Ministry News

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June 26: Moving Indoors!

Welcome Back Inside!
Finally. We can finally gather back in our gorgeous, beloved sanctuary! This is the wonderful change that came with the progress our state has made in reopening, and we'll begin this Sunday, June 27th, at 10:15 am. It won't be totally back to normal just yet, but hopefully it will feel a lot closer than it has in nearly sixteen months.

A few things to note about this latest change: 
  • The service will still be live streamed for those who feel safer at home.
  • Bishop Marc has asked that all worshipers wear masks while indoors, even if fully vaccinated, in solidarity with our children and those who cannot be vaccinated, and also out of an abundance of caution around the emerging variants. Worship leaders will not be masking during the service, and all are fully vaccinated.
  • We can sing! Huzzah!
  • We are no longer asking folks to sign up to attend worship in person — just come!
  • We will continue sharing communion.
  • As ever, if you are feeling at all unwell, please stay home and join us by live stream.

See you soon, in the cool comfort of our church! 
We Want to Hear From You!
As we continue moving in the direction of regathering, we want to hear from you — what you're excited about, what your hopes are, where you have concerns, and more. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us on this short survey, to help us map the way forward together. Thank you!
Outdoor Hybrid Worship
Join us this Sunday, in person or on the live stream, as we celebrate our wonderful graduating high school seniors! Our youth and recent grads will be leading our service and music on Sunday and it promises to be delightful.

We'll be gathering outdoors on the plaza at 10:15, and live streaming the service as well. One recent change is that the bishop is no longer requiring that we wear facemasks for outdoor worship. That said, anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask is warmly encouraged to do so, and we will continue to hold distance between households. If you would like to worship in person, please read about the plan and expectations for how we gather, and sign up for this Sunday here.

Beginning next Sunday, June 20th, we will no longer be doing advanced sign-ups. In the event of a positive Covid case, we would notify the whole congregation, as well as any visitors who were worshipping with us that day.
Dear friends,

We're finally there! Tomorrow we'll be trying our first hybrid worship service, with folks gathering outdoors on the plaza and also via live stream, all at 10:15 am. If you would like to join in-person, please sign up here, as attendance must be limited. Everyone will be masked and distanced during the service,
but we will be singing and praying in unison — an exciting change from the fall! If you plan to come, please read the plan and expectations on the sign up, and register for the number of people in your household who will be attending. There is also a waitlist, and in the event that more people want to come than we have space for, those on the waitlist will be notified if someone cancels, and will have the first opportunity to sign up for our next in-person service. Our live stream worship will continue the same as always from our Facebook page, just with a new backdrop and more voices.

As with every other phase of common life during the pandemic, this newest one will no doubt be full of surprises and new things to learn! We'll do our best to help things go smoothly, and appreciate your patience and grace, and also your feedback, as we begin this wonderful new experiment in being church together.

Thanks and peace,
Dear friends,

Time has felt slippery this past year — at times unbelievably slow and drawn out, and at others moving more quickly than we can seem to manage. We haven’t been able to mark time’s passage in the ways we’re used to, gathering for food and ritual and festivity at pivotal moments. And still, here we are again, back on the cusp of entering into Holy Week. And again this year, we enter into Holy Week each at a distance from one another, spread out and yet reaching for connection. We are weary of screens and separation, many are living with perpetually short fuses, and I suspect most of us feel the threat of compassion fatigue at this point, now more than a year into this global disaster. 

Take all this together, and it could seem like a terrible time to step into the pain of the story of Holy Week. Why turn our attention to yet more suffering, when all we have to do is read the news to see it unfolding in real time? It’s a fair question. For my part, I have found that it fundamentally matters to sit with the story of God’s love, God’s pain, and ultimately, God wrestling new life from the rubble. It speaks to the suffering all around us, and it shapes the way we might begin to live in it and beyond it. Showing up to this story guides us in hearing God in our own day, and in learning to be present to one another, through it all. And so we enter into Holy Week again, together, even from afar. I encourage you to take a look at the various services we’ll be holding, including some new ones, and think about how you might build your week around these sacred ways of gathering. We will get to Easter, and soon — but we begin here first, with Holy Week.

