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Redeemer News

  • November 20, 2020 11:48 AM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    Dear Friends of the Redeemer,

    Yesterday, clergy and wardens across the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts received a pastoral message from our bishops with updated pandemic guidance. The bishops offered gratitude to parishes for their work in responding to the deep challenges of this moment. In addition, they provided new guidelines for us including the following:

    "All churches are now urged in the strongest possible terms to suspend in-person, indoor worship.  This expectation is in effect for the foreseeable future, as steps continue to be taken across the country to curtail the dramatic rise of coronavirus infections."

    Though neither Newton nor Brookline have entered the "Red Zone" regarding transmission and infection rates, I am suspending indoor worship for the time being. We have worked so very hard these last months to create the safest indoor worship environment possible going far beyond episcopal guidelines and state mandates. To date we have received no notice from public health officials regarding COVID cases traceable to our outdoor or indoor worship services since regathering in September. However, we will return to our outdoor worship pattern for the 11:30am service beginning this Sunday, November 22, 2020.

    As I have said from the beginning and as you are all now more than well aware, the pandemic presents a fluid situation of ever-changing variables. This means balancing the call to public worship against the pastoral responsibility to keep each other safe. I am saddened to say the least, and the decision was no easy thing. So good Christian friends, bundle up Sunday morning and join us for Morning Prayer in the back parking lot at 11:30am or the Family service at 12:45pm. Please make sure to sign-up for either or both.

    Faithfully and Fondly,

    Mike+

  • November 16, 2020 3:26 PM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    Dear Friends of the Redeemer,

    Ministry takes as many forms as there are baptized members of the Church. Each set of gifts, given by God, serves to fortify the Body of Christ in particular and life-giving ways. Over the last nineteen years, Michael Murray's gifts (many and varied) have blessed and fortified the Redeemer and her people of all ages and walks of life. He has been a minister in so many ways.

    To honor ministry in the midst of a local parish community upon a ministers' departure, a purse is collected of freewill offerings from parishioners to honor and thank the departing minister. To that end, the Vestry has approved the collection of a purse for Michael Murray. These funds will be gathered and given to Michael before his final day with us on December 24, 2020. 

    Gifts to a purse are not tax-deductible gifts given to the church. Instead the church acts as a conduit of these gifts. Checks should be made payable to Church of the Redeemer with "Murray Purse" noted in the memo line. Online gifts through our Text-To-Give system may also be made by texting 73256 on your mobile phone. Enter REDEEMERCH in the message field and follow the link to our online giving portal. Scroll down to "Murray Purse" in the drop-down menu. As mentioned above, these funds will be released to Michael at the end of his tenure. I hope you will offer a token of your thanks and gratitude to Michael for all he has done in Christ's name for the Redeemer.

    In Christ,


    Mike+


  • October 23, 2020 2:34 PM | Barbara MacDonald (Administrator)

    My first video missive! Please forgive the middle-aged man trying to master technology that children have mastered! This vid-pistle welcomes Dr. Sarah Hammond to speak about COVID-19 and the work we have done to prepare the Redeemer for indoor worship. While the interview happened on October 2nd and some things have changed about infection rates and such, I hope Sarah's insights will help you and yours make the best decision about attending the Redeemer!

    For more information on safety measures undertaken at the Redeemer, please read What the Redeemer Has Done to Make Indoor Worship Safer.

    Blessings,

    Mike+

  • 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.

  • 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, 

    Mike+

    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,

    Mike

    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
office@redeemerchestnuthill.org

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