Christ Church Plays a Vital Role in our Lives
By Brad Christmas
I began attending Christ Church Parish Kensington in 2004 with my wife, Tara Flynn and our children: Charlie and Ellie. Later that year, our daughter Cora was born. Through all of these years, the church and community have played an important and vital role in all of our lives.
The education programs at the Christ Church have provide a loving and accepting environment for our children through every part of their childhood. In what seems like a blink of the eye, we have transitioned from the Nursery to Children’s Chapel to Youth Ministry. In fact, this past summer, Charlie and Ellie were part of the mission trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Not long after the mission trip, Cora and Ellie helped Ann with Vacation Bible School as junior counselors.
In addition to the joys and challenges of being a father and husband, the past thirteen years have brought many challenges in the workplace. The liturgy and sermons at Christ Church have provide me comfort and guidance through many difficult times where the right and moral course of action is not always clear and rarely easy.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Christ Church, our Rectors, the staff and the entire community have been true partners to Tara and me in our quest to raise three amazing children. They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and I can say with certainty that Christ Church is an amazing, vibrant and joyful village. I pray that everyone will join me in supporting this year’s Stewardship Campaign and submit pledges by November 6th.
Christ Church is Our Home
By Mariana Nork Kympton
Christ Church Parish Kensington has been like a second home for Howard and me. When we moved to the neighborhood in 2001, we started “church shopping” to find a house of worship. After attending a service at CCPK and meeting so many warm, wonderful people, we realized we’d found our spiritual home.
It’s truly been a journey for us. We have been particularly proud of the wonderful community efforts that CCPK partakes in, and over the years have prepared and served food at Bethesda Cares, loaded sacks of potatoes into trucks, bought food items to feed families for Thanksgiving, lent hands for Rebuilding Together, and more. Christ Church is an extraordinary member of the community, but Christ Church is also its own community of giving, camaraderie, and many blessings. I’m also so proud that Howard is part of the wonderful choir, contributing to the beautiful music ministry.
Our journey has been rocky at times– during the period of transition a few years ago our worship was distracted, and we considered alternative places of worship. But with the spiritual guidance of fellow parishioners, and then the arrival of our extraordinary Rector and the many blessings she has brought to Christ Church, we found our way back. We have never felt stronger about Christ Church as our spiritual home and our community, and now our journey is more powerful than ever.
Howard and I are proud to give generously to this year’s stewardship campaign, and urge all parishioners to join us in providing financial support for our shared spiritual home.
Every Sunday Is Always Something to Look Forward to.
By Ellie Flynn
This past year at Christ Church, I’ve participated more in the youth group, and it has been a really rewarding experience.
Every Sunday after church was always something to look forward to because of the funny, enlightening discussions we’d have and the deeper understanding of the Bible we’d have afterwards [plus the food was always good].
One of my favorite things that I did this year was the 30 hour famine, an event in which the youth fasted for 30 hours in order to better understand and raise awareness for global poverty and hunger. We also held a silent auction during the famine which thanks to the incredible generosity of the parish, was a great success. I learned so much in such a short amount of time, and I had fun as well. I don’t remember a whole lot of details from those 30 hours, because it turns out that lack of food can impact concentration, so I was mostly delirious for the last 6 hours or so. However I do remember how good it felt to give back to the community and put a smile on people’s faces when we went on Grate Patrol, out in D.C. handing out breakfast and coffee to the homeless people we saw on the street. It’s a rough world out there, and it often feels like you’re too small to make any sort of change, but if you make just one person’s life better, I’ve learned that makes all the difference. So go forth and try to make that difference in the world, because the worst crime is not taking action at all.
Thank you for all of your support and love for the youth of the parish. We appreciate it, a lot. I look forward to another great year at Christ Church and all the positivity we can bring into the world.
Why I Give to Christ Church.
by Deb Bartlett
I’ve been an active member of Christ Church Kensington Parish since 1993. I originally came for two main reasons: good preaching and a good choir/music program. Even though I was raised reformed Presbyterian in conservative Lancaster, PA, Christ Church instantly felt like a church home to me.
Although we went through a tough interim period during our search for Father Hague’s successor, I somehow couldn’t quite leave my church home despite serious frustrations. I’m glad we’ve been blessed with outstanding leadership in both Emily and Teddy, who bring great energy, vision, enthusiasm and service to our church family and mission.
