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Redeemer News

  • September 16, 2020 9:17 AM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    Donating flowers for the high altar is a wonderful way to honor a loved one or celebrate a special occasion. 

    · Any number of people may sign up for the same Sunday. 

    · If you don’t have a particular Sunday in mind or your dates are flexible, you can sign up for any Sunday in a particular month or any Sunday in the year (to be assigned at the discretion of the Altar Guild).

    · Flowers may be given either in memory of, in thanksgiving for, in celebration of a birthday, anniversary, etc.

    · In general, the Altar Guild will order and arrange the flowers.  However, we will try to accommodate special requests.

    Flowers may be sponsored on the High Altar for a suggested contribution of $100 per Sunday.

    Please email the following information to Suzy Westcott:

    • Designation date
    • Please list one:  in loving memory of / in thanksgiving for/
      in celebration of other ___________
    • Name(s) of person(s) being honored
    • Donor Name(s) to be listed or Anonymous (please circle)
    • Donor Name & Phone Number

    You can pay for your flower donation via text giving. Type 73256 in the to: box, then, type REDEEMERCH in the message box and the $ amount. Press send. You will get a return text asking you to click on the link to complete your gift. Please designate 'Altar Guild' as the fund for your donation. 

    Or fill out the flower donation form and mail the form and your check made out to Church of the Redeemer to Suzy Westcott, 379 Hammond St, Chestnut Hill, 02467

  • September 09, 2020 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Sunday mornings we offer a 10am Morning Prayer service via Facebook Live and Redeemer Youtube.

    To participate in our 10am service please click on the video on Facebook live  go to the  Redeemer Facebook Page. 

    1. Click on the 'More' tab at the top and then click 'Videos.' This will bring you to a page of Redeemer videos. 
    2. The newest video is always at the top left, so click that--it should have a little red tag that says "LIVE." It will have an image of Mike and Emily in the Nave.
    3. Please note: If you are using a hand-held device, the 'videos' tab appears above the map. 

    We also broadcast all of our services on Redeemer YouTube Channel, Redeemer Episcopal Media. Click here to view.

    A copy of our leaflet will be included in our Friday email. If you have a Book of Common Prayer at home, we would encourage you to use it!  We are also offering a Morning Prayer service M-S at 9:30 am and an Evening Prayer service M-S at 4:30pm via Facebook Live.

  • September 04, 2020 3:07 PM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    Shopping for FUEL

    FUEL is working hard to meet the increase in food insecurity during the challenges of the pandemic and is now being asked for 125 bags each week.  You would help in the following ways:

    ·       SORTING – Donations and bulk purchases are received daily and need to be sorted and shelved.

    ·       PACKING – Non-perishable food is packed in three different ways for recipients.

    ·       DRIVING – Drivers are needed to pick up donations (in Wellesley from St. Andrew’s, at Wegmans, Costco and BJ’s) and to deliver to Epiphany and St. Stephen’s. All work is done wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

    Families and individuals are welcomed and encouraged to shop for FUEL You could purchase one item, one of each item or a quantity of one item. Lighter weight packaging (e.g. non-metal) when possible is preferred to minimize total weight.  Please consider the possibilities during your regular grocery shopping or even an Instacart, Amazon or Walmart delivery directly to the church.

    Bins are located outside the office doors and bags of food are brought into the church on a regular basis.  

    Below is a list of the items FUEL puts in the bags for Newton, Epiphany and St. Stephen’s.


    Chicken (canned 12.5oz)

    Tuna (canned)

    Beans, (pinto, navy, etc.) preferably bagged

    Peanut butter (18oz)


    Applesauce (individual cups or squeeze portions)

    Applesauce (15 oz plastic jar)

    Fruit (individual cups)

    Fruit (15 oz cans of pineapple, fruit cocktail, pears, peaches or oranges)


    Cereal (10-12 oz) or cereal bars

    Crackers (10-15 oz box)

    Macaroni and cheese

    Pasta (1 lb of any type, box or bag)

    Rice  (1 or 2 lb bag or box)


    Marinara sauce (24 oz, preferably in plastic)

    Soup, hearty (10-15oz each)

    St. Stephen's is also looking to make fifty $50.00 VISA cards available each week, one per family. These cards will help with incidentals as 98% of St. Stephen's families report having lost at least one job in their household. These cards may be purchased online or in person at Shaw's, CVS or Walgreens throughout the area. These we ask to be sent to the Redeemer Parish Office or dropped off in the mail slot at Redeemer.

