June 4, 2020


The First Sunday after Pentecost: 
Trinity Sunday
June 7, 2020 at 9 a.m.

Join us on Facebook at 9 a.m. to watch our live service.   You can watch on our website as well.

Missed last Sunday's sermon, want to read it, or re-watch the service?  You can by clicking here.



A lmighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen Please  click here  for this  week's readings.

Please click the link below to jump to the desired section.

Summer Choose-A-Hymn  - Sign up to hear your favorite hymns this summer!
Organ Notes  - St. Cecilia and the Female Patrons of Music
Health Links  g un safety, domestic violence , and food support


In the midst of the pandemic, our nation has been roiled by the aftershocks of the murder of George Floyd, a Black American. I know I am not alone in being sickened by the brutal domination exercised by a minority of those sworn to protect and serve. I am disgusted by the craven idolatry displayed by leaders duty-bound to uphold the Constitution, and who, in my view, cynically perverted the sacred symbols of faith to satisfy a naked lust for power. I am disappointed by looters and hooligans who seek to sow mayhem and "get theirs," though I cannot truly understand the depth of righteous rage that may be motivating some of them. I am inspired by those who bravely risk arrest and physical harm by standing up peacefully and vocally for justice for all people. On Sunday afternoon, I stood in front of our Church, holding a Black Lives Matter sign, with several hundred Needhamites stretching down Highland Avenue toward the Center. At no point, however, did I feel I was risking anything, except, perhaps, disapproval for holding such a sign. 

Yet again, we are faced with the symptoms of forces that as a society we have systematically and sinfully sought to avoid. For centuries they have buttressed themselves against the well-being of our non-white siblings. That they continue to bubble up in our nation makes clear that we still seek to evade confronting them, as individuals and as a civil society, in courageous ways that lead to healing and justice. The virus of systemic racial injustice continues to infect our body politic.
It is easy to wax indignant. We need to do more. As Presiding Bishop Michael Curry so often asks, we have to ask ourselves as Christians who seek to love our neighbors: what does love look like in this time and place? 
In my view, for white Episcopalians who seek to live out our Baptismal Covenant and to walk in Jesus' Way of Love, it means, as a bare beginning, committing to doing some simple homework on our own.  It means praying to God for help to be open to accepting the internal resistance and discomfort that can come with facing unpleasant truths. As Jesus says, "The truth will set you free." (John. 8.31) It doesn't have to be perfect. Just start. Some beginnings:
Engage in simple self-reflection: 
Download and read the document: "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," and answer the 50 questions  here  (Note: this is a corrected copy from the one sent on Tuesday.)

Read well-regarded, prize-winning works of history and law. For example:
Slavery by Another Name  by Douglas Blackmon (Pulitzer Prize, 2008)
The Color of Law  by Richard Rothstein (National Book Award Long List Finalist)
The Warmth of Other Suns  by Isabel Wilkerson (National Book Critics Circle Award)
The New Jim Crow  by Michelle Alexander (New York Times Best Seller) 

Explore memoirs, self-reflection and social analysis by white people who have committed themselves to unlearning the crippling heritage of racial dominance. 
Waking Up White   by Debbie Irving (a resident of Winchester, MA)
White Fragility  by Robin DiAngelo (New York Times best seller)
As with the response to the pandemic, a commitment to racial justice is also a marathon. It requires reserves of determination, faithfulness, and prayer. Our siblings of color know this only too well. Please join in this marathon with me. Jesus calls us to it.

Yours in Christ,

Beloved Spaces: The Privilege of Race in Ordinary Time. Christ Episcopal Church (Needham, MA)
Beloved Spaces: The Privilege of Race in Ordinary Time


Click here to read the Massachusetts Bishops' statement on violence and the sin of racism.

The bishops of the seven New England Episcopal dioceses on June 2 issued the following joint statement in response to President Trump's photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. Read it here.


piano_keyboard.jpg Do you have a favorite hymn you would love to hear played during the service?  Now is your chance, and you can also support a summer accompanist with a donation in any amount you choose.  We need a total of $100 per week.

Please click here to sign up, and to enter your requested hymn.  Please mail a check to Christ Church (made payable to Christ Church and note "summer music" in the memo line).  We will recognize donors in the weekly bulletin.  

Please email Ali or Pam with questions!


On Sunday, June 7, summer hours at Christ Church begin.  Sunday service will be at 9:00 a.m. on Facebook , (Lemonade hour to follow on Zoom) and available as a recording on our website. The office will be open virtually 9am-1pm on Thursdays, and closed Fridays.  This schedule continues until Tuesday, September 8.


This Sunday we invite you to a virtual Zoom coffee hour following the 10 a.m. service.  

