minorities in New Hampshire, and how faith in God is often the only thing that keeps one from hopelessness—even though one might be temporarily homeless. The time just being open and present to one another reminded me why and how our commitment to this ministry is so important.
Clearly the renovation of Harris House has consumed much time, energy, and resources. Many households will be paying off their pledges over the next two years. What I am truly thankful for is the expression of faith that we have made to our parish family and the wider community. Our doors are open and many find meaning, support, and community here.
An update on cuba
Join us after the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, March 11 for lunch and news about Mark’s latest February trip to Cuba. We will be serving Cuban black bean soup and other treats. Come to eat and learn how we can strengthen this relationship.
Expanding Holy Week at Christ Church, Charlie Nichols
Our Lenten journey has just begun, and soon we’ll be at Holy Week, Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem. Holy Week leads us from his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday to his death on Good Friday and his triumph over the grave on Easter morning.
One of my favorite books for this time came out about a dozen years ago. The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’s Final Week in Jerusalemis by the noted scholars Marcus J Borg and John Dominic Crossan. When we look at our liturgy for Palm Sunday, we see that it begins with the Blessing of Palms and reenacts Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But, in a matter of minutes, at the reading of the Gospel, we jump to the crucifixion of Good Friday. In one breath, we shout “Hosanna” and in the next “Crucify Him!” A friend of mine describes it as “liturgical whiplash!”
Borg and Crossan write: “Christian liturgy has started to collapse Holy Week into its last three days and renamed Palm Sunday as Passion Sunday. The loss of Palm Sunday’s enthusiastic crowds and of all those days and events in between may weaken or even negate the meaning of that death and therefore of that resurrection.”
Our lectionary provides readings and collects for each day of Holy Week and to help move us a bit more smoothly through the week, I will lead a service of Evening Prayer at 6:00 pm in the Chapel on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week. This service – of 30 minutes or less – will include a passage from The Last Week and will help us to better follow the events of the holiest week in the Christian year.
One additional liturgical offering will take place at the conclusion of our Maundy Thursday liturgy. When we strip the altar, the reserved bread and wine for Good Friday will be brought to the Chapel and placed on the Altar of Repose. The altar will be decorated with candles and flowers to create our own Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus went with his disciples to pray the night before he was crucified.
The gospel writers tell us that Jesus asked the disciples to “Stay here and keep watch with me.”When he returned, he found them sleeping and said “Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?” Our way of responding to Jesus’ request will be to sign up for one hour slots to “keep watch.” This silent period will begin at the conclusion of the Maundy Thursday liturgy – around 8:00 – and continue in half-hour increments until midnight. Of course, the Chapel is always open, so feel free to create your own watch any time during the night or on Friday morning.
I invite you to take part in as much as you can as we remember and celebrate these most holy days of Jesus’ life and ministry. Please join us as we walk the way of the Cross, reclaim Jesus’ invitation to love and forgive, and celebrate the miracle of the Resurrection.
News from our Music Director-Suzanne Jalbert Jones
Good Friday Musical Offering:
Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest
On March 30th, 7pm, the Parish Choir, with soloists and a chamber orchestra will once again bless our congregation and surrounding community with a beautiful requiem. This year, the Parish Choir will be singing Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest, a contemporary composer who has written many powerful anthems some of which the Parish Choir has sung, Forrest completed Requiem for the Living in 2013, and the work is beginning to gain the attention it deserves. The piece, a lyrical and dynamic setting of the Requiem Mass, aims to offer comfort to both the dead and the living. It journeys through much of the traditional requiem Latin text, and culminates in a beautiful tenor solo, proclaiming Matthew 8:28: “Come to me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” We hope that this requiem offers comfort, pause, and relief to all those who attend this service.
Great Bay Choral Festival 2018:
April 29, 6:00 pm at Christ Church
Margaret (Meg) Harper, Music Director at St. John’s in Portsmouth, and Suzanne Jalbert Jones, Christ Church’s Music Director are teaming up to produce the first Great Bay Choral Festival on April 29th at 6pm. Choral ensembles from all over New Hampshire will join on this day to perform repertoire written for grand choer, that is a choir of about 100 singers. We are blessed with a sizable Parish Choir who sings beautifully every Sunday here at Christ Church and we hope that by joining up with other groups, we can perform different repertoire which will provide a new and exciting experience for both singers and audience members. This event will happen right at Christ Church, so please mark your calendars! Donations will be accepted at the door.
Lent and Holy Week 2018
LENTEN PRAYER AND REFLECTION
Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John is a six-week journey into deeper intimacy with God through praying with the words of John the Evangelist.
Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John, Wednesdays in Lent, February 21 - March 28
Our schedule provides two identical offerings, with the concluding fifteen minutes allocated to Noonday Prayer or Night Prayer.
Choose either gathering
10:30 am - 12:00 noon in the Dodd Room
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm in the Chapel
The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday- Sunday, March 25
8:00 and 10:00 AM- The Liturgy of the Palms, the Reading of the Passion and the Holy Eucharist
Evening Prayer - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - March 26, 27, 28, 6:00 pm in the Chapel.
Maundy Thursday - Thursday, March 29, 7:00 PM
The liturgy includes the foot washing and stripping of the altar.
The Watch before the Altar of Repose - ~8:00 pm until Midnight
Good Friday Liturgy - Friday, March 30, 12Noon
- Children's Service- Stations of the Cross- 4PM
Requiem- Friday, March 30, 7:00 PM
Easter Day- Sunday, April 1
· 5:30 AM -The Great Vigil & Sunrise Service, Followed by a simple breakfast
· 8:00 AM-Holy Baptism and Eucharist- Junior Choir sings.
· 9:00AM -Parish Breakfast
· 10:00 AM- Festival Eucharist with music by the Christ Church Choir
Free Lecture: “A Path to Opioid Recovery—One Family’s Experience”
We the People, Exeter invites all to hear parent and activist Liz Tankel share the story of her son’s addiction to heroin and his eventual recovery. In this free presentation, Liz will offer observations and lessons learned from her family’s experience andfrom her almost 20 years as an activist on the frontlines of the suburban drug epidemic. Monday, March 19th, 7pm at Phillips Church, Phillips Exeter Academy, Tan Lane.
“We the People Lecture & Film Series, Exeter” is sponsored by the Congregational UCC, Episcopal, and Unitarian-Universalist churches of Exeter, in cooperation with Phillips Exeter Academy & Water Street Bookstore. Learn about other future events on Facebook.
We’re Ready for Spring at PSP!
While winter may be the “off-season” for Pine Street Players’ productions, we have been busy auditioning and preparing for the Spring Rehearsals for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” kicked off in late February!
Spring Musical at PSP is our smaller production and features a select cast, providing an excellent opportunity for performers to experience the rigorous demands and rewarding results of an elite production while still enjoying the comfort and approachability of a youth theatre company.
Winter wasn’t all about getting down to business as we also held our first annual “Members-Only” event, The PSP Pajamboree! Both our Junior and Senior cast performers came to the new Parish Hall with pajamas on and sleeping bags in hand for a fun night filled with games, snacks, movies, and more!
So what is a Pine Street Players Membership, and how can a performer become a member?
An official membership guarantees pre-registration for the Fall Musical and Summer Session, an exclusive T-Shirt, and an annual members-only event with Lexi and Suzi. Memberships are $50 and can be purchased on the PSP website at any time throughout the Season. Memberships expire at the close of the Spring Musical.
Looking ahead,, slots have been filling up very quickly for our Summer Session 2018 workshops. Don’t wait! Be sure to register your performer today!
For those who would like to donate to PSP’s stock of supplies for Summer Session,
we will be in need of:
First Aid Products
Gift Cards (Walmart, Staples)
Thank you for your generosity and support!
We look forward to this exciting rehearsal process with the stellar cast of “Spelling Bee.” We hope you all will join us at the Bee this May for the final show of our 2017-18 season!
May 11th - 7:00pm
May 12th - 2:00pm & 7:00pm
May 13th - 2:00pm
Exeter Town Hall
10 Front St. Exeter, NH
For Tickets/More Information,
SUMMER SESSION 2018:
*LIMITED SPOTS REMAINING!*
YOUTH SERVICE TRIP COMING THIS SUMMER!
Save the Date: Youth Service Trip to Appalachia July 14th - 21st St. John’s and Christ Church, Exeter will be joining youth groups for a trip to Western North Carolina to work with the Hinton Center, a United Methodist organization, to build relationships with people in the local community through a variety of home repair projects and other outreach ministries. All youth over the age of 13 are eligible to go on the trip. More details to come
An update on Cuba
Sunday, March 11th, 11am
43 Pine Street
Join us after the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, March 11 for some Cuban black bean soup and other treats while we hear news about Mark’s latest February trip to Cuba.
Requiem for the Living, by Dan Forrest
Friday, March 30th, 7pm
43 Pine Street
A requiem to offer comfort, pause and relief to all those who attend this service.