A Joyful Noise | January 2021


Senior Warden Sylvia Sepulveda

My dream lost to the
waves’ rhythmic rumble, I wake –
smiling with the sea.

winter spirit

To paraphrase Barbra Streisand’s Fanny Brice, “Oy vey, what a year we had this year!” And the worst effects of COVID-19 that delivered the worst aspects of the last year will be ongoing for several more months, at least. Raised and nurtured as a devout, practicing Christian, it took fifty-five years for me to feel kinship with Isaiah’s prophecy, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” I’ve always thought of myself as a being on the other side of that message, post-darkness – living and breathing in the grace of Jesus’ light and love. Though I’ve admired and grieved for those who walked their days in hopeful constancy, I couldn’t imagine that gloom for myself. But here I am, hoping that we’re nearing the end of pandemic-restricted living, so tired of and impatient with the precautions that keep us from our family and friends. It’s exactly a year since I last visited in-person with my mother and not seeing my daughter for her birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas has made these celebrations feel hollow, their true purpose emptied from the down-sized rituals. Our family is the exception in these mere injuries, as many others have experienced far worse – lost lives, good health, jobs, homes, faith.

How dare I name this reflection Hope? Because all through this dark year I’ve seen such great light emanating from this community. Though our physical sanctuary is quite small, the hearts of those who normally fill it represent a vast and generous sacred ground – generosity of Spirit, resilience, bravery, encouragement, gratitude, and joy. Joy? Really? Oh, yeah – we’re a joyous, joyful bunch. Your hard work at staying connected and engaged enthusiasm in those connections has been so inspiring. One of the most precious aspects of my year as Senior Warden has been hearing directly from some of you regarding one topic or another. I’ve been buoyed time and again by the gratitude and praise for our many communal accomplishments and endeavors – being able to share worship via Zoom, the renovation of our church and thrift store websites, the virtual Blessing of the Animals, our new contemplative practices (Contemplative Creativity, Mindful Poetry, Welcoming Prayer,) the Community Advent Celebration, etc. We’ve not only continued in community, we’ve grown and thrived – not in all cases and not to a person, but in many areas, we’ve continued to respond to Jesus’ message to love, to be in community. The great darkness of this year has provided stark relief for the great light that continues to guide and illuminate our ministries and our care for each other. Thank you – being in relationship with you this long, difficult year has offered me deep sustenance, purpose, and joy.

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 

luke 2:10,11

An Opportunity for Bold Steps at Christ Church

Reverend Diane Ramerman

Please join us for a three-part series, Opportunity for Bold Steps at Christ Church.
Wednesdays, January 20, January 27, & February 3
6:00 pm via Zoom

Session I
The history of TCM (Total Common Ministry) in the Episcopal Church and Christ Church, and discussion of how we have lived into the ministry of all the baptized.

Session II
What if Christ Church  returned to the traditional form of ministry?  A look at the financial impact and our resources, and changes in governance.  Are there other options?

Session III
Given who we are now, our resources, our mission and our hopes for the future, how shall we  move forward? What bold steps shall we take?

If joining by phone:
Meeting ID 503 653 606   One tap mobile  +12532158782,,503653606# US (Tacoma)

Please join in. All are welcome.

Adult Faith Formation

Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven
by Amy-Jill Levine

Sundays, beginning January 3
11:45am – 12:45 pm

In this six-week study,  Dr. Amy-Jill Levine introduces the major topics in the Sermon on the Mount, explains historical and theological contexts, and shows how the words of Jesus echo his Jewish tradition and speak forward to reach hearts and minds today.

The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, contains some of Jesus’ most profound and most memorable teachings. What might these teachings have meant to his disciples and to the others who first heard them? How do they enhance our reading of the rest of the Gospel of Matthew, and how do they speak across the centuries to listeners today? How, if we pay careful attention to his words, does Jesus provide us a road map to living as God would have us live?

