Monthly Archive for November, 2009

Christ the King November 22, 2009

2 Samuel 23:1-7                                                                 

Revelation 1:4b-8                                                                              

John 18:33-37

So a family was driving to the potluck supper here a week ago, and they were talking about what their names meant. The father, Donald, said that his name was gaelic and it meant ruler of the world. That’s not right, said his daughter; Christ is the ruler of the world.

But what does that mean, that Christ is the ruler of the world – Christ the King, as this last Sunday of the Christian Year has come to be called? Well, one of the things it means, as the gospel reading for today makes clear, is that when it comes to conflicts in values or allegiances, it is Jesus who comes first, not any of the rulers of this world. Jesus was on trial before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to find out whether he claimed to be the King of the Jews in opposition to Herod, the Roman puppet king. And you may remember from Palm Sunday that when Pilate asks the mob whether Jesus is their king, they reply that they have no king by Caesar. So the tension over who is the ruler of the world was a real one in biblical times.

It’s a real one in our times too. More real than we usually realize. Continue reading ‘Christ the King November 22, 2009’

Mutual Ministry Review Report

Every three years, each congregation in the Diocese of New Hampshire goes through a process called at Mutual Ministry Review. This is a chance for the congregation to talk about what has been going on in the parish, what excites people and where they see strengths, and then to look at areas where work needs to be done and – most important – where they discern God calling them to grow in the next few years. This fall Holy Cross has been conducting an MMR and the following is the report on the process we went through and the goals and plans adopted by the Vestry for the next two years.

Continue reading ‘Mutual Ministry Review Report’

Pentecost 24 November 15, 2009

Daniel 12:1-3                                                                      

Hebrews 10:11-25                                                              

Mark 13:1-8

Life is strewn with unfinished projects: that tractor you bought off a neighbor and have been meaning to fix up for years but is still sitting behind the shed under a blue tarp; that sweater you started knitting for your daughter years ago which she could never fit into now. I conceived a wonderful project once: to write a kind of day book prayer journal. It was inspired by a New Age book someone showed me, but mine was going to be orthodox, working with the readings for daily Morning and Evening Prayer. I even had a publisher interested in it, but they wanted me to include a lot of collects and I was more interested in stimulating people to do their own praying. So that was the excuse for laying it aside.

When I was working on it though, I had a small focus group to whom I gave the drafts – a page for each day, with brief readings and sections of psalms, then space to jot down what came to people as they prayed with the texts. There was a young mother in the focus group, the wife of a successful businessman with two young kids, living in a nice house, singing in the church choir. She told me she couldn’t use the book because all the biblical readings were so grim. Particularly the psalms; they all seemed to be written by people in deep distress. It didn’t connect with her life, which was easy and happy, or with her experience in church, singing in the choir. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 24 November 15, 2009’

Ministry Minute: Richard Harbour

Richard Harbour (second from left) takes a break from cooking at the chicken barbecue.

Richard Harbour (second from left) takes a break from cooking at the chicken barbecue.

I’ll begin by taking you back to 1935.   I was a Roman Catholic.  My Mom and Dad were French Catholic all their lives 90 some odd years. Then when I became a young man and I wanted to have a family of my own, I wanted them to go to the Roman Catholic Church.  That lasted 24 years until I got divorced.   Which changed my life.

 A couple of years after that I met Ellie and she changed my life again – for the good.  But in my mind there was a big void in my life, I went on with day-to-day life, but didn’t have a church. Then, Ellie and I decided to go to the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.  We’d gone to several other islands and enjoyed them, but the first night we were there, we walked to a restaurant, which you could see from the hotel and we heard a roar come up behind us and a man jumped out and put a 9 millimeter gun in my belly and demanded all of our money.  He grabbed Ellie’s bag off her shoulder.  

When we got back to Rhode Island, where we were living at the time, we were asking,  “Why did it happen to us?”  That man wanted to shoot me, but he didn’t.  We felt we had an angel on our shoulders, And decided it was time to find a church.  We went to St. Matthias and met Father Morgan and it was so close to the Roman Catholic Church, I felt very comfortable with it.   Ellie and I became part of that church family for about six years, and enjoyed doing things for the Church. 

Then we decided to move back to New Hampshire.  We searched about 20 towns and ended up in Hillsborough, of all places.  Then, it was time to search for a church.  Hillsborough didn’t have an Episcopal church, so we tried a couple of Episcopal churches in nearby towns, but they didn’t feel right for us. Then we heard about Weare.  Ellie’s brother had helped move the old church from East Weare to Weare Center years ago, and bragged about that, so we had that connection.  A couple of days later Father John was sitting in our living room, explaining things to us about Holy Cross.   I enjoy Father John and his sermons very much.

I feel apart of our new church building because I worked on it  … painted the posts, and am proud that I was asked to help build the Altar and built the kneeler in front of the icon.  I feel good about mowing and raking the lawn because it’s for the church. 

We have some great people here… talented people here.  In Rhode Island, I was the only one that would read the lessons and here there are a dozen and more people who read – not that I want to read, you all do fine.   I’ve met some wonderful friends – John Heckman, Don and his wife, Marge, and all of you are great friends.   I’ve seen kids grow up … mothers brought them in cradles and now they are practically grown up … I think Laura Arvin was one of the mothers.

I’m proud to be a part of Holy Cross

Pentecost 23 November 8, 2009

               Sermon by the Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Bishop of Connecticut (Retired)

                           It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,

                                 eating the bread of anxious toil;

                                for he gives sleep to his beloved. – Psalm 127:2

 I was not here on Sunday two weeks ago – not playing hooky; we were at the Deering Community Church where I preached. And so I missed hearing Kathleen Kenyon’s ministry minute. Thanks to the Holy Cross website, I have been able to read it. And I have been praying with it ever since. Kathleen talked about the fact that Holy Cross had become a place of balance in her life. In her words:

“I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely one night and found it had wings and moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time soaring.” She ended, “Holy Cross and the people I’ve met here at this parish have helped me rediscover those wings.”

That is a very striking image she used – the very center of her being has wings, wings which respond to the slightest movement of air. It is also a very biblical image, one especially found in the Book of Psalms. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 23 November 8, 2009’

Ministry Minute: Tammi Compagna

Tammi is a sixth grader at Weare Middle School.

Tammi is a sixth grader at Weare Middle School.

Hello! When I got asked to do a ministry minute I was really nervous. Then I really thought about it and thought to myself, it’s church, nothing to be afraid of. Church is an extremely big part of my life. Every Saturday night I know I have church to look forward to in the morning. I would have to say my favorite part of church is the Atrium [our children’s formation program, a Montessori-based approach]. The first time I went to church I remember Atrium was downstairs. I was so scared when my mom left me and my younger brother Garrick down there. After a while I grew more comfortable. Then we moved upstairs and I was in the Level I a little bit longer.

When I moved up to Level II Atrium I was with my older brother Ryan, but Garrick was still in Level I. That’s when I met Anne [her catechist or teacher]. She was so nice and still is. That’s also when I learned what an acolyte is. I was jealous of Ryan and couldn’t wait to become one. When I went through the training, I was surprised Ryan didn’t get confused, because I was. Then I finally got it. I will never forget how nervous I was the first time I was an acolyte. I also really enjoy doing the collection. Although it may get very confusing, it’s fun to walk around carrying the basket.

What definitely makes our church unique is that we have breakfast. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to socialize and have fun. I love that here people know my name and I know everyone else’s name. At my old church people didn’t really know anyone so they just kept to themselves. But overall, church is one of my favorite places to be.