For the Christ Church Ministry Guide in printable form, click here.
Christ Church Ministry Guide
- The Clergy
- Parish Administrator
- Diocesan Affairs and Programs
- Budget and Finance
- Christian Education
- Programs for Adult Spiritual Formation
- Pastoral Care and Wellness
- Parish Life
- Planned Giving
- Worship and Music
The Rev. Emily Guthrie, Rector (Email: Emily@ccpk.org)
The “rector” is the priest in charge of a particular congregation. She is the spiritual leader of the congregation. She has primary responsibility for worship, staff, teaching, pastoral care and cultivating mutual ministry with the leaders in the congregation. She would welcome the opportunity to meet with you individually. Contact her to schedule a time: email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the Rector’s sabbath day is Monday. If you have an urgent pastoral concern, please call the church and choose pastoral emergency, and you will be connected with her cell phone.
Kurt Ellison, Parish Administrator (Email: email@example.com)
The Parish Administrator manages the day-to-day operations of the parish and handles a wide range of parish matters, including: stewardship, finance, communications, property management and much more! Kurt works closely with the rector, wardens, and vestry to accomplish many of the parish’s goals. Anyone who has a few spare hours to volunteer at the church is most welcome! Opportunities exist for those who can commit to a regular schedule, as well as those who can pitch in when we have special projects. Training is offered whenever necessary.
The business affairs of Christ Church Parish, Kensington, are administered by the Vestry. The Rector chairs the Vestry. Membership consists of the Rector and 12 persons elected for 3 year terms at the Annual Meeting in accordance with the Bylaws. The Vestry has responsibility for representing the views and best interests of the Parish membership. Annually, Vestry members elect a Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary and Treasurer. Other Vestry members serve as the lay leadership and chairs of the 10 ministries described in this Guide. The Vestry meets monthly.
Diocesan Affairs and Programs
Diocesan delegates elected by the parish to represent Christ Church at the yearly diocesan convention led by the Bishop of Washington and held the last weekend in January. The number of delegates varies, two or more depending on the number of parishioners. These delegates also represent Christ Church at the Central Montgomery County Regional meetings of the Diocese of Washington. Central Montgomery County is one of the geographical regions of the diocese.
For more about the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, visit the Diocese Web Site, www.edow.org.
Budget and Finance Committee
Vestry Contact: Cynthia Mitchell (email)
The Budget and Finance (B&F) Committee is an advisory committee providing financial expertise to the Vestry. The committee consists of the vestry contact, the administrator, the Treasurer, and several parishioners with financial expertise. It meets monthly, typically during the week prior to a vestry meeting. The Treasurer and Vestry Chair are asked to prepare a draft of the annual budget, with significant input from the Rector and parish staff as well as the various ministry leaders. This budget is reviewed by the B&F Committee and presented to the Vestry for consideration. The Treasurer reports monthly to the Vestry on the status of Christ Church’s finances. The Treasurer and Vestry Chair are available to assist the various church committees and ministries in the preparation and management of their separate ministry budgets. The B&F Committee researches financial issues as requested by the Vestry and makes recommendations to the Treasurer for the investment of church funds. The Treasurer and Vestry Chair work with the Parish Administrator in overseeing the accounting functions in the church, seeking advice from the B&F Committee.
Christian Education Ministry
Ministries for Children’s Christian Formation
Children’s Chapel is an opportunity for younger children to engage with worship in an environment that allows them the room to explore and ask questions. We begin with a Gathering Activity which ties in with Sunday’s Scripture lesson. Then, we move to the Children’s Chapel area in the undercroft for a service especially geared for children. The form of the liturgy that we use is the same form as used upstairs except that we sing songs more suitable for children and have a special children’s homily that allows them to actively engage with the story. At the offertory, the children then return upstairs and participate in the offertory procession to bring the elements forward to the altar-table. They can then return to sit with their families for communion.
Sunday School classes take place immediately following Sunday’s 10:00 am Holy Eucharist, from 11:15 am to 12:00 pm. Children process out of the service with Miss Ann, following an acolyte carrying a cross as the final hymn begins. Parents are welcome to join in! A light snack of Goldfish crackers and water is served at the start of class as children enjoy this important social time. Parents meet children in their classrooms promptly at 12:00 pm.