Amy Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences. An internationally renowned scholar and teacher, she is the author of numerous books, including A Misunderstood Jew, Short Stories by Jesus and Entering the Passion of Jesus. Each week’s lesson will begin with an introductory video by Dr. Levine. 

If joining by phone:
Meeting ID 503 653 606   One tap mobile  +12532158782,,503653606# US (Tacoma)

Annual Meeting

Sunday, January 24
Following the 10:30 am service.
Please join in. All are welcome.

If joining by phone:
Meeting ID 503 653 606   One tap mobile  +12532158782,,503653606# US (Tacoma)

2021 Bishop’s Committee Nominees

People’s Warden Judith Render

In November a call went out to the congregation asking members interested in serving as either a Bishop’s Committee member or a delegate or alternate delegate to the diocesan convention to contact the BC. The nominating committee of the Bishop’s Committee met and contacted members to let their names be put forward to be nominated for Bishop’s Committee members, delegates and alternate delegates. The Bishop’s Committee approved the nominating committee’s slate at the BC meeting on Dec.14, 2020. Maegan Barrett and Carleton Manning will be nominated for three-year terms on the Bishop’s Committee. Maggie Collinge and Becky Lennstrom will be nominated as delegates to the 2021 diocesan convention and Erin Kohlhaas and Melissa Simonsen as alternate delegates to the 2021 convention and as delegates in 2022.

These elected positions will be filled at the Annual Meeting on January 24, 2021. While we will vote on these positions, the church always has teams and committees in need of time and talent. Please discern a ready skill set or an area of interest and contact me regarding opportunities at Christ Church.

Judith Render, People’s Warden
lorneandjudith@hotmail.com, 360-982-2770

Christ Church’s Stained Glass Windows

The Crucifixion

Reverend Deacon Eric Johnson

The seventh of a series of eight articles on the stained glass windows in Christ Church.

Things Seen
What we see in this scene of Christ crucified are the usual symbols of the passion story: a hammer and three spikes; the lots that were thrown to see who would win his garment; the thirty pieces of silver; sour wine; the ladder used to remove Jesus from the cross; the purple robe that was mockingly placed on him at his trial; a crown for the King of the Jews; a much older Mary and the disciple John (who were there, in John’s Gospel—whereas in Matthew/Mark/Luke, the disciples and women are at a distance)

Things Unseen
There are a number of things missing in this window that we often see in other crucifixion scenes.
Where’s the skull?  
In many stained-glass icons in Europe, you’ll often find a skull at the base of the cross. First of all, this came from the understanding that the place where Jesus was crucified was named “Golgotha,” or place of the skull. Secondly, common European folklore held that when Adam died, his burial place later became the hill where Christ was crucified. This legend also holds that cross on which Jesus was crucified was actually made from the wood of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Thus, the skull at the base of the cross also represents the skull of Adam. Paul’s writings gave some foundation to this legend when he wrote in 1 Corinthians: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
Where’s the Blood?
In our stained-glass picture, everything is very sanitary and antiseptic. Many Latin American crosses, on the other hand, are running with blood. One theory for this difference comes from the understanding that, for the indigenous Latin American population who suffered for centuries in subjugation and servitude, the incarnation means more than just God coming into the world in a manger in Bethlehem. The incarnate God is one who submerges himself in a world of misery. God is found not only in beauty, power and wisdom; God is also found on the crosses of the oppressed. In this understanding of the crucifixion, God does not remain outside of history; God is not indifferent to the present course of evil events. Rather, God reveals himself through the authentic medium of the poor and oppressed, and it is by the work of this community in this world that the Kingdom of Heaven will be manifested.

