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Holy Week at St. Christopher’s 200 200 johnpaddock

Holy Week at St. Christopher’s

Palm Sunday – April 10

   10 am: Blessing of Palms and Holy Eucharist

Tuesday in Holy Week – April 12

    Noon: Healing Service (no Eucharist)

Maundy Thursday – April 14

    7 pm: Washing of Hands and Holy Eucharist

Good Friday – April 15

    7 pm: Stations of the Cross

Easter Day – April 17

    10 am —  Festival Holy Eucharist

    11 am —  Easter Egg Hunt

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St. Christopher Episcopal Church

ANNUAL MEETING

Sunday, January 30, 2022 

St. Christopher Episcopal Church

1501 N. Broad Street

Fairborn, OH  45324

Email:  office@stchrisfairborn.org

Web page:  stchrisfairborn.org

Agenda

11 am, Sunday, January 30, 2022

  1. Call to Order and Opening Prayer
  2. Appointment of Secretary
  3. Minutes of 2021 Annual Meeting
  4. Nominations for Vestry and Delegates

Report of the Nominating Committee: Hayward Learn and Millie Roach

Election of Senior Warden and Vestry members by acclamation.

Report on results of the online election of Convention Delegates 
and Alternates

  • Finance Report – Robin Jones and Hayward Learn 

Review of 2021

Presentation of 2022 budget as approved by the Vestry

  • Receive Written Reports
  • Priest-in-Charge Report
  • Other Business and Questions 

Adjournment with Closing Prayer and Dismissal

St. Christopher Episcopal Church

Annual Report for year 2021

Contents

Report Name                                                                 Page Number

Nominating Committee Report………………………………………………………………………….. 4

2021 Vestry………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

Nominations for Vacancies…………………………………………………………………………. 4

Nominations for 2022 Diocesan Convention Delegates and Alternates……….. 4

Senior Warden’s Annual Report for 2021………………………………………………………….. 5

Junior Warden’s Annual Report for 2021………………………………………………………….. 7

St. Christopher’s Youth Group Report for 2021………………………………………………… 8

Priest-in-Charge Report for 2021………………………………………………………………………. 9

Minutes from St. Christopher’s Annual Meeting 2021………………………………………. 9

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church Financial Statement…………………………………. 11

St. Christopher’s 2022 Budget………………………………………………………………………… 12

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church   Treasurer’s Report 2021   Robin Smith….. 14

“Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more 
than we can ask or imagine.”  Ephesians 3:20.

Nominating Committee Report

2021 Vestry

Senior Warden                 Hayward Learn                 Term to expire January 2022

Junior Warden                  Cindy Feltz                      Term to expire January 2024

Member at Large              Millie Roach                    Term to expire January 2022

Member at Large              Andrea Haberecht             Term to expire January 2023

Member at Large              David Manship                 Term to expire January 2024

Member at Large              Ed Smith                         Term to expire January 2024

Treasurer                         Robin Jones                                        Indefinite Term

Nominations for Vacancies

Senior Warden                 Hayward Learn                 Term to expire January 2025

Vestry Member at Large    Millie Roach                    Term to expire January 2023

Vestry Member at Large    Mary Donnellan               Term to expire January 2025

Vestry Member at Large    Dan Snavely                    Term to expire January 2025

Nominations for 2022 Diocesan Convention Delegates and Alternates

  • Derick Faller
  • Lauren Faller
  • Cindy Feltz
  • Ann Foster
  • Alan Haberecht
  • Andrea Haberecht
  • Hayward Learn
  • Gordon Walbroehl

 

Senior Warden’s Annual Report for 2021

Hayward Learn

Good heavens!! What was that?  

That, my friends, was the year 2020 er, no, that was the year 2021.  Now in all my years I have to say, I thought I would never experience anything like the year 2020 but I must say, 2021 did its best to catch up. I’m not going to try to describe the year because you all were right there with me so let’s talk about things that went right. 

One very significant thing that happened was St. Christopher continued in the high technology age. Although we cautiously returned to in-church services, all of our services from Easter to the end of the year were broadcast over Facebook live.  Thanks to this technological approach to church, we can confidently say that no one got sick as a result of coming to church.  Also, of some significance, we found that many persons continued to view our online services who were not members of St. Christopher. 

Surprisingly, unlike many churches, our giving remained steady and as a result, we again finished the year in a much more financially healthy position than estimated at the beginning of last year.  Before we get too pleased though, realize that our program expenses continued to be low because we continued to cut back significantly on our programs. Had we enjoyed a normal church year, (whatever that looks like) we might have finished the year in negative figures.  Folks, we, like most mainline churches, are no longer wholly supporting ourselves.  As you will see elsewhere in this report, we are entering 2022 with a deficit budget again.  Many program events continued to be intentionally cut and we based the budget on the assumption that we would not be returning to full, in-person church services until later in the year when the COVID vaccine had lessened the risk of being together. Even after we returned to in-church services, we went to the extreme of having coffee hour outside under a tent. Folks, we are trying to be good stewards of our money but, unfortunately, expenses such as utilities, taxes, payroll, supplies, and equipment costs continue to rise, especially as inflation rears its ugly head.  At the same time, our giving remains relatively level.  I would ask that if you comfortably can, you consider raising your church pledges and other forms of giving a little bit.  We, your vestry and wardens, meanwhile will continue to look at further cost cutting activities.

Well, on that downer, let’s take a look at some of the other actives and efforts upon which we can look proudly. Sunday school continued for our younger members thanks to the efforts of Gail Stauffer, Cindy Feltz, and Barry Kelley.  When the youth were unable to attend these three worked out packages that could be delivered to the youth’s home. The Tuesday prayer services continued first via Zoom and then, after we opened church at Easter, by in-person and zoom technology. Thanks Father John and Cindy Feltz for your leadership there. For the physical plant, we secured a contract to trim our trees so the church and the illuminated cross could be seen from the road and fewer leafs would clog our gutters.

One of our goals has been to continue to let our physical plant in the form of our parish hall be available for outside interests rather than let it remain fallow throughout the week. I’m pleased to say we have a number of outside groups using our hall. Our Hall continues to be used by an organization called Champion Force Athletics with a cheer-leading group on Monday evenings. Another group called Independent Martial Arts holds a Karate self-defense class on Thursdays. These organizations work with youth who for some reason or the other are not able to participate in community or school programs. This is the fifth year for Champion Force and to our benefit, they pay a fee every time they use our parish hall. We also support the local Blood drive people twice a year in providing them a location to set up and draw this gift of life.

