by Vern Rice
One of the things I like about Holy Communion is seeing the people. While I do not get to know them personally, I take in how they look, how they change. Children blossom in their fresh youthfulness; elders develop an identity that strikes me as beautiful and important.
And then there are people I miss. Some that I used to see aren't there, maybe not there one Sunday only to reappear some Sundays later. But some people I don't see any more and I miss them. Sometimes I call them up. I ask how they are doing. I tell them I miss them; their stories are precious. Their lives are always changing. Some are just gone for awhile; some have moved on. Most often I have the sense that they are glad someone misses them, someone cares. At the end of one conversation, a woman said, "That was nice." It makes me feel good that I have experienced them again and that they are not gone from my life or the life of the church.
The lines of the song we often sing during communion come back to me: "As we eat this bread and we drink this cup, we're becoming the body of Christ." Yes, I feel this and see it as we come to communion over and over again, every Sunday!
Becoming the Beloved Community: 2020 Generosity Appeal
“We are God’s beloved children now; what we will become has not yet been revealed.”
(1st John 3:2a)
Christ the King is a community made up of generous people. Individuals and families at CtK give generously of their time, their energy, and their money in order to support the ministry we share. As a congregation, we are also very generous—from SUNNY lunches during summer vacation, winter coats before the first snow flies, fresh produce for the food shelf from the community garden, as well as financial, emotional, and spiritual support to partners as near as Cristo Rey and as far away as Nduli, Tanzania! Christ the King places a high value on sharing from our abundance with one another and with the world around us.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Christ the King will focus more intentionally on our generosity, and specifically on how we as members of the CtK community offer financial support for the many and varied ministries we share. In worship, as well as through direct mailing and email messages, you will be hearing about the ongoing ministries we continue to support, as well as some new initiatives God is calling us to imagine. You will be challenged to consider how your own level of giving reflects the gratitude you feel towards God, as well as your engagement in Life at CtK. I invite you to join me in prayerfully considering all the ways we live out our shared values of Engaging Worship, Nurturing Faith, Growing Compassion, and Building Community.
At CtK, we believe that we are God’s beloved children, blessed to be a blessing to one another and to the larger community. We also know that God has not yet fully revealed to us all that we are becoming as a faith community. As we begin our 60th year of ministry as a congregation, we trust that God’s grace is still inviting us, that Jesus’ love is still uniting us, and that the Holy Spirit is still empowering us to trust, follow, and serve.
May God bless us as we continue to be formed in the community God is still revealing among us.
Thanks for being a part of this generous community!
P.S. Intention of Giving forms (i.e., Pledge Cards) will be mailed out soon. CtK’s 2020 Generosity Appeal will culminate with the collection of completed Intentions in worship on Commitment Sunday, November 17th.
A Look into Youth Ministry at Christ the King
Amity Lantz, Director of Youth and Family Faith Formation
First and foremost I would like to say thank you to everyone in the congregation for such a warm welcome. You have helped to make a big transition as smooth as possible for Alyssa and me, and we can’t thank you enough for being so eager to welcome us into your Christ the King Family. We look forward to continuing to meet even more members of our church, and serving this community.
I’m excited to infuse my ministry style into the youth and family programming here at CtK with a focus on Faith, Relationships and Service. At the end of the day everything comes back to faith, and Jesus being sent to save us from our sins, but we all know it’s much more complicated and more full than that. Growing in your faith is embracing all of your questions while learning about the Bible and incorporating the teachings and love of Jesus into your daily life; taking time to worship, and experience the presence of God, and to gather in groups as this journey can not be traveled alone. I want our youth to know they are created and loved by God, and absolutely nothing can change that. Their family matters, their friends matter, and their life matters. It’s also important to remind ourselves Jesus calls us to be servants over and over again. In small settings, in large settings, to those who are like us, and to those who are different. Serving others is not only following the way of Jesus but is also a great way to get to know our own talents and use the abilities we have. Service is not just confined to a “project” or “trip” but we are to be serving God through serving others at all times. Congregationally, locally, nationally and globally.