    FUEL Food Bags and gift cards will be delivered weekly to St. Stephen's every Thursday, as well as FUEL Food Bags for Newton and Epiphany families.

    FUEL is a mission initiative founded, funded, and executed solely by Church of the Redeemer.If you are interested in helping out or want to learn more, please contact Velura Perry  


    Another way to help is to provide cotton socks and underwear to unhoused men and women.

    Commoncathedral is currently in need of Multi packs of Cotton socks and Cotton Underwear Briefs for both Men and Women S, M, L & XL.

    These items can be ordered online and shipped to Church of the Redeemer, 379 Hammond St. Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.

    We have also put a donation bin at the exterior office door for those that wish to pick them up at a store and drop them off at the church.

    You can also sandwiches at home for commoncathedral.

    Families, singles and couples are invited to make 50 individually wrapped sandwiches, and provide granola bars &/or fresh fruit for common cathedral. Redeemer parishioners can make them in the safety of their home and then deliver them to Emmanuel Episcopal Church (15 Newbury Street, Boston). Here is the Sign Up Genius Link to choose your day!

  • September 01, 2020 2:00 PM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    Dear Friends of the Redeemer,

    Today, I write to you in absolute joy! God willing and the bishop approving the Redeemer will regather on Sunday, September 6th for our first outdoor in-person worship service. It will be the first time we have gathered physically for worship in twenty-five weeks. Extraordinary!

    Over the last months, the Ministry Team has been working hard to ensure we stay connected through on-line worship, fellowship and educational opportunities. At the same time, many have been at work preparing the necessary protocols and procedures for regathering as safely as possible.

    As excited as I am, I need to warn you. In-person worship will be quite different from our pre-COVID-19 days. Some of us are eager to return to worship while others feel the need to be more cautious. To satisfy those in either category, our 10:00am on-line service will continue indefinitely. These on-line services have proven beautiful, edifying and spiritually nourishing for hundreds upon hundreds of souls near and far. In-person outdoor worship will begin on Sunday, September 6th at 11:15am. Initial congregations will need to be small in number as we negotiate new systems of entry and access to worship. Below I am providing a list of expectations and considerations that will help you make the best decision possible for you and those in your household. I can’t wait to see you all!

    - If you are 65 years or older or suffer (at any age) from diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, prolonged use of corticosteroids, damaged or scarred lung tissue, or maintain a BMI of over 30, the CDC warns that you are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Please consider thoughtfully and carefully about worshipping on-line instead of in-person for the time being.

    - Children and families are warmly invited to join us for in-person worship. However, please note that any child over the age of five will be required to wear a mask for the entire service. Please know that parents or caregivers will need to ensure that children remain in their chosen seating area for the entire service which will last up to an hour. If either masks or delimited seating present significant difficulties for you and your family, please consider worshipping online instead of in-person for the time being. Please remember that children are not immune to COVID-19 and some children have contracted MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) from COVID-19. We support our parents in whatever decision is best for their families.

    - Outdoor seating will be in the back parking lot behind the church.

    - Reservations for attendance are required through Sign-Up Genius. Initial seating capacity is capped at twenty households for the first service. Subsequent services will see occupancy capacity raised.

    - Those without reservations will be asked to wait in a queue until it becomes clear that space for those with reservations is available.

    - Parishioners should arrive at least fifteen minutes early, queuing in the circular driveway at marked intervals.

    - Parishioners should park along Suffolk Road or on Reservoir Avenue. The circular driveway will have limited parking for those in need of handicapped parking. The rest of the driveway will be closed from through traffic for congregational seating.