As I said last year, one area in which I continue to feel we need to work is our organized ministries both inside and outside the church.  We have a number of on-going, and, let me hasten to say very important ministries performed by one or two of our people at a time, but those ministries bear the names of other organizations. We have no significant ministry in place to which we can point and say, “This is us; this is St. Christopher’s”. What say we get our heads together and see if we can come up with a niche ministry that is both necessary and that can bear our name. One ministry I have heard bantered about is a widow’s support group that could first support many of our ladies here in church and then after it gets going, open it to the community. Perhaps a ministry of our own would advertise our church in such a way as to attract new members and as I indicated earlier, we can use all the members we can gain.

One last area I would like to touch on is church heroes.  These are people who give of their time for the benefit of the church with no apparent reward for their efforts.  There are Ed and Carol Smith who stepped up each week to serve as tellers and have further volunteered to be our Pledge Clerks. While recognizing them I also thank Ed Smith and Gail Stauffer’s son John who spent many hours on our riding lawn mower keeping our grounds looking like we care. Dan Snavely has been quietly making physical plant repairs and upgrades around the church.  Alan Haberecht and Lauren Faller have continued the task of updating our electronic sign on an on-going effort to keep it current. And both Alan Haberecht and Chester Howes have become experts on running our Facebook live camera, projection, and sound equipment to both broadcast our service to the world and support our in-church hands off the books experience.  (Don’tcha just love COVID?)  Dereck Faller assumed the role of our investment chief and has successfully invested some of our church money into interest bearing investments that have already shown significant positive growth well over that of savings and checking accounts. And Finally both Lauren Faller and Andrea Haberecht who come into the church routinely and at varying times to sign checks so our staff and merchants can get paid. Andrea Haberecht has also been doing the preponderance of Altar Guild duties, many times unseen during the week. Hats off too to Cindy and John Feltz who have done several repair and cleaning and transplanting tasks around the church. Let’s not forget Paul Reichert and Becky Wood who for the umpteenth time served as our church auditors enabling us to get our audit in on time so we could have voice and vote at the annual Diocesan Convention. Don’t forget too, our gardening Committee; Anne Sidney, Cindy Feltz, and Ed Smith, who have gone out of their way to secure contractors to trim our trees and possibly in the future redo our church gardens to make them an area of our grounds of which we can be proud. I also include here a shout out to our Prayer Warriors.  Meeting every Tuesday, they pray for those of our congregation who are ill or experiencing some kind of turbulence in their lives. They pray for the church family and the church family’s friends and families. And let’s not forget our Greeters and Ushers who make people feel welcome upon entering the friendliest church in the Miami Valley as well as maintaining order as people find seats and progress to the altar rail for communion. And although we missed them most of the year, we thank Melody and our wonderful choir who presented us with such good music for Christmas and thereafter. There are more heroes but these are the ones of whom I am aware or just plain can’t remember.  Thank you all of you for jobs well done.

Hayward Learn

 

 

 

Junior Warden’s Annual Report for 2021

Cindy Feltz

The Junior Warden acts as a regular member of Vestry and participates in all Vestry meetings and activities.

In addition, the Junior Warden at St. Christopher’s is responsible for leading the yearly pledge Sunday which occurred on October 24, 2021.

The term Stewardship – taking care of – became the theme.  To a degree we re-enacted “Bringing in the Sheaves” JOYFULLY!

And, as true to form, the good people of St. Christopher’s responded generously.  Now, we must proceed to share the Good News in our many different ways through worship, education, fellowship, outreach, and Christian care.  We received 38 pledges totaling $103,000.

Thank-you for being such loving, caring people as we move forward as a joyful church.

Sincerely,

Cindy Feltz

 

 

St. Christopher’s Youth Group Report for 2021

Hayward Learn 

This year our Youth Group staggered a bit. 

As you all know, this year we continued in lock down due to COVID and its derivatives. Although we opened the church at Easter, we did not participate as groups in church or Diocesan activities. As a result and unfortunately we had to forfeit the many activities in which we normally participate. We gave up a rebuild Dayton activity, an Adopt a Park Activity, our annual Easter Egg Hunt, a summer mission trip, our annual canoe and camping trip, our annual Halloween party, and our annual New Year’s Eve overnight/ bowling party.  Bummer Dude!

Regardless, the young people in our group are smart, independent, and known throughout the diocese.  Our newer members have been participating as acolytes at the altar and before long they will be Lectors, Chalice Bearers, and Ushers you see every Sunday and we love them.

In spite of our disastrous youth year, I want to recognize you, the congregation.  Without your support, both morally and financially, we would have a mediocre program.  It is your support and participation that shows our kids that they are all members of a much larger, loving family.  It is your support that will stick with our kids as they go off to college and beyond.  God bless you all.

Hayward Learn

Priest-in-Charge Report for 2021

John S. Paddock

Remarks will be presented at the meeting.

Minutes from St. Christopher’s Annual Meeting 2021

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church

Fairborn, Ohio

Annual Meeting Minutes – January 31, 2021

Called to Order Online Via Zoom:  The Rev. Father John Paddock opened meeting at 12:00 pm with prayer asking for God’s grace and courage as we renew the mission of the church.

Clerk: Anne Sidney was appointed secretary for the meeting.  

By-law Amendment to Permit On-line Meetings

The Diocesan Chancellor (lawyer) recommends that all congregations adopt this by-law amendment. The following was moved, seconded and the motion carried to add Section 9 to Article VI:

“Meetings of members of the congregation, of the vestry and of other committees within the congregation may occur in person, by digital or virtual means, or by a combination thereof, subject to implementing reasonable measures to allow each participating person to hear (or otherwise be informed about) comments and information available to those attending in person and to participate by voice or other means of oral or written communication available to those attending in person.”

Minutes: It was moved and seconded that the 2020 minutes be approved.  Motion passed.