Godly Play for Pre-K through 1st-Graders, Lower level, Education Wing
Our Godly Play classroom provides a Montessori-inspired environment where children in Pre-K through First Grade work with adult storytellers to experience a story based on sacred Bible story, a parable, sacrament or liturgical action. Developed by Rev. Jerome W. Berryman, an Episcopal priest and renowned religious educator, Godly Play storytellers invite the children to wonder about the day’s lesson and then offer a creative response activity through art, crafts, dress-up play, and work with the story materials. About once a month, children have a work session—a chance to choose a favorite art activity or to revisit the story materials.
Living the Good News for 1st, 2nd, 3rd Graders, Lower level, Education Wing
Children in First Grade who are developmentally ready join Second and Third Graders in our Primary “Good News” Class. Storyteller teachers share Sunday’s Gospel story with children through this lectionary-based curriculum. Varied age-appropriate activities offer ways for the children to learn the story for retelling and to explore together the Good News message. Our primary goal is to encourage one another, to learn the Gospel stories, and to share how we can follow Jesus in our own lives—at home, at school on the playing field, in all of our activities. By following the Lectionary, this curriculum provides families with the opportunity to continue the conversation about Sunday’s Good News throughout the week. Enrichment lessons will present important lessons in faith—prayer, Holy Baptism, Holy Eucharist, the church year, feasts, and service.
Living the Good News for 4th/5th Graders, Upper level, Education Wing
Children in Fourth and Fifth Grades form our Intermediate “Good News” Class. Teachers guide these older students in locating and reading Sunday’s Gospel in this lectionary-based curriculum. Through questions and varied approaches that support different learning styles, teachers engage the students in reflecting on the Gospel message and its meaning for us in our daily lives—encouraging children to continue the conversation at home. Enrichment lessons in faith, will present the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that strengthen each one of us to act on the Gospel message and to follow Jesus. Information and training to serve as an acolyte as well as opportunities for community service will be offered. In addition to fostering a love for sacred scripture, teachers guide students towards acting on the Good News message to help others as member of our caring Christian community.
Preparation for Baptism
If you are interested in baptism for your child or yourself, please contact the Rector. For children under the age of three, parents will meet with the Rector to discuss the sacrament of baptism. If your child is a bit older, they can join the conversation or meet with the Rector or our Children’s Minister separately.
A Note about Communion
All children are welcome to receive communion if the parent(s) believe their child will benefit from the experience of being included in the communion of the people. Often even small children intuitively understand the power of receiving the bread of heaven, even if they don’t understand intellectually. Honoring the fact that some parents want their children to receive instruction before they receive communion for the first time, the Rector and Children’s Minister offer instruction. Please contact the Rector to schedule a time – and know that all are invited to receive a blessing should you want your child to wait until he or she is a bit older.
Madison Chase, Youth Minister (email) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Youth Minister works with our middle school and high school youth.
See also our Youth Page.
Our Middle School youth in grades 6 through 8 participate in a dynamic curriculum called Re:Form. This curriculum uses short cartoon vignettes on DVD to capture the imaginations of middle schoolers. Topics range from who wrote the Bible, the identity of Christ and the religious faiths in the world. Activities and discussions follow the video presentation, providing the middle schoolers time to engage creatively with the material.
Our High School youth in grades 9 through 12 participate in a dynamic curriculum called “The power of youth”. The high schoolers will have the opportunity to engage in stimulating dialogue about how the Bible and contemporary events interrelate. High schoolers also can bring their own ideas to class to talk about how faith is relevant to their lives.
Programs for Adult Spiritual Formation
Contact: Lee Puricelli (email)
Do you yearn to go deeper spiritually? Do you struggle with fundamental questions about God and your faith? Do you wonder what God is calling you to do? If you answer yes to these questions, then you have much in common with the members of Christ Church. We are on a collective spiritual journey, trying to better understand our faith and how to apply it to our lives in this time and place.