    - Tables for confirming reservations, sanitizing hands, face masks and contact tracing information will be located at the circular driveway and at the Suffolk Road parking area.

    - Services will be weather dependent. Notice will go out on Saturday at 5pm if services for 11:15am Sunday are cancelled.

    - Restrooms will be available before and after the service accessed through the back kitchen door and through the Parish Hall.

    - Collection plates will be provided at each registration table.

    - Seats will be available in pods of 2, 3, or 4 chairs per pod. If you need more chairs, please see the ushers.

    - The congregation will be dismissed from the back pews to the front pews by ushers. Please remain seated until you are dismissed.

    - Please maintain social distance of at least 6’.

    - Should you perceive any safety issue, please notify the Rector immediately.

    - Should a member of the congregation report a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 to the church, services will be postponed for two weeks.

    I know that’s a lot of changes; however, I feel confident that we have created the safest space possible to regather as a parish community. I look forward to seeing you soon!



  • August 25, 2020 2:22 PM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    Over the last months, a small group of Redeemer parishioners, prayerfully and honestly, grappled with the task of creating a leadership statement on race for Church of the Redeemer. Given the magnitude of this moment in our communities and our nation, this task force created a biblical and theologically grounded guidance statement for the Redeemer's leaders. This statement serves as a starting point for our parish work on race, and should be read as a first commitment by clergy, the wardens and the vestry to be aware of the pervasive sin of racism as we seek "to bring people to Christ and to bring Christ to all people" through all of our programs and commitments. This is a work that will take many, many years, and none of us maintain delusions of grandeur about the difference one parish can make. However, God's call to faithfulness requires our prayerful and committed response to this moment and to one another. The Vestry approved this statement at our August 18th vestry meeting. I am deeply grateful for the work of the task force and the commitment of our leaders.    

    I wish to thank the task force for their good and holy work:

    Gene Dahmen

    Mike Dangelo

    Aaron Dunn

    Emily Garcia

    Anne Grandin

    Leslie Horst

    Alyson Lee

    Debby Mills

    James DeWolfe Perry

    Carolyn Ross

    Amy Weed

    Leslie Williams

    Kathy Zinger

    In Christ, 


    Church of the Redeemer's Leadership Statement on Race

    On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The video of his death has awakened a national call for justice and equity for Black Americans and other people of color amidst a wider culture of systemic racism. Mr. Floyd’s death reminded our nation yet again of its painful history and present beset by violence against Black Americans and other people of color.

    As a parish of the Episcopal Church that “exists to bring people to Christ and to bring Christ to all people” the Church of the Redeemer must prayerfully discern God’s call to faithfully join the chorus of voices raised for justice, repentance and reconciliation in the face of the sin of racism both systemic and particular. Racism is a sign of human brokenness, and we reject it in its many forms. As Christians, we look to Christ who tore down the dividing walls that separate neighbor from neighbor and creature from Creator. Our Baptismal Covenant from the Book of Common Prayer 1979 asks of the baptized five questions essential for living the Christian life and practicing the Christian faith:

    Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?

    Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

    Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

    Will you serve Christ in all persons loving your neighbor as yourself?

    Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

    We cannot claim the Christian faith for ourselves as set forth in the Baptismal Covenant and remain silent or neutral in the face of racism. Therefore, we, the Clergy, Wardens, and Vestry of the Church of the Redeemer hereby vow to engage in:

    Prayerful introspection, contemplation and repentance of our personal biases and/or our silence that has participated in national patterns of discrimination and exclusivity.

    Prayerful conversations of learning and listening to better understand our personal and collective participation in systemic racism as American Christians.

    Prayerful relationship building with the people of color in our own parish, our mission partners in Boston and those in our community and beyond through invitational and intentional  conversations of humble listening.

    Prayerful action with our ministry partners, local leaders, and our wider community to understand and combat the pervasive sin of racism in our own lives, our parish, and our communities.

