OUTREACH FOR APRIL
For this month, Outreach is looking for donations of canned meat and boxed or canned broth. Donations may be placed in the white baskets in the Cloister!!!
"Create in Me a New HEART, O God"
On the first Sunday in Lent (March 5th), hearts were distributed to everyone. There were soft hearts for the children, and smaller hearts for the adults. These hearts helped remind all of us throughout Lent to open our hearts to God's Grace.
The children had an activity each week in Sunday School where they wrote on a paper heart something that they did the previous week to share God's love. The children then brought the hearts up to the Sanctuary and affixed them to the wooden cross near the Altar. Over the weeks of Lent, our rough, bare wooden cross became colorful with the love our children expressed on those paper hearts.
The adults placed their hearts, maybe in a coat pocket, or the kitchen sill, in the car, on a desk or purse where it was seen or felt often, as a reminder of our Lenten journey and the opening and softening of our hearts to God's Grace.
As in past years, the ERD Meditation Books were distributed beginning on Ash Wednesday. The Reflections in this years book were beautiful, thoughtful and filled with the Grace of God!
The Holiest Week of the Year
Let us complete our lenten journey as a faith community by participating in the services offered at Christ Church during Holy Week.
We begin the holiest week of the year with joyful "Hosannas" as we process into church carrying palm branches on Palm Sunday, April 9th at 8 am and 10:30 am.
We learn from the examples of service that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper as we join in the Eucharist (Holy Communion) on Maundy Thursday, April 13th at 7 pm.
We enter into the remembrance of Jesus' death at the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, April 14th at Noon, and the Solemn Liturgical Service at 7 pm.
We celebrate the Light of Christ at The Great Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday, April 15th, at 8 pm.
We rejoice in the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, April 16th, at 8 am and 10:30 am.
Our children have been brightening the bare wooden cross of Lent with colorful hearts upon which they have written the good things they have done for others. On Easter Sunday our wooden cross will be filled with color and goodness!
There will be two occasions to joyfully ring our bells! Everyone is invited to bring their own bell (any kind of bell) to ring during the Gloria at The Great Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday at 8 pm.
Our children will be invited to ring the handbells and join in the "alleluias" on Easter Sunday at the 10:30 am Service.
(See the "Events" page for a more detailed article on Holy Saturday's Great Vigil!!
Following the 10:30 am service, an EASTER EGG HUNT will be held on the church grounds!!
FRESH START TO THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR!
On Sept. 11th at the 8 am and 10:30 am services, we joined together for a "fresh start" as a parish community. Overwhelming response to the items needed for school supplies were acknowledged.
Thank you to everyone who had their photo taken for our new directory! The church directory serves many purposes, one of which helps new families get to know us a little easier. Thanks again!!!! The directory's are now ready to be picked up at the church office or following the Sunday services.
PENTECOST SUNDAY 2016
Hanging dove with streamers
Getting ready in the Narthex
Flying fast and high!!
Whoa...that dove has a life of its own!!
Doves at rest after a long procession!!
The butterfly emerges!!!!
During the month of April, the Outreach Committee will continue to welcome donations of warm socks, mitten/gloves, hats, granola bars and small bottles of water. These items will be used to prepare Care Bags which can be distributed to homeless persons or those in need. The bags will be available in the cloister. Anyone who feels comfortable to take a bag or two to keep in their car to give to someone when the need arises, is invited to do so!
Also...We are still accepting donations of pet food, kitty litter and other pet needs for the Pet Food Pantry at Grace Church.
Don't forget...we are sending care packages to our troops on a regular basis. A list of appreciated items can be found near the collection totw in the Cloister!!!
COCOONS AND BUTTERFLIES!!
As Lent continued, we watched for a cocoon to appear near the Altar...and then watched each week to see what happened to the cocoon. Is that a little crack? Is the crack growing bigger? Is there something inside the cocoon? Guess what happened on Easter Sunday! (And it did...see the photo above...)
Our young people learned about this in Sunday School and made butterflies to decorate the Altar for Easter Sunday. We encouraged everyone in our congregation to help our young people experience the transformation of Lent at a level they may understand. The symbolism of the cocoon and butterflies applies to our young people and the rest of us too!
The cocoon represents a dark, safe, dealed place to stay warm and insulated from the world outside. The gradual cracking open of the cocoon represents our willingness to do the hard work of transforming (growing and changing) over the weeks of Lent so that we may leave the darkness of the cocoon, step out in faith and enter into the light of the Risen Christ.
How do we break out of the warmth and safety of our private "cocoon"? Are we afraid of the brilliant light that awaits our transformation from inside our "cocoon" to the world outside? Do these questions give us pause? Bring us a feeling of discomfort or fear? Although we each must answer these questions for ourselves, we are invited to learn, grow, seek forgiveness and allow ourselves to be transformed...individually and together as a faith community.
Be not afraid. We are not alone. Our God...Father, Son and Holy Spirit...is with us always, with every step we take as we travel together through Lent and beyond.
Each Sunday of Lent, we were invited to pray, listen, observe and experience the Liturgy together...and then...finished this sentence together as we ventured toward the "new", the light, the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday!
First Sunday in Lent
Third Sunday in Lent
(KEEP WATCHING EACH WEEK!!!)
Fifth Sunday in Lent
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY TO OUR 2015 OUTREACH PROGRAMS!
Every month we asked for specific items to be gathered for our Christmas Outreach. The response has been wonderful and we thank you very much. 50 to 75 families will receive multiple bags of groceries on Sunday, December 13th due to your help. It's not too late to give a gift of money as there are still items to buy AND THE PROJECT IS ONGOING 12 MONTHS OF THE YEAR! Donations can be brought to the church or sent (checks made out to Christ Church). Again THANK YOU!!!!
The military donation project has also been going well and several boxes have already been sent...
ANNUAL BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS
The Faith Community of Christ Church celebrated the beauty of God's creation and all of God's creatures with special services at 8 am and 10:30 am on Sunday, Oct. 4th, followed by a Blessing of the Animals at Noon! Children brought their favorite stuffed animal for a Blessing as well!!
Fr. Sam blessing some really cute puppies!!
"Fresh Start to the New School Year"
The annual Back Pack Drive was held on Sunday, September 13th. Items to fill these back packs were donated in abundance...a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all!!!! The following items were received:
highlighters, erasers (cap & "pink" ones), notebook paper (wide rule), inexpensive ear buds/headphones, underwear (for boys and girls sizes 6, 7 & 8 (in new, unopened pkgs), childrens socks (also new and unopened) and for older students: notebooks, folders (with pockets) and pens, plus several new backpacks!!
Special collection bins were placed at the entrances of the church!
ANNUAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL TIME WAS AWESOME!!
On Wed. June 17th, Great food, including: hotdogs, pulled pork, BBQ beef, salads, baked beans, strawberry shortcake, beverages, a wonderful bake sale and much, much more were enjoyed by a record crowd in attendance!
All were entertained by the Lock City Glee Club and the Lockport Chorale!