Dear Christ Church,
I am pleased to announce our new Vestry candidates for 2021: Nate Bruce, Leslie Cameron, and Sara Schultz. You can learn more about them here. Each has been a servant-leader in our community for several years, representing ministry in contexts such as small group leadership, Sunday services, Kids Quest and other forms of quiet service. During the 10am service on Sunday, January 17th, the parish will have the opportunity to vote on the Vestry’s recommendation of these three to serve a three-year term.
In this transition, the Vestry and I also want to express our deep gratitude to those who, having completed their terms, will now roll off: Eleanor Chote, Kim Polk, and Jonathan Sempsrott (Senior Warden). They have seen Christ Church through significant moments of change and crisis, from Christine’s accident to the Medina St. move-in to the trials of 2020; and they’ve done so with godly counsel and the right skills “for such a time as this.” Please join me in thanking Eleanor, Kim, and Jonathan!
This is a good moment to remind you of the purpose of the Vestry, which we cover in the Membership Class. According to our denominational Canons, the Vestry is “responsible for the temporalities of the congregation and, except where otherwise provided by canon, supports the clergy in the spiritual leadership of the congregations.”
This finds expression in 6 arenas: 1) they are dedicated to prayer and fasting on behalf of the church and her mission; 2) they protect the core values of the church; 3) they exercise gifts of wisdom, discernment and counsel, working closely with the Rector regarding the church and her mission; 4) they have full and final authority for all matters related to the facility and finance of the church; 5) they assist the Rector in guarding the unity of the church, crisis response, and encouraging the clergy and staff; 6) they lead by example in the church through Christian maturity, stewardship, and servanthood.
Finally, I want to pivot to draw your attention to two recordings I’d like you to make sure you have heard.
1. In case you missed it you can catch our joint Epiphany service here, which includes at the beginning some comment on Wednesday’s tragic, misguided, and sinful acts on Capitol Hill and a letter from our Bishop, followed by a dialogue sermon. For the sermon, clergy representing four parishes engaged Scripture and each other about the hope we have in the Light of Christ that pierces the darkness. We as the people of God march to the drumbeat of a different way, the Jesus Way which is always cruciform, marked by humility and sacrificial love.
2. Last Sunday I made a statement that we at Christ Church are, have been, and will be a people who will relentlessly anchor ourselves in Jesus, and be soaked in and shaped by Scripture. The Christmas story of Jesus’ displacement and flight to Egypt, and the slaughter of the innocents, speaks to our times and the refugee crisis and the ongoing deaths of the unborn. Open your heart at the end to notice the biblical truth of Jesus our Refuge, who enters the tent-city refugee camps of our own sin and brokenness. He traveled far to find us in our displacement, and to become our home. As Christians, as Anglicans, and as Christ Church our eyes are fixed on Jesus, transformed by his Word.