Welcome to Christ Church
What’s Happening This Weekend
All are welcome to join Nic Losby’s family this Saturday, May 25th, as they celebrate Nic’s Boy Scout Rank advancement to Eagle Scout. The ceremony will be held in the Nave at 10 a.m.
Parish Office Hours: The office will be closed on Monday, May 27th, for the Memorial Day holiday and beginning on June 3rd the office will have new hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and the surrounding region have brought much devastation and need to the area. Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is on the ground helping in any way they can. Monetary relief for tornado devastation can be made to “Christ Church” with “ERD/tornadoes” in the memo line. Go to www.episcopalrelief.org and check the scrolling “News Update” line for the latest developments. You can also donate online at this site. Cheryl Valenta is your new ERD representative for Christ Church and will be looking into how we might help the region in other ways as long-term recovery unfolds. Thanks for your caring and concern as a Jubilee People.
Our Mission Statement at Christ Church
The Mission of Christ Episcopal Church is to experience and
share God’s love by welcoming, empowering and serving in Christ’s name.
Our Vision Statement
Seeking Christ in ourselves,
Serving others in Christ.
What's Happening Today?
For the month's layout, click on the Online Calendar tab to the left on this web page.
Is your committee meeting missing? Please phone the office! (363-2029)
Two weeks ago in this space, we announced the retirement of our long-time office manager, Linda Antisavage. We hope you’ll join us for a reception in Linda’s honor on Sunday, June 23 from 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. in the church parlor. Come thank Linda for her years of faithful service and dedication to our congregation.
This week we welcomed the new Christ Church office manager, Gina Taylor, to begin training during Linda’s last weeks with us. The passing of the baton has begun.
Gina comes to us with extensive office management experience, including work for FEMA as well as church work. Gina and her husband, Brian, are residents of Cedar Rapids, have four grown children, five grandchildren, and three dogs and two parrots. She is a member of Calvary Baptist Church and enjoys sewing in her free time.
If you’re in the church during the week, please stop by the office to introduce yourself to Gina. It will be helpful for her to match names and faces as she gets to know our church family.
Welcome aboard Gina! And thank you, Linda!
Bishop Scarfe’s - Pastoral Letter on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing
Dear Beloved in Christ,
Unlike most of you, I spent my early morning yesterday settled on my day off to watch the Boston Marathon from start to finish. We had a family friend participating, and hoped to catch a glimpse of her if the cameras spent any time on the majority behind the elite runners. Twelve hours later, as perhaps with many of you, I was in the same spot, this time stunned by a scene of horror and heroism. Gone were the images of the magnificent smooth finishes of the winning athletes, in their place were video loops of bomb blasts, human shock and sorrow, and the efforts of confused reporters seeking to update us with details, and heroic first responders and volunteers pushing aside debris to get to the injured. Our friend, we were glad to know, had returned to her hotel long before the blast. I could not help however but identify with the runners coming in amidst the chaos, who were more in my pace classification. I particularly wanted to know more of the older runner who was literally blown off his feet. He turned out to be a 78-year-old who had run 45 marathons and true to the spirit of marathoners, once on his feet again completed his 15 yards to the finish.
We offer our prayers for those who have died and their families, as well as for those still in serious conditions. There is also an added dimension for those of us “in the running community” as someone referred to us in an email last night, that the injuries affected the lower limbs and required in some cases amputation. It is also a time for prayers to be offered for those rapidly and deep into the investigation and counter terrorism follow up. These are men and women who not only seek to chase evil down, but confront it in its incarnate form and showing their own courage in doing so for our future sake. We pray too for the perpetrator(s).
But where do we turn for spiritual resources to do this at such a time? It has to be in the recognition that God in revealing God’s self in the suffering servant is always in the midst of such events reconciling the world to God’s self. God offers us to go more deeply in our own reflections and inner response. God also invites us never to lose hope even as disasters seem to pile up upon one another. Our vision has to be that expressed in our common prayer for the human family:
“O God you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son; Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infects our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
In the prayer for cities, we read “Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice and oppression; that peace may prevail with righteousness and justice with order, and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity.”
Today may we offer this for Boston and for every city; we pray for the ministry of compassion and reconciliation which the Churches there are seeking to offer; and we pray for the sustaining strength of the Spirit to let nothing separate us from the love of God, nor diminish the hope of the eternal promise.
Finally we pray with our Presiding Bishop: “Gracious God, you walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We pray that the suffering and terrorized be surrounded by the incarnate presence of the crucified and risen one. May every human being be reminded of the precious gift of life you entered to share with us. May our hearts be pierced with compassion for those who suffer, and for those who have inflicted this violence, for your love is the only healing balm we know. May the dead be received into your enfolding arms, and may your friends show the grieving they are not alone as they walk this vale of tears. All this we pray in the name of the one who walked the road to Calvary.”