Peace to you as you practice these days ahead,
From the Rector

This last year has been so full of surprises and adventures, seemingly on all sides and in all aspects of life. There have been both incredible blessings and enormous challenges. As the pandemic has worn on, it has become increasingly clear to me that what this congregation needs to thrive, and indeed, what you collectively deserve in terms of leadership and support, requires a more robust staff. In plenty of ways it is a strange time to be expanding a staff, given the difficulty of bringing someone onboard while we continue gathering only remotely. 

In light of both our needs and our ongoing distancing, I was delighted to share the news on Sunday that I have invited Whitney Wilson to join our staff at Church of the Resurrection, and she has accepted the call to serve as our Associate for Formation and Ministry Development! As many of you may recall, Whitney served previously as our Minister for children, youth and families.

Whitney began work here this past Tuesday. In her new role, she is focusing on supporting faith formation for children, families and adults, and working to support all members, both seasoned and brand new, in discerning how God is calling them to serve and live out their baptismal vows here. This will include paying particular attention towards walking alongside leaders in the many and varied ministries of our church, and collaborating as we imagine together what forms our ministries take as we move through and beyond the pandemic. 

Please join me in welcoming Whitney back onto our staff, in this new capacity!


From Whitney
Hello Church of the Resurrection. It is lovely to be here on staff with the chance to work with such amazing people. I feel truly blessed that Rev. Liz felt called to offer me this position. I am looking forward to getting to reconnect with all of you both online and hopefully in-person as we move towards some kind of regathering. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, suggestions you all might have. I am working on getting my arms around this new position and all the possibilities we have here at COTR.
— Whitney
Welcome, Charles!

I was overjoyed to share the news this past Sunday that Charles Rus has accepted the call to come and serve at Church of the Resurrection as our new Parish Musician, and I'm even more delighted that he was able to begin right away! Charles brings with him a wealth of experience as an organist, pianist, choir director, vocalist and composer. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, he has served in Episcopal churches in the Seattle area, San Diego, San Francisco, and more. He carries a deep love for this work and I can't wait to see how we will be led into new, beautiful and whole-hearted ways of worshiping through music with his guidance. Please join me in welcoming Charles!


From the Rector

Dear friends,

It has already been a hard year, and we're only a couple of weeks into 2021. Worry is running high as we draw near to the inauguration, and I have heard from many people about how much they fear the possibility of yet more violence across our country. Our response as Christians to situations like this can and should take many forms. Together we can advocate for change, we can work for peace, we can urge our leaders to seek justice, we can build community in unlikely places and across challenging divides, and more. All of those actions are good and necessary. And, together with those efforts, we are also called to pray: to join our hearts, one with another, and lift up our hopes and concerns to God, trusting that God is present even in the most perilous of times.

To that end, we will be holding a Prayer Vigil for our Nation this coming Tuesday evening, on the eve of the inauguration. Join us at 7pm on January 19 on Zoom. (You can email, or check the Ministry News email, for the Zoom link.) Together we will hear our sacred stories and remind ourselves of where we place our trust, and we'll lift up our love for our home and our collective hope for our shared future as a nation. All are welcome — if you have friends who would like to ground themselves in prayer and reflection ahead of January 20th, please invite them. And, whether you can join on Zoom that night or not, in the days ahead, please take time to pray for peace in our nation and for the safety of our leaders.

In hope,

December 12: Christmas in 2020

Dear friends,
Christmas is coming! I know this because my children are updating me with the countdown several times a day. I also know I don’t need to tell you how different Christmas will be this year, and, in many ways, sorely disappointing — that is patently obvious. Instead, I want to share with you how clear it is to me that Christmas will still happen, and that it will be good. 
I believe that Christmas in its fullness is still coming, even in the midst of our collective grief and fear and isolation, in part because of how I understand faith to work. As I experience it, faith is not a creedal assertion of what we know to be true. Instead, I understand faith to be the active choice of where we place our trust, and the gift of where we hang our heart. Our life and our God are surrounded by such mystery that we will never fully know what is true. And still, we can decide to place our trust in this way of love.
This act of trust is what allows me to approach Christmas this year with hope and wonder. I am choosing to hang my heart on the expectation that God is still with us, and that the story of the incarnation will still transform us. I don’t think there is anything that can prevent this beauty from working in us for good: not staying apart, not refraining from breaking bread and embracing and letting our voices rise together in our favorite carols, not even sickness and death. Through it all, come what may, the story still holds.
And so, we will be doing our best to tell this story and to offer our love to this wondrous God made human as a tiny child. We will continue with the tradition of the youth of this congregation leading us, gathering on Christmas Eve at 5 pm on Facebook Live to celebrate this holy night, complete with music from our youth, a Zoom Christmas pageant, and carols to sing along with at home. Then on Christmas Day at 11 am, you are invited to join in a watch party, also on Facebook Live, of the Christmas Eucharist from Grace Cathedral. This way, we’ll be able to join together as a local community in the comments as we worship together.
No, it won’t be the same. And still, I trust that if we open ourselves to the wonder of this story, we will find God in our midst, once again. No doubt we need this more than ever. 