At Christ Church we’re exploring ways to offer people a variety of formats to grow spiritually. Here are a few we currently offer, and stay tuned as new offerings emerge.
From September through May, we come together as a community for discussions on various topics that challenge us to grow as individuals and as a community. Often there will be a brief presentation from an outside speaker, a speaker from the congregation, or representatives from an organization engaged in ministry or work in the community.
The Forum takes place Sunday mornings after the 10:00 am service, typically 11:20 am. in the undercroft. The Committee draws on guest speakers as well as parishioner presentations to make the topics come alive and to stimulate exciting and informative inquiry and discussion. The Forum is held at the same time as the children and youth programs and actually lasts about 40 minutes so that parents can meet children at the end of their Sunday School class. Please contact Lee Puricelli (email) if you would like to get involved.
A lively Bible study is offered at 4:00 pm on Sundays. The group reads an entire book of the Bible, one chapter a week. Lee Puricelli facilitates the group discussions. You may find yourself wanting to come every week and enjoying reading the chapters in advance, but neither are necessary as drop-ins are welcome and we read aloud before we discuss. If you have any questions or would like to be put on the weekly e-mail reminder, please email the parish office or Lee Puricelli (email).
Adults and youth Inquirer’s Classes are led by clergy and are scheduled annually for those seeking confirmation in the Episcopal Church, reception into the Episcopal Church from another tradition, or the reaffirmation of baptismal vows. Inquirer’s class is also appropriate for anyone who wishes to learn more about Anglican traditions and our Judeo-Christian heritage.
Vestry Contact: Ken Amaditz (email)
This committee focuses on all aspects of both internal and external parish communications. In its internal communications work, the committee coordinates with the Rector and Parish Administrator, consulting on traditional, hard-copy parish publications, such as the Sunday Service bulletin and event handouts, as well as electronic communications, such as weekly email updates and social media. With respect to external communications, the committee oversees the parish equivalent of marketing and branding, from efforts to increase the church’s profile in the community, to signage, logos, and outward-looking publications.
Blending both internal and external communications, the committee also oversees and consults with the Christ Church website team. The Christ Church website is designed and maintained by a cooperative effort of parish members and the Parish Administrator. The website provides an overview of Christ Church and parish life, including up-to-date information on parish events and educational and worship opportunities, as well as links to other resources and information sites in the diocese and the community. The committee works with the Rector and website team to explore and implement upgrades to the website and to determine its style, content, and focus.
Pastoral Care and Wellness
Vestry Contact: Yvonne Bryan (email)
Pastoral Care at Christ Church Parish Kensington provides a ministry of hope and caring so that no member of our congregation feels alone. Working faithfully with our Rector, our covenant to the congregation is to:
- visit the ill at home or in the hospital,
- support members of the congregation through phone calls, cards for birthday anniversaries, illness, births, and deaths, lunch meetings, and other social engagements,
- support those going through a life crisis,
- maintain contact with those unable to attend church due to chronic illness or disability,
- support friends and family involved in care giving,
- comfort the bereaved.
Our Activities include the following:
(See also “Eucharistic Visitors” under Worship.)
The Prayer Tree provides immediate prayer support for parishioners who are undergoing traumatic events in their lives. While we offer Prayers for the People as a community during our services, sometimes people need prayers immediately. Prayer Tree does just that. The church office or individual prayer tree members generally provide the names of those in need of prayers. The idea is simple. A phone call or e-mail and a prayer – that’s all it takes.
Health & Wellness
The Pastoral Care & Wellness Team is considering reconstituting Health Ministry at Christ Church to create ways for volunteers in our parish to develop a vision for health and wellness within our parish community through, for example, education, wellness counseling, resource referral, support group development and home support/visitation. It is not necessary to have health care experience to volunteer for Health Ministry. In order to move forward with this ministry, we need volunteers willing to serve on a Health Committee to work with clergy and the vestry to establish parameters/goals for supporting the health of our parish community.