Nominations for Vestry and Delegates:

  • Cindy Feltz was nominated for Junior Warden to fill a term that ends in 2024. David Manship and Ed Smith were nominated for three-year Vestry terms that also end in 2024.  It was moved and seconded that all three candidates be elected by acclamation.  Motion passed.
  • Delegates and alternates to the convention. Voting was done via a website over several days leading up to the meeting. Members were provided with User ID’s and Passcodes. A single paper ballot was cast in the Parish Hall. The following were elected:
  • Convention Delegates: Andrea Haberecht, Lauren Faller, Hayward Learn, and Derick Faller
  • Alternate Delegates: Becky Wood, Kathy Smith, Chester Howes, and Anna Foster

Finance:  Robin Jones, treasurer, reporting

  • Review of 2020.
  • In 2020, the church income was $18,215.19 more than expenses.
  • Church assets (cash and investments) were $331.012.
  • Presentation of 2021 budget as approved by Vestry.
  • Budget projects a deficit of $5,080.07 

Written Reports: The Annual Report was made available online and contained a number of written reports and financial data. It was moved, seconded, and the motion passed to receive the written reports.

Senior Warden Comments: Hayward Learn reviewed some the main accomplishments of the past COVID year. With a grant from the Diocese, we re-surfaced the parking lot. With a special gift and insurance compensation for our church sign that was damaged in the spring by high winds, a new “digital” sign was erected. Hayward reviewed our financial situation and thanked a number of people for their service to the congregation and the community.

Priest-in-charge:

Father John reviewed this past COVID year, the difficult decision to close for in-person worship, the struggles so many have had with the Pandemic. He thanked the congregation for our willingness to adopt Facebook Live and to shift to online coffee hours, Healing services, and Zoom Theology. He led us in prayer for the ill and the grieving. And he looked forward to the availability of vaccines and warmer weather which might allow for some in-person worship and gatherings.

Closing Prayer and Dismissal:  Father John Paddock asked God to bless us and send us out as the community of St. Christopher.

Faithfully submitted,

Anne Sidney

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church Financial Statement

St. Christopher’s 2022 Budget

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church 
Treasurer’s Report 2021   Robin Jones

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FROM THE PRIEST’S LAPTOP…
We had our final in-person service of the year on Tuesday noon with a good attendance of ten people. It was also our final in-person, face-to-face service until Sunday, January 30, when we hope to re-gather at 10 am and follow that with our Annual Parish Meeting. I say “hope to re-gather”, understanding that we’ll need to re-evaluate given the state of the Pandemic in our area. But that is our goal: January 30.

As stated in the past, please do not hesitate to contact me in case of any pastoral concerns. Our Sunday and Tuesday worship will continue online at the links provided below. I am available to share Holy Communion at home with anyone who requests it
.
Kay Mitchell, our parish secretary, will be having more flexible hours during January as she will have fewer in-house duties. If you need to get into the church, please call ahead or leave a message on the answering machine or email Kay at secretary@stchrisfairborn.org.

A word about our wonderful outdoor digital sign. It is not working! But it isn’t the sign itself. There is a break in the electric line that runs to it underground. An electrician will be coming to investigate and fix the problem, but with the holidays and busy schedules, it may take another week or two.

With best wishes for a loving, safe, and happy New Year, I am
Faithfully yours,The Rev. John Paddock

Sunday Worship, 10 am, Facebook Livehttps://www.facebook.com/stchristophersfairborn/
Zoom Coffee Hour, Sundays at 10 am:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89060595248
Tuesday Healing Services on Zoom, Noon: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82057354401
Sermon: August 29, 2021 106 160 johnpaddock

Sermon: August 29, 2021

St. Mark says that evil comes from within. The things that defile us aren’t the unclean foods, the improperly prepared meals, the un-kosher kitchens. True defilement flows out of an impure heart. This kind of evil manifests itself in many ways. Mark has a list.

Theft, murder, adultery, envy – these are understandable enough. But let’s define these others:

  • Fornication is sex without love.
  • Avarice: excessive, insatiable desire for wealth or gain; avarice is extreme greed.
  • Wickedness: evil in character, behavior, or tendency. Having a bad disposition. Poisonous or toxic
  • Deceit is not just the act or practice of deceiving, but deliberate false representation.
  • Licentiousness is marked by the absence of legal or moral restraints.
  • Folly: lack of good sense or of normal prudence and foresight; weakness or triviality of intellect. Folly is an inability or refusal to accept existing reality.

Have you picked out some names of folk to place beside each item on the list?

“All these evil things come from within, from the heart,” says Mark’s Jesus, “and they defile a person.”

What we need to be leery of here is to see these as only, or even primarily, sins that belong to individuals. 

The point of this text is to remind us that even though we may outwardly obey the law, wash our hands, eat the right foods, perform the holy rituals – there’s an inward spiritual illness and we’ve all been exposed to the virus. This virus is in the world as it is.

Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians is absolutely clear that we aren’t contending with individual sinfulness and evil human hearts. 

Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. –Ephesians 6:11-12

These evil forces (what some translations call the “principalities and powers”) are clearly beyond individual human shortcomings and sins. Although verse 11 refers to “the wiles of the devil,” there’s certainly more intended here than a red-suited, pointy-tailed, creature with a pitchfork in its hand. What/who are these rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces?

New Testament scholar Pheme Perkins, in her commentary on this text, says that early Christians tended to understand that the “demons” were external to humans and attacked the souls of Christians from beyond. 

“Contemporary readers are less likely to see the demons as external beings than internal forces that infect the psyche. The quest for holiness forces a confrontation with the tangled web of confusion, sin, and ignorance in the human heart. Nor should the injunction to take up the armor of God and stand firm be limited to individuals. Groups are also subject to a dynamic that works for evil that no one individual would engage in separately.”[1]

Walter Wink has written a trilogy on the subject of “the powers” in the New Testament.[2]

“Here . . . we have what is essentially a series, a heaping up of terms to describe the ineffable, invisible world-enveloping reach of a spiritual network of powers inimical to life. . . . We must include here, then, all the principalities and powers we have encountered, not only divine but human, not only personified but structural, not only demons and kings but the world atmosphere and power invested in institutions, laws, traditions and rituals as well, for it is the cumulative, totalizing effect of all these taken together that causes the sense of bondage to a “dominion of darkness” (see Col. 1:13) presided over by higher powers.  . . .We must not neglect to mention here the spirit of empire, which perpetuates itself through a succession of rulers which was so powerful, in the case of Rome, that it was able to sustain the madness of three emperors in one century (Caligula, Nero, Domitian). Nor can we leave aside all forms of institutional idolatry, whereby religion, commerce, education and state make their own well-being and survival the final criteria of morality, and by which they justify the liquidation of prophets, the persecution of deviants, and the ostracism of opponents.”[3]

What we are talking about here is that the architecture of evil is corporate, not individual. Evil may, indeed, emit from individual hearts, but those hearts were formed in atmospheres of corporate powers like racism, terrorism, classism, militarism, and all the other –isms and cultures and forces that diminish humanity and threaten God’s creation.