November 21: Advent is coming!

Advent Wreath Pick-ups

It's nearly time! Advent begins next Sunday, November 29th. One of the beautiful ways we practice getting ready for Christmas is by creating Advent wreaths to light in our homes. We'll have kits ready for you to pick up between noon and 1pm on November 29th in front of the church — just drive into the parking lot and we can drop the kits in your trunk. Please sign up for a kit and let us know if you already have a wreath form or if you need one included in your kit. Please sign up here by Wednesday, November 25th so we can be sure to have enough!
ADVENTures in Creative Meditation
Join us on four Sunday afternoons for an hour of creative meditation on the scripture readings for that day. Explore slow drawing, lectio divina, midrash and visio divina with Carol Held. NO ARTISTIC SKILLS are necessary! Just come with an open heart to experience ways of slowing down, quieting the mind, and focusing. We will meet by Zoom from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm each Sunday in Advent. Each week in the Ministry News you will find the Zoom link, handouts, and a list of simple materials. Mark your calendars for November 29 and December 6, 13 and 20!
A Very Zoomy Christmas Pageant

Christmas is coming! No matter how Covid-19 precautions may complicate our plans, we will delight in telling the nativity story and centering our children and youth in leading the congregation to the manger once again. To that end, we are pivoting to try a wonderfully experimental Zoom Christmas Pageant! 
´╗┐Middle and High School aged youth will meet on November 29th at 7:30 pm to rehearse speaking parts. Youth and children of all ages are invited to join in recording the pageant on Zoom on December 6th at 4:00 pm. This is open to anyone and everyone — if you want to invite your neighbors or grandkids, from anywhere in the world, the more the merrier! Other than the speaking parts being rehearsed on the 29th, no practice is necessary. Kids and youth are welcome to either borrow costumes (for as many different parts as they'd like!) or dress up from whatever you can find or create at home. The costumes “needed” are: Animals: cow, sheep, and lamb; Mary and/or Joseph; Angel Gabriel; Magi; Shepherd; Wild Star. For more information on costumes, parts and to get the Zoom link, please email Whitney Wilson or Shannon Eng.
Communion on November 1st
We are excited to share that we can now share Communion, through a creatively pandemic-safe process! We'll do an experimental test-run of this new way next Sunday, November 1st. In short, Rev. Liz will consecrate the bread during our livestream worship service, and then it will be packaged into boxes to be picked up outside at church between noon and 1:00 pm that day, or, if need be, delivered. Once the kits have been distributed, we will hold another prayer gathering on Zoom at 5:00 p.m. to receive Communion together; the Zoom link will be sent to those who sign up. (If you're not able to participate in this gathering, you may still receive Communion on your own or with others in your household, using a set of prayers in the booklet that comes with your kit.) 

It's not too late! To take part in Communion on November 1, please register using this link by the end of the day today, Saturday. 

Outdoor Worship on November 8th
Join us! We are going to have a small outdoor worship as a first experiment in regathering in person on Sunday, November 8th at 12:30pm. Bring your own lawn chair and join us on the labyrinth for a simple, spoken Liturgy of the Word. We will be following careful health guidelines: everyone will need to wear masks the whole time, with the exception of the leaders when speaking at a significant distance from anyone else. We will all have our temperatures taken on arrival, we will maintain at least 6 feet of distance between ourselves while there, and children will need to stay with their families. 

As we are still learning the logistics for gathering safely in-person, we will limit this first service to 25 people, and ask that you sign up here to come. If all the spots have been taken, please sign up for the waitlist spots; we will let you know if space becomes available, and if not, will invite you to sign up first the next time we offer this. We also hope to expand the number of people who can attend a given service as we learn this new way. Please note that we will also continue offering our regular livestream service at 10:15.
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