Keeping Connected April 19, 2024



April 20, 2024

5:00 PM - The Fourth Saturday of Easter -

Music with The Hills

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April 21, 2024

8:00 AM - The Fourth Sunday of Easter

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10:00 AM - The Fourth Sunday of Easter

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Click Here to View Announcements

Connect Virtually

We will continue using our new live streaming equipment. You may access our Sunday morning worship service via our YouTube Channel and our Facebook page.

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Rector's Reflection

Rev. Melissa hiking Shakerag Hollow surrounded by the purple wildflower phacelia, aka scorpionweed. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Hannah Pommersheim.

Dear Ones of Christ Church,


This weekend we will pray Psalm 23 as part of our lectionary readings. As I have prayed with this familiar and beloved psalm this week, I am companioned by its images of God’s abiding presence with us, leading us through the difficult valleys of life to green pasture and still waters.


During my time on retreat during Easter week in Sewanee, TN, I was grateful for God’s abiding presence as I and three dear friends and fellow priests sang, prayed, broke bread, and walked together. Sewanee, where the four of us attended seminary, is located on the Cumberland plateau and is surrounded by miles of nature trails, some of which wind through the last remaining old growth forest in North America. One of these precious old growth areas is called Shakerag Hollow, and every spring it is blanketed by wildflowers, some called spring ephemerals, because they only bloom for a few days. Hiking through Shakerag in the spring is the closest thing I have experienced to being inside the language and imagery of Psalm 23. The trail leads down to the forest floor and then back up and out again, and like Psalm 23 and life itself, sometimes the passage is difficult. Traversing Shakerag requires climbing beside rocky caves and picking footholds to cross over flowing streams. At the bottom of the hollow, in April, hikers find not a valley of death but rather a valley of extraordinary new life, filled with birdsong, bright green moss and lichen, and an abundant super bloom of small beautiful purple, yellow, and white blooms with wonderful names like trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, and Dutchman’s breeches.


How might God be inviting you to encounter the imagery in Psalm 23 in familiar or fresh ways this season?


Hiking Shakerag Hollow has been a way for me to experience God’s shepherding guidance toward reviving, restoring, green pasture, and I was deeply grateful to experience it again on retreat with my friends.

With Eastertide blessings,


Adventures In Learning

This month we start our third Love First unit: Love God. Please see the April schedule below:


Church School Schedule

April: Love First - Love God

21 April Vacation—No regular Church School/YES Prepared Communion 9:30 AM

28 Love God 3/Prepared Communion 10:30 AM

Join Our Church School Team!

We warmly welcome adults to become part of our Church School program! Alongside our dedicated teachers, we are in search of adults to partner with them, ensuring there are always two adults present in every class. Additionally, we need individuals who are willing to step in as substitutes when teachers are unavailable.


No prior experience is necessary as we provide all the information and materials needed for a fulfilling experience. Your enthusiasm and willingness to contribute are what truly matter!


If you're interested in making a meaningful difference in the lives of our children, please reach out to Donna Eby at and for more information or to volunteer. Together, let's create a nurturing environment where our children can grow in faith and understanding. Thank you for considering this opportunity to serve!


Last week we received in over $5097. When giving online, be sure to change the 'Fund' to 'Pledges' so your contribution goes toward your pledge. 

Thank you for your loving support of Christ Church.

Evening Woman

Evening Women will be held on May 1 at 71 Degrees West at 5 PM. The cost is $30 CASH. You will receive a salad and a choice of chicken parm or fish or steak tips. All drinks and dessert are on your own. Please RSVP to Donna Lawrence at or 508-243-2293 by April 30.  

The 2024 Bishops’ Annual Appeal

We are reminded throughout Scripture that God has formed an everlasting covenant with us. This covenant is an invitation to enter into relationship with God and to act together in harmony with one another and all the earth. As we launch the 2024 Bishops’ Annual Appeal at Christ Church, we invite you to join us in deepening covenants we have formed as the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.


In his sermon on March 10th, our deacon the Rev. James Thomas spoke about the importance of the Bishops’ Annual Appeal and our call to support the ministries of our diocese, our true “local church.” Our diocesan mission strategy is a covenant to become ever more faithful and generous disciples of Jesus. With your support, the Bishops’ Annual Appeal promotes this goal through lifelong Christian formation, youth and young adult ministries, racial justice and creation care initiatives, as well as multicultural and immigration outreach.