So if we contend against principalities and powers, how do we fight against them? Ephesians suggests that since this is a spiritual battle we need to put on spiritual armor (verses 13-17), the armor of God. Once again we turn to Wink.

“. . . this armor turns out to be strange armor indeed. Faith, the gospel of peace, the word of God, truth, salvation, and righteousness—these are not “weapons” in any usual sense of the word. It is a warfare to be waged with an enormous concentration of prayer. What good is truth—unless it is the way the Powers are finally unmasked? What use righteousness—unless it reveals God’s true will for the world? What value salvation—unless the certainty of it is needed for reassurance in the moments of despair or darkness when the gathered might of the Powers makes doubt seem only sensible? What can the shield of faith do—unless we have learned to discern when flaming darts are aimed at our hearts, with their insinuations of inadequacy and guilt or their appeals to egotism and the worship of the golden calf? What good is a sword made only of words, in the face of such monolithic evil—unless evil is not nearly so much a physical phenomenon as a spiritual construct, itself born of words, and capable of destruction by the word of God? And why pray—unless that is the only way we can consolidate, by continual affirmation, the divine counterreality which alone is real, and freight it into being?”[4]

A short word about shields. The round shields of Roman legionnaires that often appear in the movies actually were elongated very early on. Two-thirds of the shield covered the soldier’s body and one-third covered the legs of his comrade to the left. This brilliant innovation encouraged tight ranks, since each fighter was in part dependent on his neighbor for protection.

“Against such evil the church is well-advised to stand shoulder to shoulder, shields overlapping. Hence this instruction in armaments is issued in the plural throughout the paragraph. Not individuals but the whole people of God is addressed. Solitary efforts may at times be necessary, but far better when many, each individually equipped thus, can struggle together and perhaps even “prove victorious over everything.”[5]

The work, the mission, the purpose of the church is to engage is this struggle. Far more than personal comfort and edification, our worship and Christian formation programs are designed to equip and arm God’s people for spiritual battles. We provide pastoral care and fellowship so that we can care for one another with overlapping shields. We speak the word of God, bathe ourselves in the stories of the faith, in order to form human hearts that promote light and life. We engage in mission here in Fairborn and in other places like Haiti and, today, the Gulf Coast to bring to light the counter-reality we call the realm of God.

Too much of American Christianity dilutes the faith and trivializes the battle by: first, concentrating on the individual (Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior); and second, by focusing on the personal and warm sins like adultery and fornication – while essentially ignoring the corporate and cold-hearted evils of our modern life: avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, and folly.

We claim no special righteousness, no new revelation, and certainly no perfection. But we do ask those who claim to preach a “whole Gospel,” to pay attention the Gospel of Mark and the Epistle to the Ephesians. For salvation is not about “some” going to heaven while others are “left behind”. Salvation is about liberation for all people and making the whole creation new.

Let the people of God say, “Amen.”


[1] Pheme Perkins, The Letter to the Ephesians in The New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume XI (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000), 351.

[2] Walter Wink, Naming the Powers (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984); Unmasking the Powers (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986); and Engaging the Powers (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992). Wink also published a digest of the trilogy with some additional elements entitled The Powers That Be (New York: Galilee Doubleday, 1999).

[3] Wink, Naming the Powers, 85.

[4] Wink, Naming the Powers, 88.

[5] Ibid.

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Raffle

RAFFLE, RAFFLE, RAFFLE!
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church is raffling off two tickets to the September 25, Ohio State home football game against The University of Akron. The tickets are to be used to raise funds for local outreach and mission.  The proceeds will support Fairborn FISH. We hope to encourage people from the wider network of churches and others in the Fairborn community who support FISH to participate in the raffle. If you aren’t interested in OSU football or are unable to attend, we bet that that you have a family member, friend, or neighbor who would love to be gifted with two tickets to the game on September 25. Details follow.
Raffle for TWO TICKETS
THE The Ohio State University Buckeyes
Saturday, September 25, 2021 home game against theUniversity of Akron Zips 

Cost per chance: $25.00
No limit to number of chances per participant.
All proceeds to benefit Fairborn Fish 

Raffle chances can be purchased through St Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Fairborn, either by (preferred) using the Church’s secure online giving portal https://stchrisfairborn.org/giving/. Choose the “Other” fund and type in “Football Tickets” ($25 per chance for two tickets). You will then be prompted to add Payment information (Credit/Debit card), and email address.

Or you can send a check and your email address to the church at: St Christopher’s Episcopal Church,
PO Box 1026, Fairborn, OH 45324(Deadline for our receiving mailed checks is Friday, Sept. 17) The drawing will be held Sunday, September 19, 2021 following the 10 am service. The winner will be notified by email that day, and your tickets will be emailed by September 21. (OSU is using only electronic ticketing and that’s why we need your email address).
Sermon for August 22, 2021 381 499 johnpaddock

Sermon for August 22, 2021

What a time! 

  • There was the earthquake in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, with over 2,000 deaths. And then they got Grace . . . not Grace in a biblical sense but Grace  in the form of a Tropical Depression that dumped heavy rains in the earthquake zone. All this, of course, following the 2010 devastating earthquake, political instability as demonstrated by the assassination of her President just a month ago, and a medical system overwhelmed by a raging COVID pandemic. Haiti can’t catch a break!
  • Afghanistan: collapse of her military, her government, Taliban takeover, and horrifying images from the Kabul Airport.
  • There’s a surging Delta variant of COVID in many places—with so many of us reluctant to go back to practices that we know are effective (masking, distancing, isolating) and far too many unvaccinated and unwilling to serve the good of their neighbors. 
  • Global climate change is leading to droughts and fires in numerous parts of the world (1.3 million acres burned in Northern California alone so far this year)—storms and floods in other areas. Temperatures in the 100’s in normally moderate climes like Washington, Oregon, and Siberia. 
  • Five hundred miles above the Arctic Circle it rained for several hours on Thursday for the first time in the past 2000 years according the history recorded in ice cores. Six times since the time of Jesus, the temperatures there have risen above freezing—three of those since 2012. But this is the first time it has rained there since Jesus walked the earth.