Here at Christ the King, I hit the ground running, taking a great group of high school students to Appalachia Service Project in late June. We worked with an amazing family in Breathitt County, Kentucky laying the groundwork for other ASP folks to give them a new porch, kitchen, and add another bedroom to their home. We had a wonderful time and it was a privilege to start my time at CtK participating in a rich tradition our church has been involved in for years.
We have settled in to our new programming year with some new and continuing programming for youth and their families. In the last year of our confirmation program, the 9th grade students will have the time to reflect on what they have learned in the last three years and how that has shaped their faith up to this point in their lives and have them looking toward their future in the church and with their faith. They will explore this through conversations with their mentors and combine everything into a faith portfolio before Confirmation Sunday in May. Our 6th - 8th grade students are spending the year learning about the Bible and the story God is telling through the scriptures as a whole. We are using the Daniel Erlander book “Manna and Mercy” as a guide to our learning time together, and with their peers in Growth Groups.
Our Sunday’s start off with Breakfast Club, in between our morning services. We gather in the youth room to question, discuss, and strive to discover what it means to be ourselves, be Christians and to be citizens in our ever-changing world. We have good people, good conversation and tasty breakfast foods! We continue in the evenings with our new weekly High School Youth Group. These gatherings consist of snacks, games, scripture, discussions on relatable topics, and worship. We build relationships with each other as we grow in our faith and deepen our understanding of our God. We meet on Sunday evenings from 6:00- 7:30. We are also looking forward to starting a monthly middle school ministry in the coming months.
As the year continues we will begin working on this years youth musical, as well as planning a trip to Christikon this summer. We welcome all 6th graders through seniors to come and join us for any of our youth programming! I am excited for what is to come for Youth Ministry here at Christ the King.Thank you for supporting our youth!!
In His Love,
Nate Crary, Director of Worship
Since joining the team at CtK in August 2015, I have looked for new ways to build on the partnerships within the different ministries at church. Tapping into the rich traditions of the Christmas Concert, Sunday School Pageant, Las Posadas, Youth Musical, and the Lenten Cantata has provided me the opportunity to bring my gifts to support the vision of my colleagues while cultivating meaningful relationships with CtK members of all ages.
One of the top priorities in all of my work at Christ the King (which is likely a shared priority across the work of our church staffing) is to invite, encourage and equip members to participate fully in the programming we offer. Last year, mostly due to when dates fell on the calendar, we found that we were asking families to choose between participating in one program over another during Advent. Specifically, we were inviting musicians who were also Sunday School families to join us for the Christmas Concert, asking them to choose between our festival concert and the pageant. Many could not do both. And it was not fair of us to even ask this of them.
As we walk with young families, with new and long-time members, and with folks in our community, we want to continue to build on the rich CtK traditions of the past while leaving space open for the Spirit to do her creative work and inspire something new. And, as I have been engaged in ongoing, careful conversation with other staff members and with the pastors at Christ the King over the past several months, something new has been sparked!
I am so excited to invite you to Advent Rejoice! on Sunday, December 15 during the 10:30 am worship service, with a potluck lunch to follow. This festival worship combines what has been the Sunday School Pageant and the Christmas Concert, offering everyone an amazing, intergenerational opportunity to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Happening on the third Sunday of Advent, also known as “Gaudete Sunday” (Gaudete means “Rejoice” in Latin), we will suspend the expectant liturgical spirit of the season of Advent in order to celebrate God coming to us through the birth of Christ, right now!
In the days and weeks to come, look for ways we are inviting you to participate in this new all-congregation celebration, because we really need YOU to help share this good news. We will have ways for singers and instrumentalists, artists and actors, and children and youth and adults to all join in the celebration. Join us on the journey to Bethlehem, and gather with us around the manger to see how God comes to us once again.