Memorial Service & Funeral Receptions
Forty years ago a group of Christ Church women came together to form the original Christ Church Helping Hands group to offer help to grieving parishioner families who had lost loved ones. The group organizes, at the family’s request, receptions to be held either in the family’s home or the church undercroft. The group coordinates and makes the food, such as tea sandwiches, cookies, and beverages and sets up the reception.
Parishioners who do not have transportation to church are encouraged to contact the rector. We are often able to arrange a ride to church with other parishioners.
Vestry Contact: Barbara Ferry (email)
Christ Church’s Outreach Ministry strives to be a faithful presence in the world. Empowered by the love of Jesus, we help others in our community and beyond through hands-on work and financial support. While we respond to diverse needs, Christ Church is particularly dedicated to improving children’s health, education and welfare. We serve without regard to race, national origin, religious belief, gender, age, ability, or sexual orientation.
Arcola Elementary School
Arcola Elementary School is a Title I public school in Silver Spring, Maryland. Arcola serves over 450 students, Head Start through Grade 5, approximately 75% of whom receive free and reduced priced meals. Christ Church contributes time, talent, and treasure to support these children and their families. Activities that Christ Church has initiated include donating food for Christmas baskets and/or helping to organize the baskets; filling Christmas stockings with goodies for a child; providing backpacks with school supplies at the beginning of the school year; donating gently used or new winter outerwear for the children; and organizing a Valentine’s Day party. We are also looking for volunteers interested in reading to children or volunteering in the classroom. The Montgomery County Board of Education recently honored Christ Church with its award for Distinguished Service to Public Education for our work last year at Arcola Elementary School.
In addition to the many cases of water, socks and toiletries that were donated to Bethesda Cares to share with their clients, the Bethesda Cares Sandwich Brigade continued to make sandwiches for the homeless the first and second Saturdays of each month.
For over 20 years, the children of our parish and their families have fed Agnes their pennies in hopes that the monies collected will buy a cow, a goat or even a basket of chicks for Heifer International whose goal is to help families achieve self-reliance by providing them the tools they need to sustain themselves. Agnes reminds us that we have the power to give a hungry family the training it takes to feed themselves and their children; to give a young girl a chance at an education; to empower a woman to have a voice in her community. To change the world, one family, one community, at a time. And it all starts with a gift — a cow, a goat, basket of chicks and so much more.
The last Saturday in April our parish volunteers to be part of the annual Rebuilding Together Montgomery County work day when multigenerational teams of volunteers will meet at the selected ‘project house’ for a day of down and dirty raking, digging, painting, scrubbing, etc. to fix up the home of someone in need. For the past two years, in partnership with other community resources, we worked on two different group homes for young adults.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Once a year, our parish’s Outreach effort focuses on supporting the Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), the worldwide relief agency of the Episcopal Church for its on-going work. We also regularly will respond to emergency needs in the aftermath of a natural disaster by soliciting contributions for ERD.
Parish Life Ministry
Vestry Contact: Jane Aylor (email)
The Parish Life Ministry energizes the social life of the parish and looks to opportunities to foster fellowship. This ministry sponsors all-parish events during the year such as the 12th Night party, the annual meeting luncheon and summer picnics. Parish Life also coordinates fellowship after the 10:00am service with coffee hours and popsicles on the lawn during the summer. Parish Life supports and/or organizes receptions celebrating holidays and events of the Christ Church community. The vestry liaison for Parish Life also serves as the vestry contact for Christ Church’s small groups.
There are various small groups at Christ Church – great way to get to know people and build relationships with others in the community, whether you’re new to Christ Church or have been here for years.
Women’s Fellowship Group
– meets periodically during the year. For information, please contact Aime Keith via email
– meets periodically during the year. For info, contact Bob Quinn via email
In your 20’s and 30’s? The Young Adult group meets monthly for dinner and conversation, generally on the second Sunday of the month. Children are welcome. Contact Katie Wallace via (email)
The Prime Timers
(for all ages, especially seniors) meet monthly (September to June) in the undercroft of the church on the first Thursday of the month from 11:30am – 1:30pm for social time, lunch and to enjoy a speaker from the Montgomery County Historical Society or the community. The cost of the lunch is usually $10. Topics range from the Civil War in Montgomery County to how to keep healthy while traveling!
