Advent Spiritual Direction Retreat

This Advent, come learn how Spiritual Direction can heighten your expectation and readiness for God’s coming. Let by Wendy Dixon at CTR on Saturday, December 10th from 9am til 12:15pm. “As Anglicans, we believe that God speaks to each of us because the Spirit is still alive and interacts with us – Yes, through the Word; Yes, in worship and in the sacred – but also personally as well… In Spiritual Direction, which is not counseling and not teaching, the spiritual director (someone who is trained) helps us find God’s voice in our own life and to find the path of His working. In sharing your story, in sharing where God seems to be in that story, the spiritual director helps you see where the common threads of God’s work might be, and helps you be open to that thread and respond.” (Fr. Tim Clayton) “We define Christian Spiritual Direction, then, as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” (Barry and Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction, p. 8)...

Grant them Rest

by Fr Brian Barry On Sunday, November 6, we will observe the double celebration of All Saints and All Souls.  In doing so, we are really looking at two sides of the same coin. All Saints is a triumphant celebration of the Communion of Saints.  We remember those who have “finished the race” and now rest with Christ in triumphant peace.   We will celebrate Holy Baptism, welcoming new people into the fellowship of the Church.  This will be one of our festival days, and we will join together for one united service at 10:00AM. In the evening, at 5:00PM, we come together again to celebrate the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, often referred to as “All Souls.”  This is a Requiem Eucharist, with the major service music sung by our choir.  The term “requiem” comes from the Latin introductory prayer in this service, “dona eis requiem,” which translates “grant them rest.”  It is a solemn service in which we recognize the continuing reality of death and commend all the faithful departed into the grace and mercy of God. It is curious for many of us to offer a service on behalf of those who have died.  What are we suggesting?  That we are somehow uncertain of the eternal destiny of our faithful loved ones who have died?  No.  As I see it, we are affirming four main things.  First, we are affirming that the love that binds all Christians together in one communion is stronger than death, so we continue to have a true, living relationship with those who have departed, which we express in our continued affection...

Following up on the Becoming Whole Conference

The Becoming Whole Conference, was a great experience for our community and many visitors too.  To continue exploring some of the areas highlighted, you may find these resources helpful.  The Isaiah 40 team, who led the conference, has shared a booklist with us, printed below.  Check for some of these titles in the Russo Memorial Library located in the Parish Hall. Healing prayer is another rich resource at CTR, available both during and after the service. Healing Prayer During Communion, individual and confidential prayer for personal concerns is offered by trained prayer ministers in the newly opened prayer room at the back of the Church Sanctuary. Longer appointments are available after the service, in the baptistery off the front lobby; another team, including a priest or deacon, will be in the prayer room off the front lobby. “Books We Have Enjoyed” –  Isaiah 40 Team  Healing and Wholeness: Dan Allender – The Wounded Heart, Bold Love (with Tremper Longman) Signa Bodishbaugh – The Journey to Wholeness in Christ Henry Cloud and John Townsend – Boundaries (Both), Changes that Heal (Cloud), How People Grow (Both), Necessary Endings (Cloud), Safe People (Both) Frank Lake – Clinical Theology  Minrith, Meier, Hemfelt, Sneed and Hawkins – Love Hunger  Gerald May – Addiction and Grace  Leanne Payne – The Healing Presence, Restoring the Christian Soul, The Broken Image, Listening Prayer    Fiction:  Richard Adams – Watership Down G.K. Chesterton – The Man Who Was Thursday Elizabeth Goudge –  The Scent of Water,  The Dean’s Watch  C.S. Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia, Till We Have Faces, The Great Divorce, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous...

Sacred and Common Space

Written by Fr Scott Donis Christ the Redeemer is filled with spaces that are both sacred and common. The sanctuary and the baptistery are two areas where the two come into beautiful contact with each other; places where we worship our Lord and receive his presence and blessings in our life. Access to the altar area is limited because this is a sacred space, a place that communicates the awe, reverence, and majesty of the God we worship. This is not a place to hang out and relax, but a place of teaching, healing, and mercy; a place where heaven and earth connect. In order for teaching, healing, and mercy to take place we need a place to prepare for that to happen. That place is the sacristy. The sacristy is a small room located behind the altar. Here we store all the linens, vestments, and sacred vessels that contribute to our distinctly Anglican style of worship. Entering into the room you are greeted with several large closets, dozens of drawers and cabinets, a table, and two sinks (one is very special).  In our closets we hang the robes, vestments, and linens that are used throughout the church year. We are currently in “ordinary time” (a season in which there are no major feast days) which means green vestments for the celebrant, deacon, and sub-deacon. Soon we will move into Advent and will change over to purple. We use colors to designate the types of services we are celebrating: white is for feast days and special celebrations;  purple is for penitential seasons where we focus on preparing ourselves for...

Listen, Love, Pray

Written by Fran Craig As you leave the 11:00 a.m. Sunday service, you may have noticed people in the Baptistery or the Prayer Room off the front lobby talking or praying quietly and wondered what that is all about.  Here at Christ the Redeemer we have some ministries that are easily seen and others that are more quiet, more in the background, but all are important to the life and health of the church.  The Healing Prayer Ministry is one of the more quiet ministries. As the Apostle James wrote (James 5:16),  “…pray for one another that you may be healed.”  If a church is to be healthy, it must work intentionally to bring not only spiritual health to its members, but also physical, mental, and relational health, just as Jesus did and as he commanded his followers to do. The Healing Prayer Ministry’s motto is “Listen, Love, and Pray,” so while we listen to your story we are also listening for the Holy Spirit’s direction on how to pray specifically for the needs you present to God through us.  And all the while, we try to communicate God’s love and care for your concerns.  It is he who heals; we are merely channels for his healing love to reach your need. God has accomplished amazing things in the few years that CtR has been in existence: healing of severe emotional trauma, relief of pain, assurance of God’s undying love, easing of anxiety, and many other healings.  Some answers to prayer have come immediately, some over time, some are in progress, and some are still pending. Just as people came to...