Worship on Sundays is super important to me – it’s why I sing in the choir, and even why I play guitar for the 5:00 service on a regular basis. I’ve sung in choirs since I was 12. The primary reason for a choir and other music is to support worship – to reach people on another level. Over the years, the music ministry has always been a place where I could contribute time, talent and even money when it has been needed. I believe God speaks to a lot of people through the power and beauty of music. I’m delighted to contribute as able to this ministry on multiple levels.
Now that our church leadership has solidified, it’s time to back my renewed commitment with action. The operations of a church such as ours, with all types of programs supporting the needs of this parish, need the certainty of pledges and commitments of its members for thoughtful annual planning. I’ll be increasing my pledge again this year to support one of the pillars of support in my own life. I hope you’ll join me.
A Church Home for Keeps
By Sue Mitchell
It was Christmas Eve of 1989 that I worshiped at Christ Church and knew I had finally found a church home for keeps and never looked back. A previous experience at CCPK was less than successful and led to several years of spiritual wandering and church shopping. I soon joined the Altar Guild and found it the ministry that I loved. I try to keep as my goal in all areas of life including church, personal relationships, social groups, etc. the giving of Time, Talent and Treasure, not always successfully. It was readily apparent that the more I gave the more I received. Many times the giving of treasure was a stretch but somehow it worked. Worship on Sunday gave me the stepping stone for the work week ahead.
Over the years I have faced many major health issues and every time parishioners would come forward with meals, especially homemade soup, visits, transportation and prayer. I know many parishioners who have also received this outpouring of love. I will always be grateful for the friends I have made here.
Continuing the giving of treasure, I have made arrangements, through my will, for legacy giving and that is a source of comfort. Please join me as I make a pledge for the coming year. Paying for utility bills is not exciting but is part of what keeps Christ Church going.
The Presence of a Vital Parish will Change Our Community
By David & Virginia Blackman
“The church is always one generation away from extinction.” While others may surely have said this, we hear it most often from Virginia’s father. We have come to appreciate the wisdom in this phrase, and are committed that the next generation won’t be the last. When we consider how vital to our own and to our children’s’ spiritual development participating in the worship and ministries of CCPK is, our choice to tithe to CCPK stopped being a choice, and instead became an imperative.
Globally, the Christian church seems enormous, powerful, and strong – even if very different from what it was even fifty years ago. Yet in our lives, it has rarely been the global church that has impacted us. Instead, it was in our local congregations that we were taught the faith, supported through childhood and adolescence, encouraged and challenged through confirmation, and given opportunities for leadership.
Now that we have children of our own, we realize more acutely what a blessing the local parish is in our lives. While we appreciate the worship and devotional resources of the larger church, it is the living ministry of weekly worship in which we take part that continues to form us as a family and as individuals. The presence – or absence – of a vital parish here in Kensington might not change the course of the world, but it will certainly change our community and our lives!
It is a big, wonderful, hurting world, one that needs all of our gifts. Given the seemingly limitless places that need our stewardship, it can be easy to overlook CCPK, or to see it as just another component of an overall giving plan. Consider, however, how a gift of $5,000 given to a national or multi-national organization scarcely registers in their bottom line. That same $5,000 gift could make a significant and measurable impact at CCPK.
We hope you will join us to ensure through financial giving that CCPK will be a strong voice to nourish, equip, and strengthen our faith to further serve God in the world.
With Your Help, Christ Church can Grow Even More
By Aidan Kilpatrick
I was never involved in the church until I hit sixth or seventh grade, around the time when Dylan Thayer, our new youth minister at the time, joined. He turned our youth program from one of simple Bible Studies and no real activities or outside plans, to one of serving, laser tag, and mission trips. I had experienced a religious awakening of sorts. Christ Church has done so much for me these past few years, and I could not have been happier with the result. I have made numerous new friends and have had so many great opportunities – from feeding the homeless in DC, to serving Native Americans in South Dakota. I have even gotten confirmed into the church. This is not meant to be a promise to you that you will find Jesus, rather, it is a promise that you will find spiritual growth with the help of Christ Church and its wonderful people. It is not always easy to commit yourself, however, when you truly do, it is always worth it. Thank you for all your past, present, and future support. This is a truly loving community, and with your help, it can grow even more.