The Membership Ministry
Welcome, Gathering three times a year, and a welcome liturgy during the services. We know it can be a difficult thing to become connected with a church, the Newcomer and Membership Team are here to assist.
Vestry Contact: Lance Kilpatrick (email)
The Membership Committee coordinates the Newcomers Parties held three times per year. The Membership Ministry meets and greets newcomers and visitors after the 10:00am service every week,
answer questions about the church, its programs and activities, and describe how newcomers can get involved. The Committee’s goals include finding new ways to identify and welcome visitors and newcomers to our parish, as well as assisting them in matching their interests with parish activities. We invite all to participate with us in our journey together as a community, and to share in the warm fellowship that characterizes the parish family of Christ Church. [By employing the ideal of an “Episcopal Welcome,” we hope to discover the interests and needs of newcomers as well as their gifts.]
Each of us is endowed with special gifts from the Holy Spirit; and as we use these gifts, God is working through us. Whether directly or through the example we offer as we live our everyday lives, our spiritual gifts are a means of helping the entire church. The Parish Volunteer Coordination program is dedicated to helping each parishioner find the way that they can enrich our parish life by contributing their gifts to one or more parish ministries listed in this Guide. We serve God by working in the trenches as well as being a member of the clergy or being an evangelist.
Planned Giving Ministry
Contact: Ted Seale (email)
Planned Giving and Endowment Committee
The Endowment Fund was established to assure that, in the future, Christ Church will have the financial security to continue to carry out its mission and will be equipped for its mission with “the best of our resources, not just what’s left over.” The Planned Giving and Endowment Committee oversees the management of the endowment fund of Christ Church and promotes giving to the Endowment Fund. The Planned Giving and Endowment Committee also sponsors outreach and educational efforts within the parish, with presentations to the Adult Forum, a Wills Awareness Workshop, and other events.
The Legacy Society honors and recognizes those who have arranged to make a planned gift to the endowment of Christ Church, through a provision in their wills or through other planned giving arrangements. By supporting the Endowment Fund, parishioners can care for our spiritual home for generations. Members of the Legacy Society are recognized publicly at the annual meeting. Further information about the Legacy Society and the Endowment Fund is available from the Rector or from the members of the Planned Giving and Endowment Committee.
Vestry Contact: Frank Shaw (email)
The Building Committee handles the maintenance of the church and rectory to include repairs and updating/upgrading of systems as well as being on-call to troubleshoot problems. The committee oversees sub-contract work and organizes parishioner volunteer efforts such as painting parties and Green Team Day. The committee welcomes all, particularly those with expertise related to building management.
The Grounds Committee is responsible for year-around maintenance of our beautiful site. Activities include planting, weeding, mulching, summer watering, fall leaf clean-up, and winter snow removal of sidewalks and entries. The committee also coordinates contracts for lawn mowing and parking lot snow removal. Each year the committee sponsors and provides plants and mulch for Green Team Day, held the first Saturday in May. The committee also supports Plant Out Day for the Sunday School, held the second Sunday (Mothers Day) in May.
Vestry Contact: Brad Christmas (email)
The Stewardship Committee guides the annual effort to solicit the time, talent and treasure of parishioners in the support of Christ Church. The annual stewardship campaign finances Christ Church’s operating budget. With a goal of 100% participation in annual giving by each parish family, the committee develops and implements a year round strategy of building parishioner awareness of and appreciation for how our resources are used. All parish programs are dependent on the success of fundraising efforts, so our committee fulfills an important ministry for Christ Church. Activities include coordination of mailings to parishioners, engaging speakers for Sunday services during stewardship drives, conducting activities to promote stewardship, and participation in follow-up calls to parishioners.
Worship and Music Ministry
Vestry Contact: Virginia Blackman (email)
The Altar Guild is responsible for preparing the church for all services. Four volunteer teams of four or more members work one Saturday each month maintaining the linens, silver and brass; changing the hymn boards and hangings; and preparing the altars. Team members reset the altars in between services on Sunday. Each member of the Christ Church Altar Guild is also a member of the Diocesan Altar Guild. Serving on the Altar Guild is a wonderful way to work behind the scenes while enjoying the fellowship of other parishioners.