In your mind's eye, imagine us together in Upper Parish Hall eating, drinking, and enjoying one another's company while standing on the newly refinished floor.

You can join online on your computer or mobile device, or dial-in on your cell phone or landline.  Here's a helpful PDF on how to access and use Zoom.  
ORGAN NOTES: St. Cecilia and the Female Patrons of Music

By Linnea Wren

St. Cecilia, by Raphael 
A famous depiction of St. Cecilia was painted in 1513 by the Italian artist Raphael (1483-1520). It was commissioned by an Italian noblewoman of Bologna, Elena Duglioli dall'Olio (1472-1520). As Raphael's financial patron, she would have chosen the subject.

According to legend, Cecilia lived in Rome in the second century AD. Although she had taken a vow of chastity, her parents forced her to marry a pagan nobleman, Valerian. On her wedding day, as music was being played, Cecilia sang to God in her heart. Convinced by Cecilia that he must respect her chastity, Valerian accepted Christian baptism. An angel of the Lord appeared to crown both Cecilia and Valerian. Persecuted for their faith, they were both executed.

In Raphael's painting, Cecilia is shown surrounded by four figures, John the Evangelist, Augustine, Paul, and Mary Magdalene. Cecilia's rich clothes are tied with a simple belt, a symbol of chastity. She looks up to heaven, where an angelic choir sings the praise of God. Besides fulfilling an important function in the celestial liturgy, the heavenly music expresses the happiness of redeemed souls in witnessing God's glory.

Church fathers considered the human voice as direct expression of the soul. Musical instruments lie at Cecilia's feet. In her hands is an organetto, a portative (or portable hand-pumped) organ. Cecilia was more closely associated with the organ than any other instrument due to the increased popularity of church organs for sacred music. Nonetheless, Cecilia has lowered her organ and some pipes are falling out. Uplifted by the sounds of her organ, she can now hear the transcendent song of the celestial choir.

It was no accident that Elena Duglioli chose St. Cecilia as the subject of the altarpiece she commissioned. Like many other influential Italian women of the 16th century, she used her wealth and position to advance women in the arts. She was certainly aware of the prominent poet and author Ariosto (1474-1533) who wrote, "Women have arrived at excellence in every art in which they have striven. If the world has long remained unaware of their achievements, this sad state of affairs is only transitory."

Elena Duglioli was part of a concerted effort to make the achievements of women known to the world. She, like many of her contemporaries, would have been astonished at how many centuries it has taken to make women's accomplishments known. It is an effort that we can continue at Christ Church by honoring the rich diversity of music that will be available through our virtual pipe-organ sets.


We posted a new recording to the music highlights section of our website. Please enjoy "Amazing Grace" with our Music Director Pam Goody on piano and her husband Bruce Goody on flute. Thank you Pam and Bruce for making this music that brightens our day!


The solar system continues to generate savings for the Church and carbon-free energy for our power needs.  The system generated about 4,900 KwH of electricity last month and has saved the Church about $1,774 so far this year.


Christ Church has deep ties to these organizations that continue to offer services and support to those in need during the pandemic. Donations  in any amount are truly appreciated. It is one way to keep loving our neighbor as Jesus teaches.

MANNA has expanded their  mission to be a place of solace, peace, and nourishment for those who have nowhere else to go just now, and the new costs are significant, as partner parishes have not been able to cook and bring down meals in the usual way, though our Parish and St. Michael's, Milton, have figured out an alternative way to make and deliver meals safely. Donate online  here . Scroll down on the options drop-down menu to Monday Lunch.

The Needham Community Council is keeping the Food Pantry open and will continue to provide food supplies to Needham residents. Click here to learn how you can donate.

Circle of Hope is offering contactless emergency deliveries to partner shelters. C lick here to  link  directly Emergency Response Wish List.

B-Safe continues to offer virtual and financial support to the young people it serves and their communities.  Donate to the SSYP Pandemic Relief fund here.


Please email the office with your prayers for inclusion in Sunday worship.

Health Links: Gun Safety, Domestic Violence and Food Support


Sign up to shop at the Food Pantry  here


Monday, June 8
10:00 a.m.    Virtual Staff Meeting

Tuesday, June 9
8:00 a.m.      Men's Prayer (via Zoom, email Nick for the invitation) 
9:30 a.m.      PRM (via Zoom, members will receive an invite in their email)

Thursday, June 10
7:00 p.m.      CCN Choir meeting (please email Pam for the invitation)

Sunday, June 14
9:00  a.m.      Morning prayer via Facebook
10:00 a.m.   Virtual Agape 

Just click on the links below for...

If you or someone in your family is in the hospital or in need of pastoral care, please call the church office so that our clergy or the Pastoral Response Ministry team may be notified and tend to the need. The office number is 781-444-1469, and you can reach Nick at ext. 113.