A writer for Sojourner’s Magazine wrote this week: “I feel helpless, hopeless, as if a thousand lifetimes and mother’s prayers and daddy’s words and Bible verses could never prepare me for how fragile life feels.”[1]

Like Job, sometimes it seems that everything’s falling apart. And too often the Church isn’t much help. This summer’s deep concerns in the American religious community are: 

  • whether our Roman Catholic President can receive Holy Communion. 
  • The Southern Baptists are nervous about us learning that they were founded to provide religious support for slavery and that many of our founding Fathers owned slaves. 
  • Some of the Prosperity Gospel churches are preaching about how Jesus wants us all to be rich, what one theologian characterized in this way: “The Church is becoming a place where Christianity is nothing more than capitalism in drag.”[2]  
  • In some of our Episcopal parishes the hot topic this summer is when we’re going to get wine at the Eucharist.

The Rev. Otis Moss III has it right, when he says, “We are living a stormy Monday, but the pulpit is preaching a Happy Sunday.”[3] I would add, “An irrelevant Sunday.”

No way to sugar-coat the pain, loss, and despair in our world.

I feel it. I venture to say that we’ve all felt it throughout the pandemic, the political turmoil, the isolation, the sense that something is creeping up on us that is overwhelming—that we’re powerless to stop and control. 

With my mind’s eye I imagine the hopelessness of a slave in Egypt, the separation and isolation of an Exile in Babylon, the cry in the garden, “Take this cup from me.” No different than the fear and rumble of the shaking earth and the crash of buildings, the crackling and whoosh of the wind-blown fire racing toward the town, the distinctive clicks of the ventilator heard in the ICU, or the Hell on Earth when it’s 110 degrees and still rising.

The songs of lament fill the scriptures:

Psalm 12

“Help me, Lord, for there is no godly one left;

   The faithful have vanished from among us.

Everyone speaks falsely with his neighbor;

   With a smooth tongue they speak with a double heart. . . .

The wicked prowl on every side,

   And that which is worthless is highly exalted.”[4]

Psalm 13

“How long, O Lord?

Will you forget me forever?

   How long will you hide your face from me?

How long shall I have perplexity in my mind

And grief in my heart, day after day?

   How long shall my enemy triumph over me?”[5]

Or Psalm 137

“By the river of Babylon, we sat down and wept

   When we remembered you, O Zion. 

As for our harps, we hung them up

   On the trees in the midst of that land. 

For those who led us away captive asked us for a song,

   And our oppressors called for mirth:

   “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

How shall we sing the Lord’s song

   Upon an alien soil?”[6]

Zora Hurston was a sociologist, poet, and novelist of the Harlem renaissance. In one of her novels she gives a theological perspective about the experience of people up against the wall, so to speak. 

“The main character of the novel, Janie, who has taken hold of her destiny by marrying the much younger Teacake, seeks to find her place in the world. In one stunning section, Janie and Teacake take refuge from a hurricane:

“The wind came back with triple fury and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others and other shanties, their eyes straining against the crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching the eyes of God.” (Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God [Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1937], 191)[7]

As we look about and take the measure of our world, it’s tempting to give into despair . . . to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the darkness around us. 

There are lessons to be learned by those who’ve preceded us. The Psalmists lived in dark times. The Hebrews in Egypt faced deep gloom. The Jews in Exile couldn’t bring themselves to sing the old songs on an alien soil. Hurston’s Janie and Teacake, “seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching the eyes of God.”

You see, it is from the dark, in the dark, on the verge of despair, that people have discovered . . . hope, God. 

So it was the slave, in the heat of the southern sun and under the whip of the overseer, could sing:

“Nobody knows the trouble I seen,

Nobody knows but Jesus.”

For it was in the suffering, in the dark, they encountered one who had been, is there, too. He had been whipped and beaten, poked and stabbed, and had come out on the other side—wounded and scarred—dying and dead. Good Friday gave way to Easter. But only after going through it. 

The temptation is to give into despair or to pretend that the storm clouds aren’t there and celebrate a Happy Sunday. But there’s a third way—to live into the stormy Mondays of life and discover in them, at the darkest moments, the presence of God. 


[1] Article by Dante Stewart, “When Everything Seems Fragile”, in Sojourner’s Magazine, accessed online on 8/19/2021 at 7 pm at https://us.e-activist.com/page/email?mid=579a62bd57cd4582b83396e31d0d5155

[2] Otis Moss III, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul WorldFinding Hope in an Age of Despair, Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2015, p. 4

[3] Ibid, p. 4

[4] Psalm 12:1-2, 8 (The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, p 597)

[5] Psalm 13: 1-2 (BCP, p. 597)

[6] Psalm 137:1-4 (BCP p. 792)

[7] Blue Note Preaching, p. 9

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Sermon for July 11, 2021

Sometimes our liturgical formulations just don’t seem to fit with some scripture texts.

For example, Psalm 137 ends with this line: “Happy shall be he who takes your little ones, and dashes them against the rock.” And the proper liturgical response immediately follows: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.”

Today we heard Herodias’ daughter, Salome, say:

“I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. 

And then the Deacon said, “The Gospel of the Lord.” And we all replied, “Praise to you, Lord Christ.”

Not everything in the Bible is Good News or even comforting news. It’s just news. Some news is good; some of it’s bad; and some of it’s just plain grotesque. 

So, it seems to me that on some occasions we should instead of saying, “Glory to the Father,” “The Word of the Lord”, or “Praise to you, Lord Christ”, we should have the option of saying nothing . . . silence . . . as we contemplate evil and tragedy.  

Since I don’t have any idea about how to bring good news out of John the Baptist’s head on a platter, I’m not going to try. I can’t, as they say, put lipstick on a pig, and have it look like anything other than a pig.

So this seems like a good time to talk about the Bible. What it is. What it is not. How to think about it. 

Although we think of the Bible as a single book, one volume that you can hold in your hand, the title in koine Greek, common vernacular Greek that was spoken in the first century, the title is “ta Biblia”—“The books.” So the Bible is actually a library of books divided into three sections that we Episcopalians commonly call the Old Testament (39 books), The Apocrypha (13-19 books depending of which are included), and The New Testament (with its 27 books). Jews and Roman Catholics include the Apocrypha in the Old Testament. But because the Apocrypha was written in what we call the inter-testamental period, between the Testaments—Anglicans have traditionally grouped them in their own section. Many other Protestant groups don’t include the Apocryphal books at all. 