Acolytes assist the clergy in conducting services of worship at Christ Church. Acolytes serve as crucifers, torch bearers, and holders of the Gospel Book during the reading. We welcome both youth and adults. Most acolytes are scheduled to serve at Sunday worship services once a month, although acolytes who are not scheduled are welcome to assist because there is always something to do. Serving as an acolyte gives you an opportunity to learn more about worship in the Episcopal Church and take an active role in the service.
The Flower Guild creates the beautiful floral displays that adorn the altars and other areas of the church. Flower arrangers meet in the Flower Room (next to the Sacristy on the Franklin Avenue side of the church) on Saturdays at 9:30 am to create the arrangements. Some guild members are trained in the art of flower arranging but many learn on the job. The Flower Guild also provides the special Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving decorations.
Through the ancient practice of laying on of hands, the Healing Minister places his or her hands on the shoulders or head of any person wishing to ask for Christ’s help specifically for the healing of their own mind, body and/or spirit or of a loved one’s. Healing Ministers receive training in how to be present to another in prayer and to let God’s gift of healing flow through them. The Healing Ministry is available at all Sunday services following Holy Eucharist at designated locations in the Sanctuary that are announced at each service.
Lectors assist the clergy by reading the lessons that precede the gospel and leading the prayers of the people. Adults and young people who read well are encouraged to join this ministry. It’s a great opportunity to participate in the service. The frequency of service varies.
Eucharistic Ministers (Chalicists) assist the clergy by administering the elements during the celebration of Holy Eucharist. A brief formal training is required, and chalicists are licensed by the bishop on the recommendation of the Rector. At Christ Church, chalicists serve approximately once every six weeks. If you are interested in either of these ministries, ask one of the vergers for more information.
This program allows designated members of the congregation to deliver consecrated Eucharist to parishioners who are unable to attend our church services. Each week, kits containing the Eucharist elements are blessed at the altar and given to pairs of parishioners at the conclusion of the Holy Eucharist portion of Sunday services. The team then takes the kit to ill or housebound parishioners.
One member of each team is specially trained and licensed to administer the Holy Eucharist off-site; however, anyone is eligible to be the second member of a team. Serving in this ministry provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with fellow parishioners and make them feel part of our church community even if they cannot attend services.
Christ Church enjoys the services of 2- 4 vergers, whose duties are to work with the Priest and members of the Liturgical teams to insure the smooth running of each service, training of acolytes, and chalicists, and other such activities as requested by the clergy. These parishioners have knowledge of liturgy and know in detail what is required of acolytes, Altar Guild, Flower Guild, chalicists, choirs, lectors and ushers. Contact: Nora Buckley (email).
Each service at Christ Church is staffed by the Usher Corps. Ushers welcome parishioners, guests and visitors when they enter the church. They distribute service bulletins, and collect and present the offering from the congregation at the altar to support God’s work. In addition, they assist the congregation to and from the altar on Communion Sundays and straighten up the pews after each service. Members are scheduled for service approximately once every month for the 10:00 am service.
At Christ Church, a wedding coordinator works with the couple and minister to carry out a plan that minimizes the potential for mishaps and maximizes the beauty of the church and ceremony. The assigned coordinator meets with the couple to discuss the church set-up and expectations; prepares the church for the ceremony and attends both the rehearsal and service to assist where necessary and clean up. This ministry is a wonderful way to participate in joyous church occasions and is much appreciated by the wedding couple and their families.
Organist and Choirmaster: Dr. Theodore M. Guerrant (email)
The Christ Church Choir welcomes all who love to sing. The Parish Adult Choir sings every week at the 10:00 am service. It practices Wednesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm and warms-up on Sundays at 9:15 am. The choir exists to enhance the liturgy through fine music and to lead and inspire congregational singing. As appropriate, instrumentalists from the parish accompany the choir and organ