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Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Henri Nouwen & The Way of the Heart

It was almost forty years ago that this Scripture passage first came to life for me. I was fresh out of college and full of ideas about prayer. My first job had blown up in my face and I was struggling to find work and a place to live when I wandered into Zion Episcopal Church in Charles Town, West Virginia. The Rector, Roger Henshaw was very kind and helped me find my footing. I helped by working with the youth of the parish and reading daily Morning Prayer several days a week in the ancient, cavernous church.

In January 0f 1981 Roger announced that we were going to New York City for the Trinity Institute. This amazing gathering of a thousand clergy and laity from all across the country. One of three speakers that week was Henri Nouwen. Nouwen was a diminutive Dutch Roman Catholic priest. His book The Way of the Heart had just been published. In it, he described prayer in ways I have never imagined.

Nouwen says, “This way of simple prayer, when we are faithful to it and practice it as regular times, slowly leads us to an experience of rest and opens us to God’s active presence … The discipline is not directed towards coming into a deeper insight into what it means that God is called our Shepherd, but towards coming to the inner experience of God’s shepherding action in whatever we think, say, or do!”

He goes on to describe a scene from a book entitled The Way of the Pilgrim in which a 19th Century peasant who goes into church and hears the Scripture quoted above, “Pray without ceasing.” After church the peasant finds the priest and asks him how this is possible. The priest has no satisfactory answer, so the peasant moves from church to church, seeking the way of unceasing prayer.

Finally, a holy man teaches him the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”. The peasant becomes a pilgrim traveling through Russia repeating this prayer 100, then 1,000 times a day. Nouwen writes, “one day he has the feeling that the prayer by its own action passes from his lips to his heart … ‘it seemed as though my heart in its ordinary beating began to say the words of the Prayer within each beat … I gave up saying the Prayer with my lips. I simply listened carefully to what my heart was saying.’”

St. Paul told new Christians in Thessalonica to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks in all circumstances. Perhaps, this is our calling, too! There is joy to be found around us, and so we rejoice. Our heart teaches in every beat about the way of love. And, whatever our circumstances, we are made to give thanks. This simple method, told to me more than half a lifetime ago, reminds me of what truly matters. Our prayers are not offered to impress God or to change God’s will. Our prayers change us, our perspective and our energy.

May your preparations for the celebration of the birth of our Savior contain: the joy, the ceaseless prayer, and the thanksgiving that comes from our very hearts and the heart of God!

Mark +

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Join us at ccpki.org for Worship this Sunday

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Christian Formation

This time of year we see lights everywhere. In” Lessons with Lisa” Winnie dresses up in Christmas lights to help us remember that Jesus is the one true light in our hearts and in our lives. When we see all the Christmas lights around us, let’s think of a way that Jesus brings light into our heart and life.
This week is the 3rd Sunday of Advent and we will light the pink candle which symbolizes Joy. We explore the difference between happiness and joy in “Wednesdays with Winnie”. Please watch as Winnie tries to nap through the discussion. Silly dog! Maybe Winnie is reminding us of the importance of self-care during this busy time.

Join us on Zoom for the lighting of the Advent wreath on Sunday at 5:00. Zoom meeting information is on the CCPKI website. I hope to see you there.

Miss Lisa and Winnie
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 Follow Winnie on "Wednesdays with Winnie"

Join Winnie and Miss Lisa for Lessons with Lisa
Meals Needed for Shelter

Looking for volunteers to provide dinner to our guests at the shelter on Jan 1 and 2. Currently we are serving 6 guests with no allergies. Need to prepare main dish-a meat and veggie casserole or pasta type casserole with side of bread/rolls, A green salad would be nice also. Meals need to be delivered to KIUMC at 5:30. If you can help out with either evening in January please let me know ASAP . Please contact me at shelter@ccpki.org and I will give you more details. Leslie Schneider
Please pray for: Angela & Trent, Baby girl Claibaugh, Peggy Brengle, Lynda Brody, Buck Buckingham, Aubree Burton, Camp Wright, Chris, Connie Clark, Scott & Lynn Clark, Jane Coppage, Wendy Costello (RIP), Corie Davis, Bryan Dalheim (RIP), Bob & Laura Dean, Deny, Paul Dorr, Jim Ewing, Susan Fralic, Jim Gallagher, Dave Grapes, David Grimes (RIP), Rick H (RIP) & Family, Anne Habberton, Rita Hadlock, Melanie Hallowell (RIP), Liza Hamill, Ronald Hartman, Carol Holland, Jim Hoverman, Clint Hoxter, Charles Jewell, Anne Jones, Josette, Rowan & Lyla, Albie Kimbel, Jeff Kolbeins, Mike Kratzer & Family, Olivia Marguerite, Sharon McCain, Toinette McDowell, Doug McMillan & Family, Bob Meile, Greg Middleton (RIP), Faith Miller, Renee O’Rourke, Camilla Parrott, Al Peppel, John Perkins, Gail Renborg, Rick & Christina, John Riley, Jeff Rouse, Adele & David Sadiq, Judy Schubrook (RIP), Kirsten Shelek (RIP), Donna & Rob Sherwood, Anna Sisson, Jeffrey Thomas, Ian Vansant & Family, Monty Wells (RIP), Kathy & Roger Whitehead, Larry Wilkens, Candace Williams, Bob Willis, Lee Wilson (RIP), Jack Wright, Geoff Young (RIP)
This Sunday's Worship Service

Join Us for Living Well Through Advent 2020

The Parish Devotional Book for Advent is from Living Compass. This year they are focusing on “Practicing Hope”. The Books are available at church or online. Go to Living Compass https://www.livingcompass.org and click on the link for a .pdf to download.
Pause Ponder and Pray will also use the booklet for our Tuesday Night Zoom Meetings (Zoom Meeting ID: 822 6393 0246) at 7:00 pm. Send us an email if you would like a weekly reminder.

  • December 15 The Power of Hope
  • December 22 Grounding our Hope in God 

Save the Dates:
December 12th at  7:00 pm--Westminster Ringers Virtual Concert
December 20th at 7:30 pm--Online Service for the Longest Night
December 24th at 4:00 pm--Outdoor Family Christmas Eve Service
December 24th at 8:00 pm--Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist & Hymns
December 25th at 10:00 am--Christmas Day Holy Eucharist
Sunday Nights in Advent
Family Zoom Advent Wreath Lighting Service at 5:00 pm
12/13 – 12/20
Ways to Support Christ Church

  • Electronic Giving: Click Here
  • Text to Give by texting CCPKI to 73256
  • Bank: Have your bank send a check or make an ACH transfer
  • By Check: CCPKI 830 Romancoke Rd. Stevensville MD 21666

Vestry members at CCPKI serve for three-year terms and are elected at the annual meeting held each year at the end of January. This coming January we will elect three new members to replace Colleen Minahan, Jeff Pike, and Dottie Wilson who will have completed their three-year terms. 

Anyone who is 16 years of age or older, and has been active in Christ Church Parish for a period of six months or longer, is eligible to serve as a member of the Vestry. 

If you would like to suggest someone to be on the Vestry, please contact one of the three outgoing members (Colleen, Jeff or Dottie) or email vestry@ccpki.org.  
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