Family Promise at CTR

By Kathy Bourgault Family Promise North Shore Boston is a nonprofit interfaith hospitality network that provides temporary shelter, meals, hospitality, and case management for families experiencing homelessness on the North Shore of Massachusetts. As one of many Host Congregations, CTR provides a place of shelter for several families in our parish hall, for one week, every three months. Our next host week is 4/30 – 5/ 7. I first became interested in Family Promise in September of 2013, after Fr. Malcom gave a powerful sermon and im- passioned plea to “help the homeless for two hours four times a year” at Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church. Little did I know the deep passion God would develop in me for this program, eventually leading to my becoming a Co-Coordinator of Family Promise at CTR.  After hearing Fr. Malcolm’s sermon, I began researching more about Family Promise on their website, familypromisensb.org and was most impressed by: -How long the program had been running (29 years now). -The number of states in which Family Promise is located (41 and counting). -The way the program is run: Strict guidelines and involvement from the families. Volunteer support given to the families through mentoring programs for current and “graduated” families enabling steady progress. The success rate of families nding jobs and obtaining housing. -The way “graduated” families give back to the program after they leave. Once I started working with Fr. Malcolm, Ann Droppers (Co-Coordinator at CTR), the Family Promise North Shore Boston sta /volunteers, and guests, I was inspired by their stories, passion, and gratitude. The testimonies of those who have been helped by...

Thank You! Syria Collection Drive Update

Thanks to all who participated in the collection for Syrian Refugees. Due to your generosity we were able to fill a Honda Civic van (seats down) three times and Tori Thornburg’s Toyota Corolla twice. The items will be transferred to the Nu-Day Syria warehouse in Windham NH the end of April/beginning of May. If you forgot to donate, did not know about the drive and would like to donate items, or would like to help transport the items to NH, please contact Kathy Bourgault 978-210-6166 or kathybourgault49@gmail.com.       When you have distributed all that was stored, say to the Lord your God, “Nothing is left of the holy offering stored in my house. I distributed it to the . . . foreigners, orphans, and widows as you commanded me. I disobeyed none of Your Commands, and I didn’t forget to do what You commanded.” (Deuteronomy 26:13 GW)  ...

Celebrating Holy Week as Families

By Fr. Brian Barry   When I think back to childhood, the first things to come to mind are not individual experiences, but those repeated annually— Christmas, Easter, our congregation’s annual Missionary Conference, and our annual vacation to Canada. They became, like old friends, anticipated, savored, and remembered fondly. Holy Week is one of those experiences.  We go through the same actions every year, but they are always fresh, touching us in new ways. Like a corkscrew, it goes around and around, but deeper every turn. I want my children to know this richness, too.  Sometimes that leaves me feeling pressured—we’d better make this good. Sometimes it calms my anxieties—they have a lifetime to savor this. So what are those simple things that the Church has done, year by year, that we could do with our children? Daily Worship– Usually we gather weekly; in Holy Week we gather daily.  By the time we leave CTR on Sunday, it feels like the end of summer camp—we’ve just had an experience together and it is hard to return to life as usual.  But this nightly routine can be physically tough on children.  It’s one reason why we’ve developed Children’s Triduum Services at 4:00PM on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.  In these services, we repeat the same actions that occur in the evening services—washing feet, commemorating Christ’s institution of the Eucharist, reading the Passion Gospel together, gathering around the cross for adoration and intercession, lighting the Easter fire.  But they are designed to be approachable for children—focused on the essential elements and shorter— under an hour. Scripture Reading– Whether you have a practice...

Blur the Line

You have “vertical” and “horizontal” relationships. It’s a popular metaphor in talks of spirituality. Your “vertical” relationship is you-and-God. Your “horizontal” relationships are with you-and-others. It’s a helpful conceptual tool, especially for self-examination. Who hasn’t heard of the church leader who serves to the detriment of his/her spiritual life? (Too much horizontal, not enough vertical.) And we’ve all heard the old adage, “They’re so heavenly-minded they’re no earthly good.” (Too much vertical, not enough horizontal.) But then we read Jesus’s famous line… And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’ (Matt 25:40). When we read that, the line between “vertical” and “horizontal” starts to blur… Jesus teaches us that our service to one another is service to God. That’s why we’re excited about Christ the Redeemer’s Meal Delivery Ministry. If you haven’t had a baby or a surgery recently, you probably haven’t heard much about the community-based, laity-driven hospitality ministry of meals to those in our community who are in need of care. Here’s how it works: Step 1: Someone tells the Team about a need. (We have a page on the website! OR you can email us at mealdelivery@ctr-anglican.org! OR you can tell the staff.) Step 2: The Team organizes a Meal Calendar in conversation with the recipient-in-need. These Meal Calendars are then shared in various Facebook groups. Step 3: People “volunteer” on the Calendar to deliver home-cooked meals. The community sees the need, organizes the care, and serves God well. But we’re not greedy. 🙂 We’d love to offer you the opportunity to be the Church, to “blur the line!” Some people...