December, 2017
Toy Sale to Benefit the Diocese of Panama
Christ Church will host its annual sale of new and gently-used toys on Saturday, December 2nd, from 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.  All proceeds will benefit the Diocese of Panama. Donations of new or gently-used merchandise will be gratefully received through Friday, December 1st. Assistance is needed to sort and price the toys on Friday, December 1st, and during the sale on Saturday, December 2nd.  Help is also welcome during the following week, as we bag the remainders and transport them to other locations. Please contact Denise Streeter at 973-383-84572 or via email at to offer your assistance.
The Season of Advent at Christ Church
The Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols
The Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols, featuring the Senior and Junior Choirs, along with a brass quintet and organ, will be held at 7:00 p.m . on Sunday, December 17th . Come early to get a good seat! 

Volunteers are needed to help with set-up and clean-up for the reception following the Lessons & Carols performance. Contact Kathy Hoyer at kehoyer@gmailcom or at 973-903-6059 to offer your assistance.
Christmas Eve, December 24th
Please note that the Christmas Eve worship schedule has changed this year.
The Family Service featuring the Christmas Pageant will begin at 5:00 p.m.  
A Carol Sing featuring the Senior Choir will be offered at 7:30 p.m .
A Festal Choral Eucharis t will commence at 8:00 p.m.

Christmas Day, December 25th
The Christmas Day service will take place at 10:00 a.m . on December 25th. 
A Fellowship Luncheon for parishioners and community members will be held immediately after the service on December 25th. All are welcome! Bring a Christmas ornament to decorate our tree! See Nick Pachnos or Gizelle Garren with questions. 

Christmas Memorial Flowers
Those who are interested in purchasing Christmas memorial flowers are invited to complete the form found in the pew, or contact Karrie at or 973-383-2245.
Episcopal Church Women News
The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) will meet on Thursday, December 21st, at 11:45 a.m. at the home of Barbara Parker for a holiday meeting and gift exchange. Bring a dish to share and a wrapped gift; RSVP indicating the number of people and food choice to Diana Greene,

Save the date for the annual Spring Retreat, Saturday, March 10th, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., at the Sacred Heart Retreat Center.
Consider Year End Giving to Christ Church
Year-end is fast approaching. Please keep these two gifting opportunities in mind:
First, if you have appreciated stocks and readily marketable mutual funds, you are allowed a deduction for the entire fair market value of these types of investments. At the same time, you avoid tax on the capital gains embedded in such property. 
Secondly, for individuals over 70½ years of age, distributions of up to $100,000 in a tax year made directly from your individual retirement accounts to Christ Church are not subject to taxation. This tactic is extremely beneficial to retirees that no longer itemize their deductions. 
The savings with both these approaches can be quite significant, benefiting Christ Church as well as yourself. Some special rules exist; be careful to consider your particular circumstances. Contact the church office for assistance.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Bob Charlton, Treasurer
Christian Education Update
Journey (Christ Church Youth Group)
Teens can get community service hours and have fun helping local senior citizens and low-income families!

Toy Sale Volunteers
Teen volunteers are needed to help set up the Toy Sale on Friday, December 1st and assist patrons as they select gifts on Saturday, December 2nd. Contact Randy Parks to sign up at 862-266-0513 or email

Liberty Towers Service
The members of Journey will be conducting a service at Liberty Towers on Sunday, December 17th, 9:00 - 9:40 a.m. Hot cocoa, music, fellowship and more! All will return in time to participate in the 10:00 a.m. service.

Christmas Pageant
Rehearsals for this year's Christmas pageant are underway, and roles are still available for students in preschool through 6th grade. Rehearsals for this theatrical extravaganza, which is based on the record-breaking Broadway show, The Lion King, will be held Sundays, 9:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m., in December. The pageant will take place at the 5:00 p.m. Family Service on Christmas Eve. Contact Susie Mittelstadt,, with questions.
Blanketeers Meeting
The Christ Church Blanketeers will meet on Saturday, December 9th, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the common room in Lower Holley Hall. Those who like to crochet, knit, quilt, applique, or just give moral support are invited to attend. Bring a bagged lunch; tools and supplies are provided and community service credits are available. Yarn donations are appreciated.

The group is now making pillowcases for Ryan's Case for Smiles, and is need of new or used sewing machines! Free knitting and crochet workshops, along with support for personal sewing projects, are provided at each meeting. Group projects are also available. For more information, contact Karrie Miller at the church office, 973-383-2245 or Dawn Charlton at
Manna House Volunteers Needed
Volunteers are welcomed and needed to prepare and serve the free lunch provided to approximately 60 people per day at the Manna House program offered at the First Presbyterian Church in Newton (54 High Street). Volunteer servers from Christ Church are needed on the fourth Wednesday of each month, from 9:50 a.m.—12:50 p.m.; the next date is December 27th.  To volunteer, contact Laura Booker at 973-383-7635 or email Laura at .

