YOU BELONG HERE . . . and we want you to know we are praying for all in the community during this time that we will not be gathering together.
We have been separated for such a long time and we are all sad that it has stretched into Christmastide. All in-person worship services will continue to be suspended for the time being due to COVID-19 and the increasing cases in Pennsylvania. We will be live-streaming our services at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday on YouTube. Prelude Music precedes the service at 10:15 a.m.
You can always access the live-stream on this website or you may use either YouTube or Facebook for the live-stream, whichever you prefer. Links to both sites are below. If you choose to use the live-stream here, just click the play button below. Once you are taken to the live-stream, you can make it a full size screen. We hope you will join us for worship every Sunday until we can join in worship in-person. What a joyous day that will be.
First Sunday after Epiphany – Baptism of the Lord
January 10, 2021
LIVESTREAMING – FACEBOOK: St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church
You also may access the live-stream on our Facebook page. Just click the picture for the and you will be taken to the live-stream being hosted on YouTube.
Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day liturgies were live-streamed and the video is now being archived in the Video Gallery of this website. You can find the Video Gallery under the tab, “Resources.” You will also find other liturgies in the same gallery. Here’s a direct link: https://stchrisoxfordpa.wordpress.com/video-gallery/
PLEASE HELP! – Dottie Baker’s Son, Buddy
Dottie Baker has been a long-standing member of St. Christopher’s and is beloved. Many of the children of the church walk in faith because of her teaching. Now, she needs our help!
I hope everyone will respond generously to the Go Fund Me appeal for her son, Buddy. He has been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and needs unbelievably expensive treatments. Dottie received some good news this week. Enough has been raised so that he can have his first treatment soon. Now we need to continue to contribute so that he can receive the other two scheduled treatments. You are amazing and Dottie and her son are so grateful.
FYI – the parish itself is helping Dottie who has given her life in loving service to this parish and its children. The Outreach Committee has given some of its budgeted fund, I have contributed out of the Rector’s Discretionary Fund that you so generously contribute to on the first Sunday of every month (Oh wait! That’s today!) and our bishop, +Bishop Daniel Gutierrez has also made a contribution from his Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. I thought you should know. Thanks to all of you too! Let’s keep going!
A Prayer for the Power of the Spirit among the People of God
Our Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry has asked all of us to pray for all who are mourning due to the coronavirus, keeping in mind that we have crossed a major threshold with over 200,000 people having died because of it. In addition, we are keenly aware of the pain and anger that is being experienced across the country by African Americans and other people following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Rayshard Brooks and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, among many others over the years. Included is a link of the Presiding Bishop praying A Prayer for the Power of the Spirit among the People of God. We were asked to continue to pray this prayer from Pentecost Sunday through the first Sunday in September but since the virus is still with us, we are choosing to continue praying this prayer until we return to a time when we can gather together for in-person worship. “This prayer – crafted by a team of Lutheran and Episcopal prayer leaders in light of the COVID pandemic – is meant to unite us in common prayer and revive us for common mission, wherever and however we may be gathered.”
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry praying the prayer: https://www.facebook.com/episcopalian/videos/2609858725901243/
God of all power and love,
we give thanks for your unfailing presence
and the hope you provide in times of uncertainty and loss.
Send your Holy Spirit to enkindle in us your holy fire.
Revive us to live as Christ’s body in the world:
a people who pray, worship, learn,
break bread, share life, heal neighbors,
bear good news, seek justice, rest and grow in the Spirit.
Wherever and however we gather,
unite us in common prayer and send us in common mission,
that we and the whole creation might be restored and renewed,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
You can find us regularly on St. Christopher’s Church YouTube. Subscribe to our channel, check out what is live-streaming or watch videos that have previously been aired. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1EwdTY0RpDjU9O1cdg1aTA
Whoever you are or for whatever reason that you are looking at this website, we want you to know that in the Episcopal Church and particularly from the people of St. Christopher’s you will receive the Welcome of Christ.
As all of us are aware, COVID-19 is radically reshaping how that “Welcome of Christ” looks during this time of national and global crisis. I never thought that I would ever write that perhaps the clearest way to show Christ’s love and welcome is to distance ourselves from sisters and brothers in order to protect them and those they love from a novel virus that has overtaken our world. Yet, that is what we are being advised by national health officials to do. This is a time like none other.
As we gathered at the beginning of the pandemic, the scripture reading on March 15 2020 included the passage from Romans 5:1-11. It is good to continue to recall it:
“Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
This is indeed a time of suffering but it is in this time of darkness that we can see the light of hope. It is already happening with people caring for one another, sacrificing our wants and needs for the common good. Who would have ever thought that we would fast from gathering for Holy Eucharist during the entire season of Lent, during the Triduum and the celebration of Easter, for Pentecost and all of the Sundays after and now we are heading into the holy season of Advent with Christmas and Epiphany soon to follow. We have had to find ways to remain connected to community worship. We are grateful for the professional camera so that we can continue to do live-streaming. It is not the same as “being there,” but at least we do feel like we are joined together because we pray together even though we are apart. We are grateful for Zoom so that the women can celebrate Morning Prayer every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and Compline every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. We are continuing to conduct parish meetings through Zoom and connect by phone and email and any other way that we can while keeping socially distanced so that people remain safe. Who would have ever thought that we would celebrate the holiest days of our liturgical year, not physically present in the church, but through the wonders of live-streaming over the internet, and that we would have people join in the prayer from all across the country and in even larger numbers than celebrated in previous years. We have a lot for which to be grateful.
Let’s continue to keep one another safe until the time comes that we can gather in person. May we pray for one another, for the community, our country, and the world. We said early on, “We can get through this together.” We have gotten fatigued, but that saying is still true. As we begin the season of Advent, let us recommit to one another.
We are being encouraged again to self-isolate and if ill to self-quarantine in order to “flatten the curve” and slow the progression of the virus. In our isolation, we perhaps are becoming more connected with others and more unified. The virus is no longer just in New York City as it was in the early days, but it has spread across the country. Let’s consider the nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line for people who are sick and dying. Let’s continue to think of others and while we cannot gather in common places, we can continue to connect with other people by phone or through electronic means. I invite you to pray for one another. If you think of someone, please consider that a nudge of the Spirit and give them a call. Follow the guidelines that are being set forth, but if you are able to help another with groceries or other needs, it could be a blessing. I understand some grocery stores are also delivering or packaging food so that it can just be picked up when you arrive.
The most important thing to do for one another, however, is to pray. Please know that each of you and all of you remain in my thoughts and prayers.
May this be a time of grace and unity and may we use it to learn how to more deeply love and offer our lives in service to the common good.
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus, and may the blessing of God rest upon you this day and always.
Because we want everyone to be included, St. Christopher’s is so happy to be able to provide a hearing loop to those who wear hearing aids. Just switch your hearing aid to ‘T’ to access the loop. If you do not wear a hearing aid and wish to have the benefit of the loop, you may ask the ushers and they will give you a headset to use.
And now, the sound system has been connected to a professional live-streaming camera so that we may have high quality sound and picture when live-streaming our services.