But the larger point is that the Bible is a whole library of books that are bound together in one volume. The earliest ones were written around a thousand years before Jesus was born and the latest were penned as late as 120 of the Common Era. They are the work of hundreds of authors and thousands of editors and scribes. The contents include folk tales and ancient myths; wisdom sayings, prose, poetry and songs; histories; prophecies; legal codes; liturgies; worship practices and requirements; gospels, letters, and apocalypses. 

Some individual books were written by multiple authors whose works were combined by later editors into a single book. In Genesis, for example, there are two creation stories, one right after the other, and they’re completely different. There are also two different Noah’s Ark stories that are not side by side, but have been interwoven into one by a clever editor. Hebrew scholars can distinguish them line by line, because the two were written hundreds of years apart. It’s like the difference between Elizabethan and modern English. 

The Bible was written in three different languages:  Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic—and unless we can read those ancient languages fluently, we read them all in translation. And as you know, some things get lost or added in translation. There are some Hebrew words that scholars don’t know the meaning of even to this day—depending on the version, there is either a blank or a wild guess.

None of these books were written to be “Holy Scripture.” Each author had a particular point of view, wrote in a particular time in history, and addressed a particular issue, concern, and audience. Some were the equivalent of today’s “paid political announcements”, stressing a highly partisan perspective, while others were written as refutations of the first. St. Paul, for example, never intended to write chapters for the Bible—rather, he wrote letters to the Romans, Ephesians, and the Corinthians, among others, to address contemporary matters and/or disagreements in those communities.

In fact, the first attempt to collect and distribute Paul’s letters was by a heretic named Marcion who, around 140 CE, edited out the parts he didn’t like, in the same way that Thomas Jefferson created a highly edited New Testament, removing the passages that he didn’t care for. The early church didn’t officially put together the New Testament as we have until 382 CE. Prior to that the only “Bible” they had was the Old Testament. And there was quite a debate about which books to include or not. The most highly contested was The Book of Revelation. In fact, no less a light than Martin Luther once commented that “The Book of Revelation is the most un-Christian book in the New Testament.”

What most of the books have in common is that their authors and editors were engaged in wrestling with God and what it meant to be a people of God. Sometimes they were highly complementary of the Divine and at others they complained about God and lamented their fate to him. Some wanted to dash the heads of the children of their enemies against the stones while others wanted to “love their neighbors as themselves.” Some contrasted the evil in the world like the beheading of the Baptist and the crucifixion of Jesus with the Holy Spirit’s call to live into resurrection life.

So it’s all there in the Bible, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Taken as a whole, it’s a vast range of material, gathered over millennia, that’s the record of people attempting to respond faithfully to God and the stories of their failures to do so. As one Rabbi once said, in that sense the Bible is brutally honest . . . a rarity among books of all kinds and especially among religious texts. 

Several cautions about the Bible. The first is what we might call bibliolatry—making the Bible into an idol that we then worship as a false God. We honor the Bible for what it is—but we don’t bow down to it. The Bible is never an end in itself but points beyond its pages to the Divine. 

A second caution is to understand that this book is inspired in the sense that the human authors were motivated by the Holy Spirit to write of their experiences and insights. But it wasn’t dictated by God. The Bible is not the words of God, but it can and does lead people to worship the One who is The Word of God, the Messiah, the Christ. 

A word about interpretation and understanding the Bible. Here are some questions that we should always ask about any particular book or passage.

  • Who wrote it and what was their perspective?
  • When was it written and to whom was it written?
  • What was the situation at the time?
  • How would the message of the text have been understood at the time?
  • And how has the Church interpreted it in different eras?
  • What application does the text have in our own day? 

All this is to say that the Bible is a complicated library. You do not have to have a theological education to read and understand it. But it does pay to have a good Interpreter’s Bible with introductions to each book and extensive commentary. I personally recommend The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Edition with the Apocrypha, an Ecumenical Study Bible, Fully Revised Fifth Edition, published in 2018. There are many other resources to assist people who want to delve more deeply into the texts, and I’d be pleased to share some of those with anyone interested. But that’s beyond the scope of this sermon. 

I hope and pray that these remarks are a helpful summary to the books that form the bedrock of our faith. May God bless you and keep you.

Let us pray.

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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A Matter of Fair Balance

I invite you to ponder with me the relationship between religious faith and our country. We’re gathered here in church on a Sunday morning, as we contemplate and anticipate the Fourth of July celebration next Sunday. As one looks around this sanctuary, there are  American flags as well as crosses. So we here at St. Christopher’s believe that there’s a relationship. And the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag proclaims such a relationship as we say that we are “one nation under God.”

Of course, when things are going along rather smoothly, questions about God and country might not even come up. But when a former Attorney General of the United States quoted St. Paul to justify splitting up families and incarcerating infants, toddlers, and children, then lots of questions emerged. What should be the relationship between religion and the state? 

There is also idolatry that must be avoided at all costs, where folk can worship the symbols (crosses, flags, bibles) rather than the God and nation to which they point. 

These are not just questions for The United States—they’re being asked and wrestled with around the globe, where some predominantly Muslim countries are being encouraged to substitute Sharia law for the law of the state. Or in Israel where the extreme religious right is often the tail that wags the dog. In India, the current government favors Hindu religion over Islam. In other places there are clashes between religious groups. Which religious laws should predominate—if any at all?

Here in the US, we’re a melting pot of religions as well as various cultures and tongues. There are widely varying interpretations of Christianity. If we decide in favor of Christian guidance for the laws that govern our common life, which of those interpretations should prevail? Fundamentalism? Mainline Christianity? Roman Catholic? Or Mormonism? And within each of these groupings, we find wide varieties and variances. For example, Lutherans and Episcopalians don’t even agree on the wording and numbering of the Ten Commandments – not to mention that the commandments started off as Hebrew Laws; there’s nothing particularly “Christian” about them. Do we simply take a vote on each issue that might arise and follow the rule of the majority? And what about the losers of any such votes? Do they have any rights or recourse?

I don’t propose to resolve these very difficult questions in a short sermon. What I would like to suggest is that there are some considerations to keep in mind as we contemplate these matters—some values, if you will, that our faith brings to the table as we contemplate the relationship between civic and religious life. 