We congratulate our neighbors at Manna House for celebrating their 30th anniversary in service to our community!
Nominations Announced
The Nominations for parish elections in February, 2018, will include:
Sylvia Montero, Warden
Lori Parks, Ginny Smith, Vestry
Sunday Brunch in a Bag
Sunday Brunch in a Bag is a new outreach program which was launched in November after Christ Church parishioner Gizelle Garren noted an absence of available meals on Sundays for those in the community who are in need.

Teams of parishioners hand out sandwiches, fruit, cookies and bottled water in the church on Sundays, 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Meals are prepared in the Christ Church kitchen immediately following the 10:00 a.m. service.

To volunteer for this program, contact the church office or Gizelle Garren at 973-948-4030 or
Well Done, Good & Faithful Servants!
  • Gizelle Garren for creating the new outreach ministry, Sunday Brunch in a Bag;
  • The members of the Journey class who assist with the younger children during Sunday School;
  • Ginny Smith for coming up with the theme for our Stewardship Dinner, and all those who helped to cook, set up, entertain, and clean up the event;
  • To all those who have pledged their support to Christ Church Newton during 2018. It's not too late to pledge! You can even pledge online!
Birthdays and Anniversaries this Month
We celebrate with those parishioners who will be marking a special day in December:

Jenna Halkyard, Sean Parks,Kathi Hoffman, Katie Reilly, Julia Charlton, Evelyn Polcer, Frederick Mara, Jennifer Rowe, Ray Regenthal, Tammy Arfken, Denise Streeter, Stacy Grant, Maureen Slamer, John Campbell, Colleen Rosica, Lindsay Hoffman, Meghan Clements, Zachary Clements, Jill Pierson, Greg Guinsler, Mark Maruska, Austin Seames, Ann DePietro, Robin Ann Burke, Richard Latham, and Cameron Grant.

William & Patricia Taggart, MItch & Shari Hillard, Kenneth & Marcia Shenton, Louis & Maureen Slamer.
Pathways to Prosperity Volunteer Opportunity
Volunteers are needed to shop for and prepare dinner for the Pathways to Prosperity program.

Pathways to Prosperity is an exciting initiative to end poverty. It provides support and resources to families, called Path Leaders, who have made a serious commitment to change their lives by becoming self-reliant and resilient. Path Leaders complete comprehensive education resulting in the development of an action plan that maps out their road to success. Through education, mentoring, skill building and networking, Path Leaders make real and positive changes in their lives to achieve self-reliance and resiliency. 

Pathways to Prosperity meets every Tuesday evening in Sparta. Dinner is provided to all participants and their children—usually 50-60 people. Christ Church volunteers will shop for and prepare dinner one Tuesday a month; the date for December is pending. Expenses are reimbursed up to $150. Please contact Terry Syberg if you are interested in joining this team.
Bible Study
Bible Study will take place on Thursdays, December 7, 14, 21, & 28, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. in the Church Parlor. Join the Rector to discuss the Gospel for the coming Sunday.
Sunday Servers & Coffee Hour Hosts
Those who have volunteered to host Coffee Hour, provide flowers, support the Sanctuary, serve as Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Acolytes, Crucifers or on the Altar Guild can check their schedule on the Christ Church website.
Faith Community Needs Assessment Underway
A Faith Community Health Needs Assessment has been designed to identify the health needs and interests of adults in faith-based organizations. This survey is being conducted by the Atlantic Health System (AHS) and offered to members of the AHS Faith Community Health Partnership program.      
The Faith Community Health Needs Assessment is available in both paper and online formats. Individual responses will remain anonymous and confidential. Survey completion time averages five minutes or less and participation is voluntary.  On Sunday December 3, 2017 , Beth Batastini,RN-BC will distribute the paper survey at the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services. Please do one survey only-either in paper format or online.
Church members may choose to complete either the paper survey or the online survey, which is accessible through the following link:

The results of the assessment will be used to develop programs that address the most important health concerns of local congregations.  
Looking Ahead
Church Breakfast
Join us for breakfast on Sunday, December 3rd, 8:45 - 9:30 a.m. Make an Advent Wreath!
Spring Retreat
The ECW will offer their annual Retreat on Saturday, March 10, 2018.
Church Calendar Online
Stay up-to-date with the events at Christ Church by checking out the calendar on our website.
Christ Church Newton | Phone: 973-383-2245 | Fax: 973-383-8077 | |