  • July 08, 2020 4:24 PM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    A Letter from the Rector

    Dear Friends of the Redeemer,

    Over twenty years ago, the Reverend Richard Downes welcomed a young, energetic and wonderfully talented musician into the life of Church of the Redeemer. Since those early days, Michael Murray has brought artistry, passion, and a strong pastoral instinct to his ministry of music building a choral music program of blessing and renown.

    Yesterday, Michael informed me that his husband Dr. Stuart Forster was hired as Associate for Music and Liturgy by The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida. While Stuart will take up his new duties in Florida on September 1st, Michael will conclude his ministry at the Redeemer on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

    For two decades Michael has been at the heart of Redeemer’s Sunday mornings. His liturgical musicianship, consummate showmanship, and dedicated companionship have consoled us in our grief, transported us in our prayers and accompanied us in our joy. He and Stuart will be sorely missed.

    Over the next weeks a search process and committee will be assembled to take advantage of Michael’s presence with us for the next months. Michael's ministry has ensured that candidates of superb quality will seek out the Redeemer to build upon the foundations that he has laid. We will  find the right moments and means to celebrate Michael’s life-giving ministry among us.

    In Christ,


    A Letter from the Director of Music

    Dear friends, 

    Almost twenty years ago, as a young musician, I walked through those magnificent tower doors to experience Henry Vaughan’s resplendent architecture that we call ‘our church’.   

    Yesterday, after much heart-ache and gut-wrenching contemplation, I telephoned Fr. Mike to inform him that as a result of our discernment with the Church of Bethesda-by-the-sea in Palm Beach, FL, where Stuart will take up a new position in September, that I would resign my position at Redeemer to move there, be supportive to him, and look for my next calling.   Whilst Stuart will begin in Palm Beach in September, I will stay at Redeemer through the end of the calendar year, so that we may share one last Christmas together. 

    This was a decision that was immeasurably difficult to make — Stuart and I have served this diocese for more than 40 years collectively.    A nice moment, a couple of years ago, was when I realised I was now the Redeemer’s longest serving liturgical professional (longer even than any of her clergy).   Our tenures at both Christ Church, Cambridge, and the Redeemer have been long, and at times challenging, but above all so very fruitful.   We are so fortunate to have had such supportive and wonderful parishes in which to share our ministries.

    Our Redeemer family is of boundless importance to us, not only professionally, but personally.   Together, we have been there in our joys, our losses, and our everydays.   Our music has seen you and yours married, buried, baptised, comforted, and, hopefully, inspired.  We have shared thousands of hymns, anthems, meals, conversations, and, goodness knows, copious amounts of wine.   We have seen that most momentous of occasions — the installation of a truly splendid new organ — something that will surely stand as the apex of my career.    What a mountain of memories we have made together! 

    I cannot thank you enough for welcoming this rambunctious (then) young organist into the Redeemer family.   This is not goodbye, but merely the next chapter in our greater relationship.   

    I remain eternally grateful for your faith in that young whippersnapper who arrived two decades ago, but more importantly, for your friendship and your many kindnesses.   I look forward to the next few months when we will get to say our farewells, and, hopefully, share a hug.  

    With deep affection, and admiration, 

    -Michael (and his ruby slippers) 

  • June 18, 2020 9:24 AM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    Under the leadership of Debby Mills, James Perry, and Rev. Emily, and with Rev. Mike's participation, we have begun a new conversation around race (and racism). The type of learning we are doing in this group is both intellectual (new concepts, frameworks, and history) as well as reflective (how does this impact my own experience? what does this suggest for my own behavior?).

    Week of July 30th we will get a taste of Robin DiAngelo with the brief article, "White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism," and foretaste of Debby Irving with her TEDtalk, "Finding Myself in the Story of Race."

    Week of August 6th we will begin reading Waking Up White (currently in stock at Brookline Booksmith, or online at Bookshop or Amazon). 

    We meet on Thursday nights, from 7:30-8:45pm. Each week Debby sends out the email with the Zoom link. Please reach out to her if you would like to be on the email list, or to Rev. Emily if you have questions or concerns.

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379 Hammond Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
PHONE:  617-566-7679
FAX:  617-566-6678

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