I take as a starting point some words of St. Paul to the Corinthians. He was asking them to give generously to an offering that would go for the relief of the Saints in Jerusalem who were experiencing a famine. He said that “ . . . it is a question of a fair balance . . . . “[1] He was referring to the fact that the Corinthians were rather well off while their sisters and brothers in Palestine were living in poverty. The concept of “Fair Balance” is a biblical value that St. Paul calls isotes, meaning equity or evenhandedness. It’s not that everyone has the same, but rather that everyone has enough: enough food, enough clothing, shelter, security, opportunity and so on.

Another form of fair balance involves justice. Think of the image of Lady Justice—blind-folded to suggest that the administration of justice should be without prejudice or bias. She’s holding a scale, indicating that justice is to be dealt out evenly to all. Justice is obviously a prominent biblical theme. Amos’ famous declaration: “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”[2] Or Micah:  

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God?[3]

So the law, and the administration of justice, is to be mitigated with kindness and mercy. No one expresses it better than William Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strained;

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:

‘T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown:

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptred sway;

It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power doth then show likest God’s

When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, . . . 

Though justice be thy plea, consider this,

That, in the course of justice, none of us

Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;

And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

The deeds of mercy.[4]

Micah also reminds us to be humble. “Walk humbly with your God.” There’s nothing more dangerous than absolute certainty. No nation, no people, no state, no laws are perfect, and we Christians realize that we’ve been wrong before. We were wrong that the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, that we were created in perfection, that the Crusades were right and just. Many good Christians (some of them Anglicans even) wrote a Constitution with slavery enshrined in it. Just because something is the law does not automatically make it right. Some of us in this room can remember the battles against Jim Crow and legal discrimination. There are powerful forms of injustice embedded in our laws to this day. Humility and the related value of “hesitation to be too certain of our righteousness” are important and useful in community life.

Another value featured prominently in both the Old and New Testaments is hospitality—hospitality to the foreigner, the stranger, the alien. The Torah regularly reminded the Hebrews that they were once slaves and strangers in Egypt, and so they were to be vigilant to welcome those who would sojourn among them. Jesus was clear that those who welcomed the stranger welcomed him: welcomed the very image and being of God.  

A definition of democracy I learned in Junior High School was this: “Democracy is the rule of the majority with respect for the rights of the minority.” There may well be far better and more accurate definitions—but the idea of “respect for the rights of the minority” should never be lost. When that pillar of democracy wobbles, the whole structure is in danger of collapse into some form of totalitarianism. 

I don’t think that it was an accident that when we American Episcopalians last revised The Book of Common Prayer, we made one plank of the baptismal covenant the promise to respect the dignity of every human being. And I might add, without regard for whether they are in the majority or the minority.

And so we Christians, as we ponder our country, bring to our reflection these values. 

  • Fair balance, equity, evenhandedness, and enough for everyone
  • Justice seasoned by kindness and mercy
  • Humility and hesitancy to be too confident in our own righteousness
  • Hospitality, especially for the other and the stranger
  • And respect for the rights and the dignity of every human being.

The question of whether we should be a Christian, Moslem, Jewish or other religious state should be an obvious “NO.” The state should never be the monitor nor the enforcer of religious doctrine or orthodoxy. At her best our country will exhibit those values that are commonly held by what is best in all of the world’s great religions—and even by many non-believers who are ethical people of good will.

As we approach our national day of Independence this Fourth of July, I’m reminded of the words of the old folk singer Utah Phillips who used to say, “Love of country always; love of government when it deserves it.” And I might add, “An insistence that we live up to our most deeply held values—not just giving them lip service but working tirelessly to see them become the reality for all.

Let it be so.


[1] 2 Corinthians 8:13b

[2] Amos 5:24

[3] Micah 6:8

[4] William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene 1.