The appeal newsletter and donation envelope are available online, at each entrance to the church, or by contacting the parish office. Please place your gift in the Offering on “Ingathering Weekend,” May 4th and 5th. You may also mail it back directly to the diocesan office or donate online at Together, we are able to accomplish that which we cannot do alone!

Celebration of a New Ministry

All are invited to the Celebration of a New Ministry for Christ Church Parish and our new Rector, The Rev. Melissa Howell. Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 7 PM. The Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher presiding. A reception will follow in our Parish Hall. Clergy: white stoles.

Diocesan Election

A Note From Your Delegates to Convention - The election for our next Diocesan Bishop is fast approaching. If you have any questions or any thoughts you would like to share, one of your delegates will be available after each service this weekend. Robb Pflock –, Louise Woodruff -, Deborah Dines -

Notes from the Vestry meeting of April 10, 2024


Please note that ALL vestry meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board outside our parish office following their approval at the subsequent vestry meeting.


Rector’s report:

  • Deborah Dines accepted the call, and was appointed as an alternate delegate to diocesan convention.
  • Nominations for a vestry one-year term were discussed, and Rev Melissa will reach out to those nominated.
  • Vestry received & reviewed copies of The draft Policy for Protection of Children and Youth in Christ Church Parish and the draft Policy for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults in Christ Church Parish. Specific language & details pertinent to implementation will be discussed before next vestry meeting, with a goal of voting to adopt the policies at the May 8th meeting. The parish will then work to be in compliance with the policies by the end of 2024.
  • The upcoming Vestry Retreat is April 26, 6-8pm and April 27, 8:30am-3:30pm.

Junior Warden’s report:

  • Bathroom door handles have been replaced
  • Food Pantry ramp improvement project details were discussed
  • A complete parking assessment is a priority summer project, and all issues with parking need to be addressed – more spaces, designated spaces for those with mobility concerns, schedule conflicts.

Treasurer’s report: 

  • Finances through the month of March are in good shape. 

April 9, 2024 was the first full day of solar production on the Hall House. The meter still needs to be installed on the parish hall.

The Thrift Shoppe 1st quarter net proceeds will be donated to Christ Church food pantry. 

The Food Pantry reports that they are having increasing problems with connecting with clients, and a solution they have recently implemented is texting with clients in order to overcome language barriers and improve communication. Vestry discussed a possible addition of a phone line.

The Men’s Group will host a brunch on 4/14 for the celebration of Elijah’s music ministry. 


The next regular vestry meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 8th at 6:30pm in the Hospitality room.  

Parish Nurses

Christ Church believes in providing intergenerational social interaction which include foods at Men's Brunches and after 10 o'clock Sunday worship Coffee Hour. Hospitality has done a great job of serving delicious treats and many look forward to that time of fellowship.

As you are aware, we see signs in restaurants and other places which serve food, asking that you tell your server if you have any food allergy before ordering.

Concern for all parishioners healthy living is Parish Nurse mission.

Please see our bulletin board information opposite the kitchen on the second level. You will see a sign posted at coffee hour regarding food safety, hen food is set out at coffee hour and brunch. We want all to be able to enjoy this social interaction and connect.

Most persons with food allergies are very aware so if you have questions about a particular "treat", please refrain.

Parents are responsible to monitor children with allergies.

Christ Church Thrift Shoppe

Christ Church Thrift Shoppe Quarterly Report

Q1 has been unprecedented with generous donations, brisk sales and several community organizations requesting outreach help.

Recipients of assistance include Christ Church Food Pantry and Church School, Trinity Christian Church (Mission Stitchin’) Wareham, Help Thy Neighbor Plymouth, Anton’s Cleaners Belle of the Ball Event, Whitney Academy Residential Program Dighton, home fire victims clothing donations in Plymouth and Tiverton RI, Father Bill’s 

re-homing clients in Plymouth and frequent clothing donations to immigrants and walk-in customers in need.

We are also pleased to announce that several young volunteers were welcomed this month from Community Connections in Plymouth. The vision of this statewide non-profit organization is to be a leader in providing services that promote community inclusion while improving the lives of young adults with disabilities. These enthusiastic and engaging volunteers arrive at the shop with a staff support person to assist with tasks that promote inclusion, confidence, independence, and self-value. We are grateful to have these young people from our community join our ministry. 