Bishop of Iowa
TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT TRAGEDY
It is important to talk with our children about tragic events, but sometimes it is difficult to know what to say. Following are some guidelines about talking with children.
First and foremost, children need to be reassured that they are safe. They often experience anxiety, fear and a personal sense of risk. Limit television viewing for younger children, especially those of preschool age. It is very difficult for young children to process images and messages in news reports. Let children know that tragic events are not our everyday experience and that the adults who love them will always try to take care of them. (ie – “I know you are scared. I am too. It’s a scary thing that happened, but I love you and I will always do my very best to make sure that you are safe.”)
Just like adults, children can have varied reactions to what they hear. They may ask lots of questions, cling to parents or exhibit other behavior of younger children, have stomachaches or headaches, or may have difficulty sleeping or have nightmares. Older children and adolescents may make inappropriate jokes or glib comments and may direct their anger and frustration at other seemingly unconnected situations. All of these are various ways of dealing with tragedy. Expect and give permission for a wide range of reactions. It is important to validate your child’s feelings and not try to explain why they should feel another way. Many children will need more physical affection and one-on-one time with parents.
The best plan is to discuss things honestly, but without a lot of graphic detail. Be gently concrete and truthful when answering questions. Be careful of using euphemisms for death such as the people “passed” or “went to sleep” or “went away”. These can send scary messages to younger children who wonder if they might go to sleep and not wake up or if their parents will go away forever.
Be aware of where your child is developmentally. Preschool children may see death as reversible, temporary or impersonal. Children between ages 5-9 are beginning to realize that death is permanent but may still think they could escape through their own ingenuity or efforts. From age 9 or 10 through adolescence, children begin comprehending fully that death is irreversible, that all living things die, and that they too will die someday.
Reinforce your family’s values. This is a good time to talk about what your family believes about the sanctity of life and helping others. Reiterate your position as a person of faith and don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know why this happened” or “I just don’t know
how to answer that.” Also be aware some religious explanations that comfort adults may
unsettle a child. For example, “It is God’s will” or “Those people are with God now” could be frightening rather than reassuring to the young child who may worry that God might decide to come get them. Assure them God loves us all and is present with all of us as we struggle to understand.
If they don’t want to talk, give them other options. If your child doesn’t want to talk much about the incidents and you suspect they may be worrying about things they can’t articulate, you may want to ask them to draw pictures or talk about what feelings they think other people might be having. This gives the child an opportunity to gain some distance from what they themselves are feeling. Also, if your child doesn’t want to talk about the events at all, they may not need to talk and you might just take a walk with them or read them a book or give them a hug to let them know you care.
Remind children of safety procedures. Talk about measures that are already in place, such as police, fireman, policies at school for dealing with danger, etc. Talk with them about safety plans that might make them feel more comfortable. Keep talking with them even after the media coverage subsides.
Keep your schedule normal. In as much as it is possible, try to continue with family routines such as dinnertime or bedtime rituals. Children (and adults) can often find some comfort by connecting with some sense of normalcy, even in the midst of chaos.
Find a way to participate in rebuilding or reconciliation. Times of tragedy bring out both the worst and the best in people. Help your children by making a conscious choice to take part in caring for others and helping where you can. Have a family bake sale or yard sale and contribute all money to an agency that is trying to help. Help your children write letters to other children who were affected. Donate clothes, toys, food, etc. to rebuilding efforts. Doing something concrete helps us feel like we are part of the solution and it a definitive statement of hope and rebirth. When we respond to tragedy, our feelings may be intense and varied. Give your children and yourself some time to adjust. There are no magic words, no “right answer” – just be with your children and talk with them. Remember that there are people available to help you – your school counselors, as well as community agencies and professional counselors who are specially trained to deal with situations like this; and there are many priests, ministers and lay people who can be of tremendous help and comfort in a time of tragedy.
• Consider spending some family time praying for the people who have lost their homes, who have been hurt or have died. Talk to God about not understanding why this happened. Pray for all the leaders as they work to stop the damage and rebuild. Pray for the policemen & firemen, doctors & nurses and all who are trying to help others.
• Read prayers together from the Book of Common Prayer or other books (One suggestion is to look through the services for burial, pages 462-507, or read collects such as For Doctors and Nurses, p. 460 or the Prayer attributed to St. Francis on p.
833 or the Prayer for the Human Family on p. 815.)
• Read scripture together (Especially appropriate are Psalm 23, Romans 8:34-35, 37-
39, Psalm 121, Revelation 21:2-7)
• Don’t hesitate to contact members of the clergy or educational staff at your church if you want further suggestions or just want to talk.