The Chimes Newsletter of Christ Church
December 10, 2021
Advent is a solemn time within the church year. It represents the in-between space of now and not yet. Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Christ Child.

This coming Sunday, Advent III, we remember the joy to be found in Jesus Christ to be celebrated on Christmas Day. It is an opportunity to look forward to our salvation.

The Third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday. The word “gaudete” is derived from the Latin words “gaudium,” joy, and “gaudeo,” to rejoice or be glad. Gaudete Sunday occurs eight to thirteen days before Christmas, and the nearness of the feast is reason for great joy.

The Term “Gaudete.” Gaudete is taken from the ancient Antiphon: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near” (paraphrase, Phil 4:4-5).

There is joy in looking forward to the annual celebration of Christmas, but there is also joy in recalling the birth of Jesus on the first Christmas. The joy is heightened because he was born to save us from our sins (Mt 1:21b). The joy also extends to anticipation of the Second Coming, either at the end of physical life or the end of the world, the time when believers will be given the crown of righteousness (2 Tm 4:8) and a place in the Father’s house (Jn 14:2) to dwell with God and his angels and saints for all eternity.

A Joyful Color. Rose represents joy and this color will be used by Fr. Al in his vestments. Violet remains the official color for the Season of Advent, the Third Sunday included, because all of Advent has a penitential tone, a time to be absolved of sin and be in the state of grace for Christmas. Gaudete Sunday offers a brief respite to focus on the uplifting, upcoming joyful celebration of the Nativity.

Adapted from Father Michael Van Sloun | December 2020
December 1, 2021
Dear Christ Church and St. Luke’s,
Advent blessings to you! We hope the spirit of anticipation is beginning to move through your parishes. we are writing to bring you into an important conversation that started several months ago between your vestries. With the retirement of the Rev. Susan Lee, St. Luke’s moved into a time of discernment regarding their next clergy person. As a result of the relationships built through the South Coast Episcopalians group, the wardens of your parishes were interested in beginning a conversation about collaborating on a clergy person.
Following conversations with the wardens of Christ Church and St. Luke’s, Canon O’Connell met with the 4 wardens and treasurers of both congregations on July 6 at St. Luke’s. We had an initial conversation about what the process would look like if the parishes were to move forward with sharing a clergy person. Following that meeting, the wardens and treasurers met with their vestries to share with them their thoughts and feelings about this process. Both vestries decided to move forward. Both vestries met with Canon O’Connell on August 31 at Christ Church. We spent a great evening together getting to know one another and discussing ways our parishes might begin to collaborate in ministry.
The vestries again met individually about whether they wanted to continue in this process. Both vestries have agreed that they would like to continue the process which brings us to this letter to let you know where we have been and where we are going. Our next step is to give you time to ask questions of your wardens and vestries about our process. Perhaps there will be a more general parish meeting if that seems warranted. We are beginning to discuss more concretely what this collaboration will look like. This is a collaboration, not a merger. Both parishes will continue with their own ministries but will work more closely together.
It is important for you to know that no decisions have been made. We have not discussed finances or service times. We are assuming that the Rev. Alan Hesse will remain at Christ Church and begin serving St. Luke’s as well. Again, we don’t have details on what this will look like. We continue to be in the place of discernment and building relationship. It is our hope that this process will conclude in the first 4 or 5 months of next year after continued conversation and clear understanding of commitments on the part of Fr. Alan, Christ Church and St. Luke’s.
We realize that this may be new news to many of you and you may have questions so please be in touch with your wardens with your questions or concerns. Moving forward, you will receive regular updates on our progress. We are happy to receive any questions or concerns you may have. This is an exciting time in the life and ministry of both congregations and we look forward to speaking with you.
Arthur Benjamin, St. Luke’s                                     Jen Valiente, Christ Church
Leslie Gula, St. Luke’s                                              Kelly O’Connell, Regional Canon
Dave McCarthy, Christ Church
              "Welcome to Christ Church”
              Such a simple thing to say. Such a nice thing to say.
              We have a wonderful community here at Christ Church --in spirituality and in friendship.
              What we lack, however, is that first welcoming step.
              We haven’t done the best job of reaching out to our new parishioners, both families and individuals.
              That’s why Vestry member Shirley Stasiowski would like to restart our Welcoming Committee.
              It’s probably the easiest Church committee on which to serve.
              All you have to do is be nice.
              “Welcome to Christ Church. Please join us for coffee in the Parish House.”  Once at the Parish House, present our newcomers with a Church mug, maybe containing a little bag of homemade fudge or cookies.
              Again, not hard work, but oh so meaningful.
              We have some big challenges facing Christ Church. It never hurts to have additional ideas – and help – in meeting those challenges.
If interested in joining a revived Welcoming Committee, please contact Shirley between services or by calling her on her cell at (774) 644-1970.

Parish Office Hours
(Non Holiday weeks)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am-3pm.
508-678-0923 office
  • This is an article we missed printing in the spring. Thanks Sue!

Covid-19 Part ....I've lost count 
by Sue Carvalho

As I write this it has been a week of unexpected deaths of family, and more family and friends in our new community. We will not be able to attend funerals or a wake but we reach out via calls and cards. It's hard not to offer condolences in person and not be able to give a hug, still not be able to give a hug. 
A year has gone by and thankfully, yes thankfully we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully your vaccine status is either you have gotten your shot or shots, are scheduled or are hopeful you will be scheduled. We should all be hopeful no matter what your status.
It was glorious the other week to watch Christ Church Sunday service and hear Julie Sanders perform a solo! Loved the sermon and the playfulness between Julie and Fr. Alan. It sounded as if there was a church full of people that Sunday. I know there wasn't but for a moment it felt that way. Oh and how I love the new audio/video equipment. This past Sunday I also enjoyed Fr. Alan's pink stole in honor of Mothering Sunday. What a great week to also pay tribute to Barbara Harris
I am still sending cards and reaching out, however, I can to others. It is so important to stay connected...Thankfully Steve and I have each other and so we do have some family close by. My brother and sister-in-law are close by and we are able to get together at least once a week.
A year later I now know people who have had Covid-19 and survived and thankfully I don't personally know anyone who has died from Covid-19. Not everyone's story is the same.
Steve and I have found a new community this winter and are starting to make new friends and working our butts off creating a new home. This year we have all had to adapt and adjust. Christ Church has survived!
  • Spring is close.....and the days are longer and hope springs eternal.

Saturday 11th   Flower memorials are due
Monday 13th    Pie orders due
Tuesday 14th    Vestry Meeting in the Parish House
at 6:30pm.
Friday 17th  Soup and Seniors, Christmas potluck and
Yankee Swap 10am-12noon
Sunday 19th     Pie Pickup/Delivery

Friday 24th    CHRISTMAS EVE
3pm Children's Christmas pizza party and costume
assignments for the drive through pageant.
4pm Drive through Christmas Pageant
4:30 Christmas Eve Musical Offering
5pm Christmas Eve Mass

Sunday 9th  ONE SERVICE - Bishop’s Visitation
with Baptism 10am
Friday 14th  Meal Ministry at Church of Our Savior,

Masks are required
at all functions
inside church property.

Worship with us in person or online.

Christ Church
57 Main Street, Swansea, Ma 02777
Office: 508-678-0923 or [email protected],
The Rev. Alan R. Hesse, Rector; 508-505-5668 cell, [email protected],