Two -Faced
This window shares a peculiarity with the picture of Jesus teaching in the Temple: in both, Jesus has two faces. In the one on the left, the eye looks upward: it is hopeful; it is fixed on the next world; the mouth on the left is smiling. In the face on the right, the eye is looks out at the world; the mouth is downcast. Moreover, his body is pierced on the right side; he should be dead, but clearly, according to his left side, he isn’t. This two-sidedness makes the point that Jesus fully lives into the suffering and fear in this world, but he holds it in context of the next. Jesus on this cross is fixed between two worlds, the herein and the hereafter. This cross, then, certainly occupies the thinnest of places between heaven and earth, and Jesus lives in both worlds at the same time. We get an inkling of this during Holy Week, which is deeply rooted in the things of this world (the palms, the Maundy Thursday meal, the objects in the Stations of the Cross) but is, at the same time, also focused on the next.

This crucifixion scene, then, reminds us that this thin place is the proper place for all Christians to be, with one eye on earth and one on the next world; with one foot in eternity and one on shaky ground. 

Bishop’s Committee Meeting Minutes Summary

Sylvia Sepulveda

Please remember you are always welcome to attend Bishop’s Committee Meetings, which typically occur the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. The meeting information and Zoom link can be found on the website calendar. If you have trouble finding any of this information, please contact Marcy for assistance.

Summary of December 14 , 2020 Bishop’s Committee Meeting

Sylvia acknowledged that Christ Church sits on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish and Skagit Peoples, with hope that we’ll work as a community to understand, disrupt, and dismantle the impacts of colonialism here.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Lorne Render
-For eleven months of the year (91% of the year) we are at 101% for income and 70% for expenses.
-Last year at this time income was 100% and expenses 82%.
-Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.
-Motion to accept the 2021 Christ Church Operating Fund Budget was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Nominating Committee Report
People’s Warden Judith Render
-Motion to accept Maegan Barrett and Carleton Manning as nominees to the Bishop’s Committee at the Annual Meeting was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.
-Motion to accept Maggie Collinge and Becky Lennstrom as nominees at the Annual Meeting as Delegates to the 2021 Diocesan Convention and Erin Kohlhaas and Melissa Simonsen as nominees at the Annual Meeting as Alternates to the 2021 Diocesan Convention was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Annual Meeting
-Motion to schedule Christ Church’s Annual Meeting for Sunday, January 24 was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

-Next BC meeting is January 11, 6:00 pm, via Zoom.


Happy Birthday to…

…Annabelle Kohlhaas & Judith Render on January 4

……Sol Kohlhaas on January 18

………June Cook on January 29

Please send the month & date of your birthday, baptismal date, anniversary, and/or other special occasions so we can help you celebrate your blessings in the Joyful Noise. Please send to People’s Warden Judith Render at lorneandjudith@hotmail.com, 360-982-2770.

Sunday Services

3 January 2021
 Christmas 2
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
 Presider: Rev. Diane Ramerman
 Homilist: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson
 Readers: Melissa Simonsen, Pamela Foggin
 Jeremiah 31:7-14
 Psalm 84
 Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a
 Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

10 January 2021
 Epiphany 1
 10:30 am Holy Eucharist
 Presider: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson
 Homilist: Rev. Diane Ramerman
 Readers: Diane Guinn, John Guinn
 Genesis 1:1-5
 Psalm 29
 Acts 19:1-7
 Mark 1:4-11
17 January 2021
 Epiphany 2
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
 Presider: Rev. Brian Lennstrom
 Homilist: Rev. Brian Lennstrom
 Deacon: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson
 Readers: Erin Kohlhaas, Creamy Wilkins
 1 Samuel 3:1-20
 Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17
 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
 John 1:43-51
24 January 2021
 Epiphany 3
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
 Presider: Mr. John Okerman
 Homilist: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson
 Readers: Sandy Mathis, Carleton Manning
 Jonah 3:1-5, 10
 Psalm 62:6-14
 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
 Mark 1:14-20
31 January 2021
 Epiphany 4
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
 Presider: Rev. Diane Ramerman
 Homilist: Rev. Diane Ramerman
 Deacon: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson
 Readers: Valerie Long, TBD
 Deuteronomy 18:15-20
 Psalm 111
 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
 Mark 1:21-28

A Joyful Noise | January 2021