Q1 (Jan-March) profits of $12,574 have been forwarded to CCP. The Food Pantry was designated as our Q1 outreach recipient with $2561.66 donated.

Our heartfelt thanks to the dedicated leaders, volunteers, donors, and shoppers who made this outreach possible. 

Shoppe Hours

Thursday and Friday 10-4

Saturday 10-2

Christ Church Food Pantry

This week we are low on:

Canned peaches and fruit cocktail (mixed fruit)

Pork and beans

Canned corn

Ramen noodles

Chef Boyardee

All are welcome to the Christ Church Food Pantry! 

We are open by appointment: 

Tuesday 4:00-5:15

Thursday 12:00-1:15 and 4:00-5:15 

Saturday 10:00-11:15.

Call the pantry message line: 508-746-4959, ext 6, BY 1 PM THE DAY BEFORE YOU WISH TO PICK UP YOUR ORDER. Our volunteers check messages and return your call from their homes to ask you what you need.

Leave a message if you wish to donate non-perishable food and household items, or you may leave your donations under the mailboxes outside the office or in the front entrance to the sanctuary. Squirrels like to get into any bags left on the porch of the food pantry!


If you wish to volunteer, contact Eileen Paris at

For more information, please contact Barbara Wojtklewicz at 617-291-4634, or by email at

Pastoral Care

For any pastoral care needs of Christ Church, please call Robin Nielsen (774-454-2776) or email ~ A home visit, a home visit with holy communion or a phone call can be arranged. Although a small group, our Pastoral Care Ministry team meets monthly in confidence.

For any pastoral emergencies, please call Rev. Melissa Howell 508-746-4959 ext 4, and follow the instructions in her voice message.

Diocesan News

Preliminary Bishop Nominee Slate Announced & Petition Period Opens

March 15, 2024

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Massachusetts is pleased to announce that, after receiving the recommendations of the Bishop Nominating Committee, it has approved a preliminary slate of four nominees for election as the 17th bishop diocesan of the Diocese of Massachusetts. They are:

  • The Rev. Dr. Brendan J. Barnicle,

Rector, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Wilsonville, OR

  • The Rev. Canon Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa,

Canon for Immigration and Multicultural Ministries, Diocese of Massachusetts

  • The Very Rev. Gideon L. K. Pollach,

Rector, St. John's Church, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

  • The Rev. Julia E. Whitworth,

Rector, Trinity Church, Indianapolis, IN

More information about each nominee can be found at

A seven-day petition period begins, effective today, March 15, during which anyone who meets the canonical requirements may petition to be added to the slate of nominees. The deadline to submit nomination materials is March 22 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. The requirements and procedure for nomination may be found here.

This announcement of our preliminary slate of nominees is a key milestone in our journey through the bishop search and transition process. We are deeply grateful to the Bishop Nominating Committee for the vigorous work they have undertaken since their formation in July of 2023. 

Once the petition process has been completed, the Standing Committee will announce the final slate of nominees. Members of the diocese will have the opportunity to meet the nominees in a series of Meet and Greets that will take place May 7-11. Information about the times and locations of the Meet and Greets will be made available soon. 

The election will take place on Saturday, May 18 at Trinity Church in Boston. All canonically resident clergy of the diocese and lay delegates (two elected from each of the diocese’s parishes and missions) vote separately as “orders”; a majority of votes on the same ballot from both the clergy and lay orders is required for election. (Find preliminary electing convention information at

Please keep the nominees, the Nominating Committee, the Transition Committee and the people of our diocese in your prayers as we move into this next phase in the discernment of our 17th bishop diocesan.

The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, President, Standing Committee

Grace Knowles, Vice-President, Standing Committee

William Boyce, Co-Chair, Bishop Nominating Committee

The Rev. Diane Wong, Co-Chair, Bishop Nominating Committee

Linda Ouellette, Co-Chair, Bishop Nominating Committee

Visit for more information and updates.

Community News

The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts Click Here for the April FYI

The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts Diocesan News

We want to keep you in the loop regarding the happenings at Christ Church. Please send your announcements for the weekly bulletin and Keeping Connected, to the office by 12 Noon on Wednesday. They should include date, time, place, description of event, contact information and should be written exactly the way you want them to appear.

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