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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. All in-person worship services will be suspended for the time being due to COVID-19. 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 access the live-stream right here on the 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.

This Sunday, July 12, is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. We are deeply concerned about the increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 all across the country and the now rising numbers of deaths. We pray that God will strengthen us to put the needs of others before our own and that we may do everything we can to protect others.

We also pray for open hearts and minds as we work more earnestly for racial and economic justice. May our leaders show courage to do those things that will be for the common good.

Today, we hear in the gospel on of Jesus’ most famous parables, the Sower and the Seed. As we listen to the reading today, let us examine where God’s word is landing. Do we get excited about doing God’s work but then grow tired of it and start to neglect it or just give up? Are there any thorns in your life (people, places, things, desires, habits, etc) that choke out God’s word and prevent you from flourishing? Or are you good soil where the word of God has taken root. Are you fully flourishing or can you grow more fully into the life of Christ. Let us pray today that we may be able to receive God’s holy Word and be faithful witnesses to the world. Let us pray for one another and all who are suffering in this country and around the world.

The Worship Bulletin can be accessed here:

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:5c943651-d1d6-416d-9d8a-5323ed89cbc0

LIVESTREAMING – FACEBOOK:  St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church

You also may access the live-stream on our Facebook page. Just click the picture for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and you will be taken to the live-stream being hosted on YouTube.

In addition, 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 100,000 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 are asked to continue to pray this prayer from Pentecost Sunday through the first Sunday in September. “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.”

A Prayer for the Power of the Spirit among the People of God

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 YouTubeSubscribe 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.

In the Scripture readings of March 15, we find in the passage from Romans 5: 1-11.

“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 March madness would not refer to the fun of basketball being played and the millions of people gathered to enjoy the games, but rather to the unbelievable rise of a novel virus and a global pandemic sweeping not only our country, but disrupting lives and upending everything as we have known it. Who would have ever thought that during the holy season of Lent we would be fasting from gathering for Holy Eucharist and finding creative ways to remain connected to community worship through the wonders of online resources. 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 are being encouraged 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. We know that in New York City at 7PM each evening, people come out on their balconies to make noise and acclaim the health care workers and others on the front lines. It was said that you could hear the unified voice of the people being raised across the city. We are raising our voices and through our unified actions we are putting others first. 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.

The Rev. Dr. Mary Ann Mertz, Rector
(Most call me Pastor Mary Ann)
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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.

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Upcoming Events

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP EVERY FIRST SATURDAY – 10 AM

A group has been started here at St. Christopher’s with leaders trained by the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group is now meeting the FIRST Saturday of EVERY month. It is intended be a group that will support anyone who is caring for a person who has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any other memory issue. This is a group where you will receive materials to help you learn more about the disease and how to care your loved ones. Please spread the word if you know someone who might need a group like this. It is open to caregivers throughout the area. Come and receive a little care for yourself and leave feeling encouraged and supported.

DUE TO COVID-19 AND THE DESIRE TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, THE ALZHEIMER’S GROUP WILL NOT MEET AGAIN IN PERSON UNTIL THE ALL CLEAR IS GIVEN FROM THE ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION. PLANS ARE BEING MADE, HOWEVER, TO HOLD VIRTUAL MEETINGS. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE FORTHCOMING.

YOU WILL BE HELD IN OUR PRAYER AND PLEASE CONTACT ST. CHRISTOPHER’S IF YOU HAVE A PASTORAL EMERGENCY. rector@stchrisoxford.org or 610-932-8134

Giving

Click the button below to make a one-time (or recurring) donation to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church:

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News Flash!

“Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; [for] he is holy” (Psalm 99:5, NIV).

Parish Worship is suspended UNTIL AT LEAST JUNE 21 AND POSSIBLY LONGER due to precautions taken to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 in hopes that in doing so we can slow the spread of this virus that has been declared a global pandemic.

In addition, all parish events, rehearsals, meetings, and gatherings are canceled until further notice. We will be following the advice of +Bishop Gutierrez and the Diocese of Pennsylvania, government officials, health officials, and “common sense” as Dr. Fauci recently encouraged us.

We hope that you will be able to use part of this time of self-isolation in prayer for those who are suffering in body, mind, or spirit. May we love one another by protecting each other’s health and that of our families by doing all that we can to think first of how our actions affect the common good. And may we not be overcome by fear but be blessed by God’s grace and peace and live in Christ’s love even though we cannot now gather together.

FRIENDS FOLK CLUB

The Friends Folk Club will have no concerts in the spring but will return with a Charlie Zahm Concert on September 25. Mark your calendar now!

What a wonderful concert that will be with family and friends together again!

OTHER

While we have canceled live events, the parish is still working and striving to “spread the Good News of Christ’s Love.” Many parishioners have been involved in making and distributing masks so that other may stay safe and in compliance with the state regulations to wear masks when shopping for groceries or other essentials. The vestry continues its work. During this time, the members are making calls to all parishioners in order to remain connected and to see if there are any needs. We know that parishioners are serving other parishioners, even as they as practicing social distancing. We continue to grow strong in faith, hope, and love during this time and continue in prayer and works of mercy. If you need anything from the rector or from the vestry, please do not hesitate to ask.

Contact Us

We look forward to the time when health officials clear us to once again hold services following the suspension of them due to COVID-19. When we return to having services again, we invite you to come worship on Sunday Morning at one of our two Holy Communion services:

8:30 a.m. is a quieter and more reflective celebration of Holy Communion. At the 10:30 a.m.  liturgy, we worship in prayer and song. Congregational singing is an important part of our worship and we sing hymns and songs using both traditional and contemporary resources. The choir and musicians add beauty and spirit and liturgical ministers of all ages serve in various capacities throughout the liturgy. The full and active participation of all who gather is important, including our children and youth. All are welcome in this place.

At 9:30 each week, we offer Christian Formation and Education between the services. Episcopal 101 is for adults and youth who want to grow in their faith and fulfill their baptismal promises of being “faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.”

Join us for Fellowship Time after the services

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church

116 Lancaster Pike

Oxford, PA 19363

email: stchris@stchrisoxford.org

Telephone: 610-932-8134

Rector: Rev. Dr. Mary Ann Mertz

Email: rector@stchrisoxford.org

Phone: 502-489-1337

Parish Administrator: Mary Clark Admin@stchrisoxford.org