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eLantern for June 23, 2021

FROM THE PRIEST
Last week the Diocese of Southern Ohio revised the guidelines for in-person worship. Most of the precautions and limitations have been removed, leaving it to clergy and Vestries to decide how to apply them at the congregational level. At Sunday’s meeting, the Wardens and Vestry reviewed the revised guidelines and here are our decisions.
Masks
The guideline reads, “No mask is required for any person who is fully vaccinated. Masks are required for persons who are unvaccinated or in the presence of persons who are not able to be vaccinated, such as children or the immunocompromised.”
At St. Christopher’s we will reserve the front four pews on the Epistle side (the right side as one faces the altar) for individuals or groups who voluntarily wish to distance and wear masks. Others who are fully vaccinated will be able to sit in any of the other pews, masked or unmasked as they choose.
We will not require proof of vaccination. We trust the people of our parish to love their neighbors and to do what is best for the common good and for the protection of those who may be vulnerable.
Communion
The diocesan guidelines now allow for full communion using the common cup. However, we feel that it is too soon to allow for this. We need to obtain a second silver chalice and to determine how best to protect the vulnerable. We will revisit this at the August Vestry meeting. In the meantime, we will continue to have Holy Communion in one kind (bread) only.
Capacity and Choral Singing
We will return to full capacity (with distancing requirements in the first four pews on the Epistle side).We will resume processing and recessing behind the cross.Choral Singing without masks is permitted.We will continue to refrain from passing the collection plate.Regular sanitation practices should continue to be followed.
Coffee Hours and Receptions
Diocesan guidelines read, “Coffee hours and receptions can be resumed. However, if food is served, it is recommended that items be individually wrapped or provide a server for buffets to avoid common utensils.”
At St. Christopher’s we will resume coffee hours on Sunday, July 11. This will give us time to obtain disposable cups and to plan details about food. Please keep an eye out for further information.
If you have comments or suggestions regarding these parish guidelines, please contact me and/or the Wardens, Hayward Learn and Cindy Feltz.
Faithfully,John Paddock
Holy Eucharist at 10 am—in-person and on Facebook Live.
Healing and Holy Eucharist, Tuesday at noon, in-person.
SUNDAY, JUNE 27, 5th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 8B Service Details
THE READINGS
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27Psalm 130, p. 7842 Corinthians 8:7-15Mark 5:21-43(Clicking the above links will redirect you to the full reading at https://www.lectionarypage.net/)
Prayers of the People: Form II, p. 585Eucharistic Prayer A, p. 361
THE PRAYER LIST
Bob and Lois, Eleanor, Toni and Ed, Judy, Debbie, Steve, Melissa, Aaron, Jessye, Dorothy, Camden, Chuyi, David, Nora, Evelio, Dee, Stephen, Kim, Dora, Barb, Quinn, Alma, Cindy, Patty, Cathy, Betty T., Mel, Kelli, Linda, Mark, Angie, Joanne, and Anthony.
BEAR WITH US
Returning to in-person worship for some and sharing the service with others on Facebook presents us with some challenges. This “Hybrid Church” creates some pitfalls as the requirements of online are often different from those of in-person experience. As we live into this new reality, we will be experimenting in various ways.
One of those is to shorten the service a bit by having only one lesson (Old Testament or Epistle) rather than both. Due to many factors, we have fewer people to serve the altar and read the lessons, so this will help in that regard.
Before COVID, we had Worship Leaders, Lectors, Chalice Bearers, and Acolytes in addition to clergy. Ed Smith is continually reminding us to KIS (Keep It Simple). So with that as a goal, we will:
Discontinue the term “Worship Leader” and the role. The Episcopal Church has a category of lay minister called a “Worship Leader”. However, these people complete a course of training and are licensed by the Bishop to lead worship when clergy are unavailable. But St. Christopher’s does not have any such trained and licensed folk. So it’s confusing. Let’s just let it go.
Each week we will have a “Vested Lector” who will lead the Psalm and the Prayers of the People. This person may also serve as crucifer, server, and/or Lay Eucharistic Minister.
We will discontinue the term “Chalice Bearer”. Back in the day, this term was used for laity who served the wine. But a number of years ago, the Episcopal Church started to use the term “Lay Eucharistic Minister” (LEM). LEM’s are authorized to distribute both bread and wine. At the moment, we are not sharing the wine. Should the need arise, a LEM may distribute the bread. We will train “Vested Lectors” to be LEM’s if they are not already.
Unvested lectors will read the lesson each week. They will come up from the congregation to read. In order to make it move more quickly for the “online congregation”, we ask that the unvested lectors come forward during the Collect of the Day or even earlier in order that they be ready to read immediately after the Collect.
All participants are encouraged to be ready to go as soon as their role is required. This will help reduce any “downtime” during the service. This is especially important for the online participants.
The appropriate response at the end of a lesson is “Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church” or “The Word of the Lord.” Nothing is generally added at the conclusion of the Psalm.
Psalms are read “Antiphonally by half verse”, “Antiphonally by whole verse”, “In unison”. On some occasions the Psalms may be chanted, but that will take careful preparation with the choir.
We will continue to change as we adapt to COVID regulations, available personnel and other circumstances. We will begin implementing some of these changes beginning in July. I invite people who are assigned to a particular role to come at 9:30 on the Sunday they are assigned in order to go over everything before the service.
—John Paddock
An in-person meet and greet with Bishop Smith will be held on July 10. Watch for more information!
Please contact Parish Secretary, Kay Mitchell, to sign-up to donate Altar Flowers. Please specify the date you are requesting. Hollon Flowers will provide two altar arrangements for $25; please make your payment two weeks before your requested date.Have you tried St. Christopher’s online giving site? St. Christopher’s has partnered with Shelby Systems to develop an online giving site for donors to make their gifts to St. Christopher’s electronically. Use this link or the button below, marked Donate to St. Christopher’s, to access the giving site. For more information and details see the article on our website, here.
Happy Birthday to:
Becky Wood on July 6, Jamie Faller on July 9, Tyson Jones on July 20, Diane Cannon on July 26
Happy Anniversary to:
Brooke and John Blackman on July 2
FISH FAIRBORN NEWS
FISH Fairborn recently debuted their new website at: www.fishfairborn.com. On that website is up-to-date news about FISH as well as a list of immediate pantry needs.
On June 25, a mobile health unit will be at the pantry from 1-4pm providing COVID vaccinations to anyone eligible who wants one. Pre-registration is not necessary.
At this time Fish Fairborn urgently needs: Jelly and cereal. Adult Depends (Size XL and Large)
By category other needs include:Basic Foods: Hearty soups, stews, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheeseMeat/High Protein Group: Canned meats, canned fish, nuts and seeds, rice and beansBreads, Cereals & Pasta: Hot and cold breakfast cereals, baking mixes, pasta and canned saucesDairy Group: Puddings and custardsFruits and Vegetables: Canned fruits, canned juices, canned vegetablesOther Items: Cat and dog foodNon-Food Household Products: Toilet paper, bar soap, diapers, personal care products such as deodorant, shampoo, laundry soap, etc
Monetary donations to FISH Fairborn can always be sent to FISH Fairborn, P.O. Box 1484. Fairborn, Ohio 45324. Of course, anything you can give helps. Items donated at St.C’s are collected and delivered to FISH once weekly, either Tuesdays or Fridays.
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Information about In-Person Sunday Worship

What to Expect
In order to maintain proper distancing during Sunday worship, there are a limited number of seats available. Call today to reserve a seat at 937-878-5614 or email office@stchrisfairborn.org. Details about what to expect follow below. Service will also be online on Facebook Live.

What to do and expect when returning to Sunday in-person worship:

-Make a reservation.
-Dress appropriately for the weather since windows and doors will be open.
-Plan to arrive early so that we have time to admit people at the door, one individual or pod at a time.
-Wear a mask covering both nose and mouth. We have extra masks for those who may need one.
-Once inside, your temperature will be taken with a no-touch thermometer.
-We will sign you in and make certain that your contact information is correct in case we need to do contact tracing.
-An usher will seat you, filling from the front to the back. (Two pews near the back will be reserved for larger pods).
-Offering plates will not be passed. They will be on a table or stand near the back of the church.
-There will be instrumental music only. No Singing!
-Ushers will release one individual or pod at a time to go forward for Holy Communion.
-The priest, deacon, or Lay Eucharistic Minister will drop the bread into your hand as you stand. Then return to your pew before consuming it.
-When the worship is finished, ushers will release each individual or pod one at a time, beginning from the back of the church.
-There will be no coffee hour. And worshippers will be encouraged to go directly to their cars without visiting in the parking lot.
-For those who will be watching on Facebook Live from home, we have obtained new equipment so that you can get a better viewing experience. Please be patient as video and sound operators learn to be comfortable with the equipment and software.